Although CERO may be closed for a full month before reviewing video games and their ratings due to the coronavirus, it looks like the U.S. and European rating boards will continue to review games.
The process for reviewing games may or may not stay the same when it comes to the newly announced method, but the ESRB and PEGI will continue to rate games according to website nintendolife.com.
The publication site explains that both the ESRB and PEGI will work from remote locations and not in their usual offices to conduct a video game rating.
In other words, unlike CERO, both the U.S. and European rating agencies will still operate despite coronavirus measures/concerns.
With that said, here’s an official response from the ESRB regarding the current situation:
“Thanks to a good deal of advance planning, since March 16 ESRB has been operating remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have seen no delay in assigning ratings. We will continue to assign ratings remotely for as long as required.”
And here is PEGI’s response pertaining to its operations and reviewing video games:
“Yes, we are currently working remotely with minimal impact on our operations. When this situation started to unfold across Europe a couple of weeks ago, we quickly found a way to continue our daily operations by working remotely. Given that PEGI (in Brussels) works with two independent administrators that are located in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and they deal with publishers all over the world that we do not have to meet in person, cooperating remotely has always been part of our daily routine. But now it happens from homes instead of different offices.
We informed the companies using the PEGI system that, until local authorities announce a change to the current measures, we will be working like this. But until now, the impact of the pandemic and the resulting measures has been minimal.”
This means upcoming games aren’t going to have to wait on a review from the ESRB and PEGI. The only way a game will not receive a rating is if something happens on the publisher or developer’s end, but if that isn’t in the equation, both companies will follow through with rating new titles.
So what can we gather from all of this? Well, we learn that the Governor of Tokyo asked people to refrain from going outside until May 6th, 2020. Nevertheless, since reviewers must-visit CERO’s office to conduct a review, this stops the company’s staff and reviewers from working from home. However, both the ESRB and PEGI have faced minimal issues during this pandemic, allowing them to continue work from home.