ESRB expanding ratings to mobile and digital platforms

March 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association's (ESA) Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) will soon start rating games on mobile and digital platforms with the help of the global game ratings organization, the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC).

The IARC, which launched in 2013, is already working with PEGI in Europe, ClassInd in Brazil, USK in Germany, and the Classification Board in Australia (who announced earlier in the month a year-long trial run of using the system - with the right to reject ratings it doesn't agree with).

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Australian Classification Board Turns To IARC To Streamline Ratings Process

March 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Australian Government announced this week that it would trial for one year a new system to speed up ratings for entertainment products. The Australian Classification Board will work in conjunction with International Age Ratings Coalition to use its ratings to streamline the process. A trial period will begin next month, and will be overseen by the Classification Board. The announcement was made by Michael Keenan, the Minister for Justice.

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ESRB Gives 'Batman: Arkham Knight' a Mature Rating

February 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Batman: Arkham Knight has been given a mature rating by the ESRB for its North American release, much to the surprise of Rocksteady, whose previous Batman games have all been rated "T for Teen" in the past.

Speaking with IGN, Rocksteady founder and the game director Sefton Hill expressed surprise at the rating:

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Developers Sound Off On Metacritic

February 20, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

MCV has an interesting report on the shifting attitudes of the media and game developers towards review aggregation site Metacritic. Eurogamer, which recently eliminated reviews scores altogether from its reviews earlier this month, thinks the biggest problem with Metacritic is how certain parts of the industry use metascores to approve or deny developer bonuses, among other issues.

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Eurogamer Dumps Review Scores

February 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Eurogamer announced this morning that, like Kotaku did earlier in the year, it will no longer be using review scores when it rates games. Instead games rated by the publication will use descriptors such as "Recommended," "Essential," or "Avoid." Some game reviews will not carry a descriptor at all.

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'Mortal Kombat X' Rated R18+ in Australia

February 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Australian Classification Board has rated Mortal Kombat X the highest rating it can give under its present system: R18+. The game, set for launch in late April worldwide, was given the rating due to "high impact violence, blood and gore, online interactivity."

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'Hotline Miami 2' Designer To Australian Gamer: 'Just Pirate It'

January 16, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

If you are worried that you won't be able to play Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number in Australia due to it being refused classification in the country by the Australian Classification Board, then perhaps Hotline Miami 2 designer Jonatan Söderström (from Dennaton Games) has an answer you might like: just pirate it. At least that is what he told one fan who emailed him and offered to send him money directly to get his hands on the game when it is released later this year.

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Devolver Digital Releases Statement, Video Related To Australia's Refusal To Classify 'Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number'

January 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier today we reported that the Australian Classification Board refused to give Dennaton Games' Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number classification in the country - effectively banning it for sale.

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Poll: Should 'Sexism' Factor Into a Video Game's Rating?

November 20, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

The ESRB currently has 30 different content descriptors to use in its game ratings covering violence, sex, nudity, crude language, references to alcohol and even real-money gambling.

Not only do these descriptors list potentially objectionable content so that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions, they also factor into what age group the game is ultimately recommended for: Everyone, Teens, Mature or Adults Only.

This week's poll asks "Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game's rating?"

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New Zealand's Rating Board Head Not Happy With Companies Avoiding Classification

November 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New Zealand's chief censor in charge of rating games is not happy with some game developers and publishers who are skirting the classifications process in the country by launching them digitally, according to this NZ Gamer report.

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Sweden's Dataspelsbranchen Researching Gender Equality Content Ratings for Video Games

November 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Joystiq (thanks MaskedPixelante) reports that the trade group representing the video games industry in Sweden - Dataspelsbranchen - is doing research on a new content system that would rate how video games promote gender equality.

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ESRB Details Sexy Content in 'Dragon Age: Inquisition'

October 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to data gleaned from the ESRB, the next iteration of BioWare's popular RPG will be extra sexy.

According to descriptions from the ESRB on certain moments in Dragon Age: Inquisition, sexual acts such as fellatio are implied, topless scenes are shown and lots of sexy language is used. Here's more from the ESRB:

"A female character briefly depicted in front of a man's torso," it rasps, "(fellatio is implied)."

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ESRB Celebrates 20th Anniversary

September 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Seeing that government regulation was in the wings if it didn't do something, the Interactive Digital Software Association (now known as the Entertainment Software Association, or ESA) decided that the industry needed a self-governing ratings system.

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Uncensored Version of 'Left 4 Dead 2' Now Available in Australia

September 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The uncensored PC version of Left 4 Dead 2 is finally available to consumers in Australia via Steam today (thanks Blue's News). The uncensored version of Valve's co-op zombie survival shooter sequel now carries an R18+ rating and is for sale - for a limited time - for 75 percent off its normal asking price.

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'Left 4 Dead 2' Finally Gets R18+ Rating in Australia

September 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The PC version of first-person cooperative zombie survival game Left 4 Dead 2 has finally been reclassified in Australia with an R18+ rating (thanks Cheater87). The game, now has warnings for "high impact violence," "strong impact themes," and "mild impact language."

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'Only God Forgives' Co-Star Bags on Film, 'GTA V'

August 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Christian music publication Breathecast has an interesting article on actress Kristin Scott Thomas, who says that she would not let her 12-year-old son watch her new film, "Only God Forgives." That makes sense. In the article she also laments about video games and their evil influence on young people.

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Video Standards Council Appoints New Chair

July 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The UK video games regulator, the Video Standards Council (VSC) has appointed a new chair to take over from Baroness Shephard of Northwold who was appointed in 2005. The new Chair will be Tony Lake, who has served as a vice-chair for the organization since December 2009. According to the VCS, Tony Lake has an extensive background in law enforcement, having served for 36 years in the Police Service and working for five different police forces during his career.

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'The Evil Within' Edited For Japan, Cut Content to Become DLC

July 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

When Bethesda Softworks releases the horror game The Evil Within in Japan, it will be missing some content. Bethesda had scheduled Shinji Mikami’s upcoming survival-horror game for an August release, but the publishers announced that the game would be delayed until October.

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Report: Western Australian Amendment Meddles With R18+ Rating

July 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On January 1, Australia finally and officially implemented an R18+ classification for games - something the government took a very long time to put in place. The goal of the rating was to allow games rated "Mature" elsewhere in the world to have a similar rating in Australia.

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June is 'Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month'

June 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It's June, which means it's time for the Entertainment Merchants Association, the Digital Media Association (DiMA), Music Business Association (Music Biz), and National Association of Theatre Owners to remind consumers that this month is "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month." This coalition of trade groups representing various industries has chosen June as the month to raise awareness on all the ratings systems available for entertainment - something they have been doing annually since 2004.

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The Sims 4 Rated 'Adults-Only' In Russia Because of Same-Sex Relationships

May 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Russia's ratings agency that handles video games has given The Sims 4 an 18+ age rating due to the inclusion of same-sex relationships. The game violates a law that protects children from "information harmful to their health and development."

The Sims Russia Twitter account announced earlier this week that the game had earned the restrictive rating. Previous Sims games released in the region have all been rated T (Teen) or 12+ but a law passed in 2010 is the reason for the more restrictive rating.

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Australia Considers Automating Classification Process for Games, Film and TV

May 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Australia's government pushes for an automated solution to speed up the work of the Classification Board (the government ratings agency in charge of classifying ratings for games and other forms of entertainment) in the country, civil liberties groups and anti-pornography groups in the country are sounding alarm bells.

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TIGA Urges PEGI To Lower Pricing on Games Rating Certification

April 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK video games industry trade group TIGA has written an open letter to European game content rating system PEGI calling for a review and adjustment of its pricing policy, which the groups claims is charging indie developers in the UK "unreasonably high and repetitious fees." TIGA wrote the letter in response to complaints from its members about PEGI’s pricing policy.

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Report: 'Bravely Default' Banned in Saudi Arabia

April 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Destructoid blog (from a reader named "Lord Spencer" who lives in Saudi Arabia), the government has banned the Square Enix 3DS game Bravely Default for promoting sexual behavior in children and pedophilia. While it is not at all shocking that the government in this country bans a particular game, the reasoning for the Bravely Default ban is as over-the-top as one can get.

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Ubisoft and The Australian Classification Board Explain Why Watch Dogs Was Reclassified R18+

March 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Both Ubisoft and the Australian Classification Board have issued statements explaining why Watch Dogs was reclassified in the region as an R18+ game.

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Watch Dogs Gets a New R18+ Rating in Australia

March 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Watch Dogs has been reclassified in Australia and will come with more content warnings when it is released this Spring, according to CVG. The open-world hacking-themed action game was originally classified by the Australian Classification Board in September last year with a rating of MA15+.

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South Park: Stick of Truth Censored in Europe

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitcs Staff

A number of scenes have been cut from South Park: Stick of Truth to get the game a lower rating in Europe. According to a BT Games report citing a document given to the publication by publisher Ubisoft, at least seven 20-second scenes were removed from the European version of the game.

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Report: EA is Manipulating the Ratings for Free-to-Play Dungeon Keeper Game

February 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Electronic Arts is taking a bit of heat for its "free-to-play" mobile game, Dungeon Keeper. Besides players and critics complaining about how horribly the microtransactions are implemented into the gameplay, there's also accusations that EA is gaming the ratings system on Google Play.

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Analyst: Reviews Matter More at the Beginning of a New Console Cycle

December 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

New research from financial analytics firm EEDAR concludes that software reviews matter more in the early part of a console's life cycle. The new research from EEDAR provided to GamesIndustry International this morning shows a stronger correlation between review scores and sales early in a platform's lifespan.

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Report: Australians Getting Censored Version of South Park: The Stick of Truth

December 18, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Australians hoping that the new R18+ ratings system would finally allow them to play the same games the rest of the world is playing (save Germany, which has an even stricter system in place) will be sad to hear that the version of South Park: The Stick of Truth they'll get will be a modified experience.

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PHX CorpI have to say somthing about an injustice in the Xbox video Store, the first 6 Star Wars films are not available in either SD or HD03/29/2015 - 6:17pm
mthielThis reminds me of schools a few years ago who forbade their students from having MySpace accounts. I don't mean blocking MySpace from the school, I mean banning the kids from having accounts)03/29/2015 - 5:12pm
Constermthiel, that is fucked up. Threatening to call social services on parents if you find out they let their kids play the wrong kind of video games is a suicidal move for schools.03/29/2015 - 5:07pm
mthielSchools in england are sending letters to parents regarding GTA. http://www.cnet.com/news/school-principals-threaten-parents-with-police-if-kids-play-grand-theft-auto/03/29/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew Wilson@mask that tweet says zeldu wiiu will be missing, it says nothing about some kind of remaster.03/29/2015 - 4:01pm
MaskedPixelanteI highly doubt Zelda will be missing from E3. They've got something lined up, next year is the 30th anniversary.03/29/2015 - 3:59pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica/status/581579256704081920 for those who did not see it zelda wont be at e3 ether.03/28/2015 - 2:22pm
ZippyDSMleeGot my keyboard working now now trying to sort and customize my stuff back to where I had it.03/28/2015 - 2:03pm
InfophileSony's customer service has always been crap, but up till now it's been manageable crap. A few cases of people having to pay for being hacked at worst, the Other OS removal... This one is going to be much worse for them.03/28/2015 - 1:34pm
WymorenceWhen did Sony start doing the ransomware stuff...? other than the old BMG rootkit stuff that is.03/28/2015 - 12:45pm
ZippyDSMleeother keyboards work but my keyboard will not work on it works on all the laptops tho...03/27/2015 - 11:22pm
ZippyDSMleeComp crashed acouple days ago and ate my keybaord drivers worse yet it's mislabel the drivers or hardware ID or soemthing and can not install the right drivers even manually it gives errors... going to try another restore point....03/27/2015 - 11:18pm
PHX Corphttp://ps4daily.com/2015/03/ps4-update-bricks-gamers-console-sony-wants-150-to-fix-it/ New PS4 update bricks gamers’ console, Sony wants $150 to fix it03/27/2015 - 11:11pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.newsarama.com/23947-axel-alonso-says-x-men-will-have-new-world-post-secret-wars.html Marvel gives 20th Century Fox the finger, takes their ball and segregates the mutant population in their own universe. According to rumors at least.03/27/2015 - 10:21pm
Papa MidnightSure thing!03/27/2015 - 9:00pm
Andrew EisenPM - Thanks, I've updated the story.03/27/2015 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/03/13-year-old-minecraft-player-confesses-to-swatting-police-say/03/27/2015 - 8:38pm
Andrew EisenThat would mean either Nintendo's next home console will be out by next year or the next Zelda game is suffering a two year delay. Both extraordinarily unlikely.03/27/2015 - 8:34pm
Matthew Wilsonsome people are thinking we might have a Twilight Princess situation on our hands, what do you guys think?03/27/2015 - 8:01pm
MechaCrashMiyamoto once said "a delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever." While this can be taken to excess, it is good that Nintendo remembers it.03/27/2015 - 7:44pm
 

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