EA: New rating systems could slow releases

Written by Joe Martin

June 26, 2008 // 12:42 p.m.

Tags: #bbfc #byron #delays #electronic-arts #esrb #government #pegi #rating

EA's UK Boss Keith Ramsdale has voiced concerns that the new rating systems proposed within the Byron report could have serious consequences for publishers and cause delays in UK releases of several games.

At the moment a PEGI rating system is employed for most games in the UK, but only games rated 15 or 18 are passed on to the government-backed BBFC. The BBFC has the authority to ban any games it examines, but is obviously only exposed to a small selection of games. The PEGI system is completely voluntary too, though major chains may refuse to carry games which are unrated.

A report completed by Dr. Tanya Byron recently claims that this system needs to be shaken up and that all games rated 12 or over should be examined by the BBFC. EA however claims that this means the BBFC would be much slower to process games, as more are being rated by them, and that this could slow the flow of releases in the UK market.

Speaking to GI.biz, EA's Keith Ramsdale said that the proposed changes to the existing methods would prove problematic for publishers.

"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," said Ramsdalee - pointing out that the BBFC has only limited resources at it's disposal.

"With all the discussion about the Byron Review, we know what the Government thinks, but someone needs to speak up for British consumers - has anyone asked British consumers what they think?"

Turns out they have, actually. A recent You Gov study revealed that 67 percent of UK adults preferred the idea of a single pan-European rating system, according to Eurogamer.

What would you prefer - better rated games, or earlier games? Let us know in the forums.

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