BBFC: New system won't cause delays, price hikes

Written by Joe Martin

July 1, 2008 | 11:32

Tags: #byron #costs #delays #esrb #ms #ratings #report

Companies: #bbfc #pegi #sony

The BBFC, the UK's regulatory and ratings body for films and (some) computer games has responded to comments from EA and Microsoft that the new ratings systems proposed in the Byron report could cause increased costs and delays in games.

Currently the BBFC only rates games which the optional pan-European PEGI system scores as being suitable only for those over the age of 15, but recommendations in the Byron report advise that the BBFC should rate all games rated for 12 years and older according to the PEGI system.

Although the PEGI system is optional for publishers, many opt-in to the system in order to satisfy distributors and retailers.

Responding to claims from EA and Microsoft that such a change for the system could cause delays in UK releases and increased prices, the BBFC has stated that it is fully capable of handling the changes without impacting on customers at all and that each game only takes eight days to rate.

Gamespot chatted with BBFC director David Cooke, who pointed out that the BBFC system is also cheaper than the current PEGI system - if anything there should be price cuts!

Assuming the findings of the Byron report are implemented then Cooke says the BBFC's "more robust and fully independent decisions" will not adversely affect the games industry.

How would you design a ratings systems for games? Do children even need to be protected from games? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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