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EA: Ratings plan will cause delays to UK release dates

Multiple standards to add "unnecessary" admin and cause British gamers to suffer

The VP and general manager of Electronic Arts in the UK, Ireland and Nordic regions, Keith Ramsdale, has told GamesIndustry.biz exclusively that if the proposed ratings changes outlined in the Byron Review go ahead, British gamers will face delays to the release of new titles.

"The government's proposed changes to the existing age rating systems will create further delays in getting hit games to the UK," he said. "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."

Those proposed changes would see a marked increase in the number of games rated by the BBFC, specifically anything that would require a 12-plus certification or higher. Meanwhile the role of PEGI would be scaled back to concentrate on all titles suitable for under-12s.

"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."

And he urged the government to ask consumers what their preferences were with the proposals outlined subject to a period of public consultation.

"With all the discussion about the Byron Review, we know what the government thinks, but someone needs to speak up for British consumers," Ramsdale added. "Has anyone asked British consumers what they think?"

According to recent ELSPA research conducted by YouGov, 67 per cent of the British adults polled preferred the concept of a single pan-European ratings format - pointing firmly towards the publisher-backed PEGI scheme.

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Latest comments (1)

Private Industry 8 years ago
I`m not sure if that will lead to a delay in a game release unless the game will not get a rating at all like Manhunt 2. Games are send in for rating a few month before even submiting the game to MS, Sony or Nintendo so they should usualy have enough time to rate the game. Also the BBFC where rating already games before so they should work fast enough, even with a higher amount of games to rate.


A single EU wide rating would be really usefull but there are things to take into account there that are different between the countries and the language. If the English version features strong lanuage it doesn`t mean automaticly the translated text for the italian version features also the strong language or some assets used in the game might be ok to use for a game released in Spain, but could cause problems with the government in Germany. A single EU wide rating would be hard due to differences between each country, so at the end might then be one rating board, but again a different rating for each country.
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