Game ratings board CERO to shut down as Japan declares state of emergency

As the Japan game ratings board CERO temporarily closes its doors due to COVID-19, Japanese games could see further delays during the shutdown.

It was just recently that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency in the country and the government of Japan asked citizens to refrain from going outside until May 6, 2020. As such, much of Japan is about to see a halt in business as they adhere to the warning. One such group is Japan’s official games rating board, the Computer Entertainment Ratings Organization (CERO), which is shutting its doors until May 6 and may result in delay of various games during the shutdown.

CERO announced its intention to close its doors in adherence to the declared state of emergency and shelter-in-place request via the CERO website on April 7, 2020. According to the official statement from CERO, work from home will not be possible during this shutdown.

“Since reviewers visit our office to conduct review,” CERO wrote. “It is not possible for our staff and reviewer to work from home. For this reason, all operations, including review (including those under review), will be suspended from today until May 6. All staff will be on standby at home, and the office will be closed during this time. We will announce the resumption of business on our website.”

According to the official statement from CERO, it won't be until May 6 that any further games within Japan receive required certifications from the ratings board.
According to the official statement from CERO, it won’t be until May 6 that any further games within Japan receive required certifications from the ratings board.

Games like the Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy 7 remakes were able to make it in just ahead of CERO’s temporary shutdown, which is good, but further games in Japan and coming from the country could see delays as a direct result of being unable to be rated and distributed within the country, which could impact worldwide release dates. Even DLC and demo may be affected by the matter.

The effects of COVID-19 on various events and business continues to be rampant, even as many companies put donations and support into relief initiatives and efforts worldwide. Even so, it would appear we still have quite a bit of time to go before things will get anywhere near normal again.

Stay tuned to Shacknews as we watch for further news and announcements in relation to this recent announcement from CERO.

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he’s not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he’s searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.