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ESRB and PEGI will keep rating games remotely throughout coronavirus lockdown

Game rating agencies ESRB and PEGI will not be shut down during the coronavirus outbreak.

Both North American and European agencies will continue working remotely, IGN reports. This follows the shutting of Japanese ratings agency CERO this year until May 6 or a lifting of the country-wide lockdown.

"Thanks to a good deal of advance planning, since March 16 ESRB has been operating remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak," an ESRB spokesperson said. "We have seen no delay in assigning ratings. We will continue to assign ratings remotely for as long as required."

Console makers and digital storefronts alike require games are rated by ESRB prior to their North American release. This means any hiccups in the system could result in delays.

PEGI also expects "minimal impact" on its reviews process as staff work from home.

"In short: yes, we are currently working remotely with minimal impact on our operations," said a PEGI spokesperson. "When this situation started to unfold across Europe a couple of weeks ago, we quickly found a way to continue our daily operations by working remotely.

"Given that PEGI (in Brussels) works with two independent administrators that are located in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and they deal with publishers all over the world that we do not have to meet in person, cooperating remotely has always been part of our daily routine. But now it happens from homes instead of different offices.

"We informed the companies using the PEGI system that, until local authorities announce a change to the current measures, we will be working like this. But until now, the impact of the pandemic and the resulting measures has been minimal."

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