The leading videogame ratings organization is offering publishers protection from revealing their games on the ESRB website.
Search functionality on the Entertainment Software Ratings Board website has a history of publicly displaying unannounced games, pressuring publishers to confirm projects prior to marketing preparation.
Improved functionality requested by game publishers in adding titles to the ESRB database is being implemented. Publishers may choose a date when the game in question can be viewed publicly, picking a time from one of three recommended options:
- Product Marketing/Announcements
- Ship date
- Product Availability
The ESRB believes that customer ratings awareness takes precedence over publisher schedules and "unless there are specific concerns regarding premature disclosure of a title, we expect this field to be left blank."
Any title not given a specific post day will be eligible for uploading 30 days after it has been rated.
An announcement from the ESRB to cooperating publishers reads, "While we recognize some publishers have concerns regarding earlier-than-desired 'announcements' of product on our website, the ESRB system will not work for consumers if publishers arbitrarily select dates bearing no reasonable relationship to consumer interest in the product."