Following the re-rating of Bethesda's Xbox 360 and PC RPG Oblivion to Mature
in the U.S., the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association, which represents North American video game retailers, has released an official statement from IEMA President Hal Halpin regarding the major developing story.
Halpin's statement starts: "The pace at which the IEMA retailers reacted to the change in the ESRB rating for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
today stands as testament to the effectiveness and commitment to the industry's self-regulatory efforts. As evidenced by the most recent FTC study, the nation's leading retailers now require identification for the purchase of Mature-rated games at approximately the same rate as the movie theatres do for R-rated film admission."
The statement continues: "When we were notified of the game's ratings change today, we alerted our member company representatives who communicated to their stores the change in the game's rating. The effective change in sales policy was immediate. In fact, several major retailers changed the cash register prompt tied to the bar code of the game (a technology which prompts cashiers to ask for ID)."
Halpin concludes: "Of note in this matter is the speed at which retailers reacted and parents were empowered -- ultimately that is what makes any ratings system effective in the end." Gamasutra will have more on industry and other reactions to the re-rating as soon as they occur.