The Entertainment Software Rating Board has apparently dealt with an entirely different hot coffee controversy than the one you’ve heard of. In a recent tweet, Triband–the developer behind the comedy sports game What The Golf?–claimed that the ESRB failed the game’s rating because the developer failed to identify a brown substance leaking from a pot in a break room as coffee.
Our #ESRB rating failed because we didn’t state what kind of substance there is on the table in the cafeteria 🤔
So dear Twitter lets see if you are smarter than the rating board…
What kind of substance do you think it is? pic.twitter.com/uvz2dA3iDs
— WHAT THE GOLF? (@tribandtweets) August 24, 2020
Though it’s not immediately clear what exactly Triband means by a “failed rating,” the ESRB’s rating process is well-documented, particularly in a 40-minute long mini-doc produced by the YouTube channel Noclip. Game developers like Triband submit a questionnaire that describes the potentially objectionable content of the game, as well as a video that demonstrates that content.
These materials are reviewed by a team of raters who work for the ESRB. In the lead-up to the game’s actual release, there’s a chance that it will be playtested for a more thorough review; if a developer is found to have misrepresented their game’s content, penalties may apply. In the case of What The Golf, it’s uncertain at what point this apparent failure occurred. Since the game is out on Switch, it would appear to be a past event, but it could also be ongoing.
We’re reached out to the ESRB for comment, and we will update when we hear back.
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