The ESRB has issues, too many to count, but they do serve a function in video games that keep the government out of policing them. But sometimes, their own system is just too much. Case in point: Devolver Digital and Special Reserve Games took to Twitter this week to announce that there will no longer be a physical release for Runier. Here's the full tweet below along with the primary text you should pay attention to.
Due to new ESRB mandates, we've had to make some tough decisions. Our planned PS4 physical release for Ruiner, has been cancelled. pic.twitter.com/WREAYeDnAN
— SpecialReserveGames (@specialreserves) October 31, 2017
In late August, the ESRB announced a new mandate for all physical releases across all consoles would soon be required, and shortly after we announced our intention to produce Ruiner, we received word that this mandate would be applied to it and future new game releases. The process of obtaining this rating comes with a fee that puts the production costs for new releases like Ruiner out of the acceptable range for us to produce physical discs for PS4. This decision was agonizing, and we have tried multiple ways to reach a compromise, but sadly, we have had to change our plans to produce our intended collector edition PS4 discs for Ruiner.
In short, neither the developer or the publisher were going to pay the ESRB fee after they were already in production that was tacked on late. Its a shame the physical copy won't come, but we still have the awesomeness that is Runier for download.