EA: Ratings Proposal Will Create Game Delays In UK
The UK (and Ireland and Nordic regions) are seeking to overhaul their ratings system; the proposed changes are set forth by the Byron Review, which is being considered at this very moment. However, according to what vice-president and general manager of EA UK, Keith Ramsdale, told GamesIndustry.biz, if it goes through, it's bad news for gamers.
Gamers in the UK and the rest of Europe have often suffered longer delays than any other major region, but this new generation is starting to see more simultaneous worldwide releases for big-name titles like Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Even so, if these new changes hit, Ramsdale said UK gamers can expect a return to bad ol' days of increased delays.
"The government's proposed changes to the existing age rating systems will create further delays in getting hit games to the UK. An extra and unnecessary layer of administration beyond a single system slows the process, and that delay will get passed on to the players themselves. Every time you add a new standard, game developers have to guess what the censors are looking for. If there's more than one standard in the UK, and across Europe, that can only equal delays in getting games to market and into the hands of British players."
These changes would result in many more titles being rated by the BBFC; specifically, any games that might need a 12-plus certification or higher. With this new system, PEGI would simply handle the rating for any games that fall into the under-12 grouping, but Ramsdale is more concerned with the consumer, who is often left out of such bureaucratic decisions.
"With all the discussion about the Byron Review, we know what the government thinks, but someone needs to speak up for British consumers," finished Ramsdale. "Has anyone asked British consumers what they think?"
Well, we're guessing the consumers don't want additional delays due to administrative BS. That's just a thought, though.
6/25/2008 Ben Dutka