Besides developers and the gaming press, another profession that gets to play video games ahead of time for a living are content board rating reviewers. But unlike journalists, it’s policy for them not to talk about it.
This morning in r/NoMansSkyTheGame on Reddit, user Hussmannus emailed PEGI (Pan European Game Information, basically Europe’s ESRB) to get a clearer idea of what we’re all in for by what age rating No Man’s Sky was given.
It’s a smart move, but of course no board would ever disclose that information in a customer email. Still, Hussmannus found a peculiar sentence in his/her reply email written by PEGI’s consumer affairs rep Ivar Posthumus. In it, Posthumus said No Man’s Sky would be “worth the wait.”
Except he didn’t mean to say that. It was a mistake.
Hussmannus provided a screenshot of his email, which I’ve followed with his/her English translation below it. I ran the original Swedish through Google Translate. I have an older iOS, but it checks out.
You recently sent the question below to our web page pegi.info. We regret to inform you that we can not help you with this kind of (technical) product related consumer issues. PEGI policy is to not in any way share any information about the games not yet released. In this case, however, I have received more mail on the same topic today and would like to clear up the misunderstanding a little bit. You can be sure that the game is still to be released. Since I can not go into any details, and have played the game, I can assure you that it is worth the long wait.
Details about the games classification will have to wait until the game came out.
I was curious to find out if No Man’s Sky entering PEGI’s review process meant the game, rumored to have a surprise release on October 27th, is in fact almost available. I emailed PEGI about the average time of their review process and got in contact with Ivar Posthumus. When he asked why I was curious, I brought up No Man’s Sky and sent him the Reddit thread.
If you’re stoked for No Man’s Sky, prepare to settle in. Hoping to not “rain on (my) parade,” he replied to me via email:
“We got loads of emails with questions about release dates. Since these questions boil down to the same comment, I use templates as you would expect. Especially for languages I don’t master, such as Swedish, the language the consumer from REDIT [sic] used.”
In the Swedish email templates, Posthumus tells me, there are a few extra sentences that add hype such as the “worth the wait” line that has generated Reddit’s excitement. Posthumus copied and pasted his intended email to me, which is basically the same but without any kind of hype language.
You recently submitted the question below on the pegi.info website. Unfortunately we have to inform you that we cannot help you with this type of product related consumer questions. It is PEGI policy not to give out any information whatsoever about games that have not yet been released.
Details about the game’s rating will have to wait until after the game is released.
“Believe me or not, this is an honest mistake which never happens,” Posthumus wrote. “We’re not in to create a hype or feed the community with details about the game.”
Sorry, No Man’s Sky fans. Not that we would have learned much anyway. But I understand that knowing the theoretically objective PEGI, whose job isn’t to have fun with video games, became just as excited as anyone would have validated our almost irrational, better-than-sliced-bread hype. It would have been nice. But sometimes we can’t have nice things. Like No Man’s Sky’s release date.
No Man’s Sky from Hello Games will be released for the PC and PlayStation 4 whenever.