Today the internet was set ablaze, as usual, by rumors of Remedy Entertainment’s upcoming Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break coming to PC, due to a rating by the Brazilian Board of the local Department of Justice (Advisory Rating Coordination). The rating was promptly removed, and everything melted like snow in the sun.
This isn’t the first time that rating boards from countries like Brazil are used by a large number of websites as sources of rumors. That’s not all that surprising: smaller rating boards have a lower security and organization level, and can provide a limited amount of insight and leaks on unannounced titles, as it’s quite difficult to make mistakes on the existence of a game. Whoever is in charge of publishing the rating would have to completely invent the title, and that’s not very likely.
Platforms are a completely different issue, similar to what we often see from retailers like Amazon (Amazon France is a well known offender in this). Adding a listing for the wrong platform is as easy as checking the wrong box, so mistakes are very likely, especially considering that countries like Brazil aren’t exactly known for their faultless bureaucracy.
The Brazilian rating board is, in particular, well known for getting platforms of its ratings completely wrong: Final Fantasy Type-0 was rated for PS Vita, Tales of Zestiria and One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 were rated for the Xbox 360, Forza Motorsport 4, Forza Horizon, Gears of War 3, Gears of War: Judgement, and several Halo games were (and still are) all rated for PC.
A quick search will reveal tons of ratings for platforms that never happened.
Whether this is due to problems with the system, faulty bureaucracy, employees prone to human error, or even mistaken submissions from the local offices of the publishers, it’s as clear as the sun that the Brazilian rating board isn’t really a credible source for rumors on unannounced platforms of upcoming games.
Yet, the internet keeps drawing conclusions, and writers from several sites keep religiously checking Brazil’s Advisory Rating system for juicy sources of hits. This often give people false and short-lived hopes of being able to play a game on their favorite platforms, and stirs unnecessary controversy.
Incidentally, Xbox One exclusives being ported to PC is a particularly juicy controversy as of late, so I’m not one bit surprised to see people jump on it as quickly as humanly possible, only to have to write a retraction hours later when the rating disappears, or when Microsoft debunks the rumor.
Maybe, on the other hand, it’s time to start considering that the Brazilian rating board isn’t really a credible source for this kind of rumor. Its track record for platform listingsis abysmal, and when a source’s track record is this bad, it’s time to shelve it.
Rumors are fun to write and to read, but when the nature of the source dictates that they’re most probably false, they’re not as fun anymore.
Of course, I don’t expect this to really happen. Those hits are way too juicy, especially in a period in which adblocks and competition have many sites struggling for revenue. Yet, at the very least, when you read an article that says that a certain game might come to a certain platform because it has been rated in Brazil, do take it with a very hefty grain of salt. There are solid chances that it isn’t going to happen, or at least that the Brazilian rating board knows no more about it than me and you.
This isn’t to say that Quantum Break won’t ever come to PC. If I was a betting men, I’d have serious trouble deciding one way or the other, but whether it’s coming or not in the relatively far future, you won’t learn it from the Brazilian Advisory Rating Coordination.
Quantum Break will release on April 6th, exclusively on Xbox One.