website has been rather kind to gamers for a taste of the future--until now. According to a report on Next-Gen.biz, the ESRB has announced a new plan that will allow publishers to control the timing of game rating reveals on the public site. In a memo the ESRB revealed the new embargo option was created at the request of publishers, which have often had new titles revealed ahead of marketing schedules by the ratings site.
While it seems the option has been created to benefit long-term marketing agendas, the ESRB does not want the new, completely optional, plan to affect rating awareness. "Unless there are specific concerns regarding premature disclosure of a title, we expect this field to be left blank," reads the memo. "While we recognize some publishers have concerns regarding earlier-than-desired 'announcements' of product ... the ESRB system will not work for consumers if publishers arbitrarily select dates bearing no reasonable relationship to consumer interest in the product."
Still, it is imaginable that publishers will attempt to keep all their cards close to their chest for as long as they can using the new listing option.