The UK's Video Standards Council said the revamped Pan European Game Information content rating labels will not be put into effect until April 1, 2011, at which point PEGI ratings will become legally enforceable, MCV reported Thursday.
Previously, UK video game trade body Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association hoped that the revamped ratings would be in place by October, in time for the holiday shopping rush.
The VSC, which will rate games based on content and assign them appropriate age-based ratings, said the delay is due to the UK's new Digital Economy Act, which will not go into effect until April next year. The act regulates digital media, including video games.
Responsibility for rating violent and mature-themed video games will pass from the British Board of Film Classification to the VSC when the measure goes into effect. VSC will be able to issue a legally-binding rating to mature video games with an "18" rating once the act takes hold.
The VSC explained the delay: "The Digital Economy Act has been passed in the UK but has not yet been made effective. This means there is no change in the procedure for releasing games in the UK."
The statement continued, "If a game is rated PEGI 18 it must be submitted to the BBFC for a legal classification. Ö It is important to stress that no games must appear for sale in UK shops with a PEGI 18 logo prior to April 1st 2011."