By Sam Coles:
ESRB has been around for over 20 years now since Mortal Kombat and Night Trap came to the market and you now have ratings such as E for everyone up to Adults Only which is the equivalent of the UK’s BBFC’s and Pegi’s 18+. The reason why I bring this up is because the controversial game “Hatred” has been slapped with the AO rating which very few games have in the US, but the problem is when a game gets this rating it is more or less means it’s unsellable on consoles and most platforms.
The first question that I propose is that why should an age rating affect the sale of your game? If that was the case every game in UK wouldn’t be sellable in America because games like Call of Duty, Farcry 4, Grand Theft Auto, Watch Dogs etc. would be unsellable in the US because all these games are rated 18+. The US have still haven’t realised that video games are not just for kids anymore and they have been for adults for over two decades. This industry is a multi aged demographic and some need to grow up and grow a pair.
It just makes me think if you are going to ban the game anyway what’s the point of having the adult’s only rating? Don’t let an age rating judge a game for you let you the gamer judge the game, if Hatred is an abysmal game with mechanics etc fine but don’t down talk a product when you haven’t played or know nothing about it. You are judging a game on one trailer.
I would love if gaming companies such as Sony and Microsoft would embrace games with AO ratings because it would show that we can have games for adults who are in their mid twenties onwards. I know what some of you are going to say “this will open it up for disgusting games” which I would say no because we have 18+ games in UK and Europe and you don’t see vulgar games do you? To be honest I’ve seen worst compared to Hatred such as Manhunt, the original Postal even the forgotten FPS Kingpin life of crime which was where you would play as an objectively bad person.
What I want to see from the US with the ESRB is to let games like this to be sold and not censored if it’s going to be unsellable with the AO rating then don’t bother having said rating because you might as well ban it. A piece of media’s sales should not be based upon what age rating it’s at, but what the content within said media, US is the only country that I can think of when it comes to this practise even with the NC-17 rated films they become almost unsellable. If that was the case in the UK then most of the triple A releases would be unsellable because games like COD, GTA, Battlefield and so on are 18+ because they are only for adults only. So let’s try and keep an open mind no matter the age ratings and not let them judge the sales and let’s grow up America.