ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

March 23, 2011 -

Earlier this week, we reported on an IGN story that the ESRB had shot down publisher Deep Silver’s first box art submission for its upcoming zombie title, Dead Island.  An alternate, ESRB approved version of the cover swapped out the silhouette of a hanging man with that of a shambling zombie.  IGN has updated its original story with comments from the ESRB:

“The video game industry has set guidelines about the types of content that are appropriate in advertising and marketing materials, which includes game box art. According to those guidelines the depiction in the logo was not compliant.

We never censor or dictate in any way what type of content can be included within a game. However, a game's marketing materials are seen by an audience that is much broader than that which actually purchases the game itself, so we enforce industry-adopted guidelines as to what is suitable for inclusion in these materials.”

Checking out the ESRB’s website, it would appear that the original art did indeed run afoul of those guidelines.  Here’s the pertinent bit from the ratings board’s examples of “content that publishers should avoid when creating qualifying advertising” (emphasis ours).

“Repeated blows or gun shots inflicted upon people/creatures, violent blows to the head, guns/weapons pointed at head, impaling, exploding body parts, guns/weapons pointed toward reader/audience, depictions of fatal injuries and/or suicide, strangulation/choking, inflicting wounds with swords/knives, kicks to the groin”

In similar news, the ESRB recently worked with Tecmo to ensure that the North American release of Dead or Alive Dimensions sported a cover that complied with its Advertising Review Council guidelines.  Kasumi, the game's cover girl, now shows a bit less leg.  Check out the difference over at aussie-nintendo.

[Disclosure: I freelance for IGN.]

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

I figured it had to do something with the man hanging from the tree.

As for the DoA Dimensions change mentioned in this article its seems like a pointless change since all they did was move her skirt up 2 inches.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

A boxart containing every single one of those prohibited depictions would probably be the best boxart ever.

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

What about those ads for MGS4 where Snake apparently offs himself?

Hell, what about a Hangman game?

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

If I'm remembering the ad correctly, there's no depiction of suicide.  Also, that may have been a Japanese ad that wouldn't have been approved by the ESRB.

What about a Hangman game?  What does that have to do with anything?  There's a DSi hangman game rated by the ESRB called Extreme Hangman but the art appears to follow the guidelines:

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

They don't dictate, but they expect compliance?

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

So Dead Space's dismembered floating arm was ok?

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

Well, it wasnt exploding

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

I remember going as far back as Grade one, my teachers having us play the hang man game; drawing out the noose on the black board, and the hanging stick figure as we got letters wrong. It didn't feel inappropriate and nothing wrong ever came of it.

 
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james_fudgewell I hope he called the police so they can let us all know.09/21/2014 - 9:07am
quiknkoldIt's pretty gnarly. Depending on what it is, it could be worse than white powder or a fake bomb.09/21/2014 - 9:06am
james_fudgeI just looked it up on UPS.com09/21/2014 - 8:56am
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E. Zachary KnightThat is pretty scary. Would have been worse if it were a fake bomb or white powder.09/21/2014 - 8:49am
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quiknkoldMilo Yiannopoulos was mailed a syringe filled with clear liquid. He claims it's anti gamergate harassment. Mentioned on his twitter twitter.com/Nero/status/51366668391625523209/21/2014 - 8:07am
Andrew EisenNow, having said that, what sites are you reading that are claiming that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem" or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"? Or was that hyperbole too?09/21/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenFirst of all, ONE person in the Shout box suggested an obligation to call harassers out on their harassing but only after YOU brought it up. Plus, Techno said "when you see it happening." If you don't see it, you're not under any obligation.09/21/2014 - 1:02am
Sleaker@Craig R. - at this point I don't even know what the hashtags are suppsed to be in support of. what does GamerGate actually signify.09/21/2014 - 12:21am
Sleaker@AE - Hyperbole for the first 2, but it seems like some of the comments in the shout are attempting to place blame on fellow gamers because they aren't actively telling people to stop harassing even though they don't necessarily know anyone that has.09/21/2014 - 12:16am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Who the heck are you reading that is claiming "all gamers are bad," we "need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers," that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem," or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"?09/20/2014 - 9:44pm
erthwjimhe swatted more than just krebs, I think he swatted 30 people http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/teen-arrested-for-30-swattings-bomb-threats/09/20/2014 - 9:31pm
Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
Craig R.Such things are not done in a vacuum... hence why the 4chan and other logs show what fools you've all been, tricked into doing the trolls' work09/20/2014 - 8:49pm
Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
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SleakerJust to re-iterate: People getting harassed is wrong. Just because someone is harassed by so called 'gamers' doesn't mean that all gamers are bad. nor does it mean that you need to pass laws or judgement on all gamers.09/20/2014 - 4:56pm
 

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