Japan’s Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) have announced that they will be temporarily closing until May 6th due to the coronavirus pandemic.
CERO is Japan’s video game content rating organization, rating games on a scale of A (All Ages), to Z (18 and up). Retailers in Japan use CERO ratings to make decisions about whether to stock a game or not. Games with a CERO rating of Z tend to not be available in retail stores.
This month long closure comes immediately after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency on April 7th. The state of emergency will last until May 6th, when CERO has said (via their official website) they will reopen.
“The government declared state of emergency regarding COVID-19, and the Governor of Tokyo asked people to refrain from going outside until May 6.
Since reviewers visit our office to conduct review, 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.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and thank you for your understanding.”
With many game developers working from home, there is likely to be a backlog of games for CERO to rate when they reopen, and some game releases could be delayed as a result.
The coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19 officially, or Chinese Flu to others) has affected many worldwide, from businesses to public gatherings and events. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. This includes the postponement of GDC, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, along with the cancellation of E3 2020, and Comiket 98.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been over 1.3 million total confirmed cases worldwide, and over 994,000 active cases. There have been over 76,000 deaths, however over 292,000 people have made a “total recovery.”
Japan has had a total of 3,906 cases (3,222 active cases), 92 deaths, and 592 recoveries.