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.
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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