Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating Boards

October 7, 2010 -

Gamers have waited so long for Duke Nukem Forever, would they possibly accept a watered-down version of the game?

Gearbox Software head Randy Pitchford seems to be worried that Duke’s potty mouth and penchant for strippers might result in the game agitating the ESRB and PEGI. CVG conveys (Thanks Cheater87!) on Pitchford’s worries, as delivered at a London press event.

Pitchford reportedly warned press not to view a trailer for the Duke Nukem Forever, as he didn’t “want our friends at Take-Two to be punished for our creativity.” The trailer, which featured “bare breasts, strippers, gratuitous swearing, the word 'f***ing' in massive letters and a giant alien getting pummelled in the genitals by Duke himself,” was outrageous enough that Pitchford stated that rating boards would probably “not be approving of this.”

In other Duke news, Gearbox’s Steve Gibson, founder of ShackNews, told GamerZines that the company is toying with an April 1, 2011 release date for the title, an homage of sorts to the game’s long development and multiple vaporware award wins from Wired Magazine. The game even took the coveted Vaporware Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004.


Comments

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

I still don't understand why Hot Coffee was the difference between an M and an AO, TBH -- there was no content in there that would have pushed a movie from R to NC-17.  Topless grinding -- I've seen lots raunchier in R-rated movies.

And then there's the ridiculous case of The Witcher, which had the (admittedly immature and inconsequential to gameplay) topless sex cards censored for the US release, presumably to avoid an AO rating...and which later released an uncensored "Director's Cut" version which was still an M, and whose content descriptors were identical except that "Partial Nudity" became "Nudity".  (See for yourself on that handy little ESRB rating sidebar off to the right.)

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

You're not alone in that. The mini-game didn't even looked finished, and if it was, calling it "sex" would be/is an insult to the actual act of sex.

It was all political (I feel like that's becoming my catch-phrase on here). Granted, what really made it bad was Take Two lying about it, saying originally that modders had added the Hot Coffee thing, when in fact they just uncovered it, but even without that, people like Hillary Clinton were breathing so hard down the ESRB's necks that they really had no choice but to give them exactly what they wanted: the game off the shelves. Of course, they didn't stay off the shelves for long, and it accomplished absolutely nothing outside of mugging for the cameras, but that's exactly what it was all about anyway.

People have contested that the ESRB would've re-rated GTA: San Andreas to AO with or without any public heat, and they may be right, but I doubt it.

The ESRB may be more consistant than say, the MPAA, but it's hardly perfect. And everyone has their own opinion of what's "graphic" or "explicit".

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

I still see this as a case of trying to cross the English Channel when you're just walking through Moscow.

In other words, the game has to come close to being finished, and I'm not that optimistic in that happening any time soon.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

I take it this is more of a British/European problem than an American one? Aside from the nudity, I don't see anything that can push this up to AO.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

Doubt it, since Europeans are far less sensitive to nudity than Americans are. Unless of course that doesn't apply to video games, since they are often made an exception, however unfairly.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

When you consider a game has to actually get close to finished before a rating board ever sees it, I doubt Duke Nukem Forever has any fear of ever running afoul with rating boards.

Though seriously, if i had to guess, if they actually plan on finishing the game this century, I might guess that this is early damage control for when the game gets released to help explain why the game isn't the greatest creation of all mankind. Ya Duke's got a lot more to fear from reviewers and critics.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

Ya Duke's got a lot more to fear from reviewers and critics.

Being the Chinese Democracy of video games, I'd say so.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

I want my AO PC version.

 

Without weapon limit.

 

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

--- MaurĂ­cio Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

Given the content we have seen in M games in the last few years, I'm not too sure DNF would have a problem with the ESRB. 

This sounds to me more like marketing speak and a grab for mindshare.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

Unless the ESRB is worried about bad plublicity.

DNF likely is not high profile enough to get attention, but there have been instances in the past where the ESRB was harsher on games that were in the public eye then ones that were not.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

Why not do this release 2 different versions, the AO one says DNF and has disclaimer on the back, as well as warnigns and ratings, the game itself mirrors this in its opening credits and start and option menus, the case has a plastic cover and is shrink wrapped. Of corse they wont if we are lucky we may get a AO PC version....


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Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

Given that DNF will probably be mostly played by people who have been mocking the game for the last decade (and thus are adults already).. this might be a good canidate for simply going AO and seeing if it can get an exception from Sony/Microsoft.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

If Manhunt 2 didn't get an exception then DNK isn't getting one either.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

Yeah, the Big 3 aren't going to have the balls or integrity to support games of ALL ratings any time soon.

But, I also don't think DNK is going to earn such a rating in the first place, based on what I know. As long as there's no mini-game where Duke plows through a harem of hotties, with full frontal nudity and about as much anatomical accuracy as any game is capable of being, it'll be an "M" game.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

If it has that they can do an online only release.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

God of War featured visible bare breasts, the word Fuck has been said and shown in numerous games before, hell, a lot of it is Duke Nukem fare and hasn't had trouble before, no reason to see why it would now.

Re: Pitchford Worried that Duke Could Run Afoul of Rating ...

Yeah, of the things we know of the game, I don't see much issue either. It'll probably earn an "M" at best, and, in all likelihood, not do any better commercially than it would with an "AO". Anybody who even knows who Duke Nukem is probably doesn't give a shit at this point, and that includes me. There's a time where I would've been completely psyched about this, but that was about eight years ago. It just took too damn long.

Pitchford's probably just trying to generate more publicity, and quite frankly I can't blame him. But I'm not counting on it working.

 
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