During a panel at the Montreal International Game Summit, A2M CEO Remi Racine accused some publishers of “cheating” in order to get a more favorable rating from the ESRB.
“As a developer who has worked with a lot of different publishers, we’re aware of many that have tried to cheat the rating,” he said. “They say to the ERSB that it’s a Teen rating rather than an Mature to try and sell more. You can do this just by sending them a video that doesn’t show the most violent stuff and then you’ll get the rating that you want rather than the rating you should get.
“We have to make sure that everyone behaves and that the ERSB is duly diligent. Maybe getting your game out at a certain rating will help that game, but it’s really not going to help the industry as a whole.
“Right now I don’t think the industry is doing enough to educate the audience. The ERSB is supposed to do it, but it feels like we just kind of expect these kind of industry or government bodies to do the job for us. As much as I don’t think it’s the place of EA or Activision to go off and try and inform parents on their own, a more active role needs to be taken by all participants to ensure our artists are free to express themselves and that content can be enjoyed responsibly.”
In response to the claim, ESRB spokesman Eliot Mizrachi stated that the ratings board keeps tabs on game after release, and if one is found to be in violation of the rating given – the publisher could face a fine of up to $1 million.