CERO Scheduled to Reopen and Resume Activities on May 7
CERO, the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization, which handles rating console game releases in Japan, will resume activities on May 7.
CERO, the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization, announced it will resume activities on May 7. In a statement published on May 4, the organization announced it will start rating Japaneses games again while strengthening measures to ensure the safety of its employees.
Here’s a quick translation of the statement: “Our Organization was temporarily closed due to the government declaring a state of emergency amidst the new Coronavirus epidemic, prompting the governor of Tokyo to request citizens to stay home. Our business operations will now resume on May 7. We apologize for all the worries and issues we have caused to our employees and all related parties during our temporary closure. Our business hours will be from 10 AM to 4 PM to avoid peak hours commuting. In addition, we are preparing measures to enable work from home.”
CERO announced its temporary closure on April 7. Console games in Japan cannot release without a CERO rating, and the organization’s temporary closure definitely has an impact on upcoming Japanese game releases. Needless to say, with the whole pandemic situation in the first place, and the switch to telework, a lot of Japanese studios are experiencing big slowdowns in development. On top of this you have additional problems, such as companies used to meeting in person for decisions, slowing down things further.
As such, many Japanese games have already been delayed even if they already had a CERO rating, including SAO Alicization Lycoris. Meanwhile, upcoming games such as Hajimari no Kiseki, which is releasing on August 27 but didn’t get a CERO rating yet as I’m writing this, shouldn’t be delayed because of CERO’s temporary closure at the very least. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t be surprised if most Japanese games with an unspecific 2020 release got delayed to 2021. While we haven’t heard any official word on it, I’m not expecting to play Rune Factory 5 or Tales of Arise in late 2020 anymore for example.