The COVID-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on all corners of the world, and the video games industry is no different. With the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, recently having declared a state of emergency in Tokyo in response to the situation, Japanese video games rating board Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (or CERO) has announced a complete suspension of services for a month.
CERO states that its work cannot be conducted remotely, and as such, all of its work and activities will be suspended from April 8 to May 6, and that an announcement of resumption of services will be made on its website when the time comes. This mean, of course, that reviewing of games for certifications will not be conducted during this time, and even those titles that are currently under review will have to be put on hold.
The implications of this are worth noting, because certifications are a crucial part of any game’s release process. With certifications being put on hold, we should expect similar delays to multiple games, at least in the region of Japan.