For those out of the loop, Japan’s government recently declared a state of emergency across several major cities such as Tokyo due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus situation. This has led to many companies and organizations shuttering their operations for one month – which could now spell gloom for some game developers in Japan.
In particular, Japan’s games rating board CERO has also closed its operations temporarily, from April 8 – May 6. According to their announcement, the organization will be suspending the review of all games during this period. Unfortunately, this also includes games that were undergoing the review process at the time.
What this most likely means is that several games in Japan will see delays, as publishers and developers have to wait an extra month to get pass CERO’s rating process. Based on reports from within Japan, some publishers have already confirmed that they will need to push back the release of their games. (some rough translations below)
“We have to adjust the most recent title.”
“There are a number of titles to be filed in the near future, which will be very troublesome.”
While it’s a little unfortunate that some developers and publishers will have their projects held back by this shutdown, it’s all ultimately for the good of public health at the end of the day. Here’s hoping everyone in Japan stays safe from the infection during this month on pause.