If there’s a major bonus to the appeal of Limited Run Games’ physical cases of video games, it’s that they’re not adorned with excessive logos and symbols that distract from the cover art. One of the usual sore spots that adorn titles sold on the market is the ESRB ratings in the lower-left corners of game boxes. In a tweet highlighted by Game Informer’s Imran Khan, the company’s Twitter handler confirmed in 2015 that this was possible since the ESRB ratings were only required if being sold through “traditional retailers” by the console makers. However, the organization has since changed its policy, adding a new lower cost option leading to console makers requiring all physical releases to be rated, and Limited Run Games has announced that it will need to abide by the new rules as well.
Beginning in late August, the ESRB announced that it would be lowering the fee for acquiring ratings for physical releases. However, the catch-22 is that console makers are requiring all physical games must be rated for any title published in the US, meaning that Limited Run Games will begin applying them to every release beginning on Oct. 13 with Absolute Drift: Zen Edition on PS4. This set the company back a bit with its production schedule for the past two months, but it will be resuming releases per usual from here on out.
In a series of Tweets answering fans’ questions, Limited Run Games confirmed that it wouldn’t be practical to find ways to circumvent the rating with flipped covers or slipcovers. It discussed the possibility of offering stickers to place over the logo, but hasn’t determined if this will be a viable option to offer to customers. Side effects of this new requirement resulted in the cancellation of the Sega CD 32X cover for Night Trap and will cost more for both developers and Limited Run Games in the long run.
What do you think about this new rule that Limited Run Games has to adhere to? Do you think the ESRB ratings add a sense of authenticity to the covers or do you think they’re a nuisance? Give us your rating about this situation in the comments section below.