We could use more 'Adults Only' games, says ESRB's Vance

You wouldn't know it from browsing the shelves at retail stores, but game ratings from the Entertainment Software Rating Board actually go higher than the standard "Mature" tag. Publishers and retailers generally reject any game branded with the infamous "Adults-Only" label, but ESRB president Patricia Vance said she'd love to see that stigma fade.

Speaking to Gamasutra in a recent interview, Vance explained that contrary to popular belief, the Adults-Only (AO) rating doesn't only apply to sexually explicit games. Rather, the label can just as easily be used to describe violence or any other themes deemed best suited for adults.

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-Alpha2413d ago

I guess publishers are afraid of alienating the consumers, but I can't imagine AO games being any different than purchasing M rated games, though the M rating has been desensitized

bwazy2413d ago

Not to mention that kids of all ages (at least here in Canada from what I've seen at local shops) simply purchase them without parental permission/supervision.

Nothing peeved me off more when there were more underage kids in the MW2 midnight launch line than adults.

kreate2413d ago

To my understanding, retail stores cannot sell AO rated games in stores. At least in california.

This is the main reason publishers dont go for AO ratings.

They can, however, sell them online.

joab7772413d ago

I would agree. It's simply financial. It wouldn't sell as well. It would limit the consumer base. It just isn't worth it...basically ever. Every publisher knows that it isn't worth cutting off much of the gaming community for a little more violence.

GillHarrison2413d ago

Wal-Mart and Bestbuy have a strict no-stock policy on Adults Only games. I'm sure it could possibly change over time or seeing how the Mature rating is getting a lot more broad when it comes to content.

DarkBlood2413d ago

what would make a game an adult only?

all i can imagine is this:

-sex scenes
- gory kills
- language

all very very detailed that would gross some people out or make them sick to thier stomachs

well you get the idea i hope

jeeves862413d ago

I think it's the sex that gets an AO rating. Oddly enough Telltale Games rep was discussing it on a video about The Walking Dead game. You can show the goriest kills and use the worst language, but if you show more than a little sex your game gets slapped with an AO rating.

NukaCola2413d ago

I don't know what justifies it. I figured it was the amount of immaturity as opposed to maturity in the content.

Heavy Rain has full frontal nudity, gore, children getting hurt, violence, language, and some of the darkest themes you could ever imagine and it's not rated AO, I assume because it handles itself maturely. Even God of War only has an M rating because it's not taking the content in a way that is immature. It's historical and factual to Greek Mythology and nothing is out of taste for the theme.

GTA, Red Dead, Manhunt etc are violent but they have a theme. I would like to know the actual justification of an AO.

I would assume games that have to do with raping someone for fun, hurting people just to do so would take an AO. Something like Duke Nukem or Postal where it's crude and has no bearing for a mature rating. It's mindless an immature.

_LarZen_2413d ago

A game with a Adults Only would probably have more focus on sex then other games, can it realy get any more bloody then some games allready are?

For some strange reason sex in games is tabu, mostly becaus crazy americans probably.

Kran2413d ago

What would it matter? Mature is 17+
Ao is 18+.

UK has plenty of 18+ games but that doesnt stop 9 year olds.

AusRogo2413d ago

Wish that was the case over here. Though we are getting an r18+ next Jan I think. Hopefully they put mortal kombat on the ps store for us then or an actual retail release!

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