ESRB lowers the shroud of secrecy surrounding unannounced games

According to a memo forwarded to Next-Gen editors (by a mystery publisher) you can thank the ESRB’s recent policy change for putting the damper on one of your favorite hobbies — scouring their database for clues about games that publishers don’t want you to know about yet.

Before, publishers had to cross their fingers that the savvy Internet Matlocks among us would somehow overlook their submissions to the ratings board. Now, online forms will have an embargo option for publishers to choose the date that a particular title is uploaded to the ESRB’s website. However, failure to check that part of the form defaults in the disclosure of information that we’ve come to love and expect:

“Unless there are specific concerns regarding premature disclosure of a title, we expect this field to be left blank…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.”

Although marketing departments spanning the entire industry are smiling right now, we fully trust in human nature, and the power of the Internet. Something tells us that Rumortoid won’t be leaving the premises anytime soon.

[Via Next-Gen — Thanks Brad]