Hatred Rated Adults Only by the ESRB

Erttheking

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Ugh, this game deserves to be released, but that doesn't mean it's necescarily any good. Frankly It just annoys me how some people somewhere think that the devs are paragons of free speech when really they're just trying to piss as many people off as they can.
 

KazeAizen

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This game deserves it. The devs seem to be the most reprehensible kind of people. Also when your express purpose of making something is to literally tick people off you don't get to call "free speech" and such. Even the devs at CoD when they made no Russian had more of purpose with it besides shock value. CoD is at least made in part to act as a fun escape and power fantasy to people. This. This is just being made because it knows its controversial and just wants to get under people's skin.

This game deserves the death sentence of AO. Hopefully the company goes under because of this.
 

Tsun Tzu

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Yeeeah, not an AO level of violence.



It's brutal, sure, but it's stylized. This is pretty clearly a bullshit move by the ESRB, which will only serve to give the game more press and, of course, more sales.

Hell, God of War looks more violent in some instances...though I suppose ripping the arms off of a minotaur in gory, visceral detail is somehow easier to disassociate oneself from than poorly rendered people with a black/white filter over them. Or, for that matter, the recent Metal Gear Solid's ending.

Little girl viscera? A-Okay! This? Ooh. Nooo. Can't have that.

Or Dead Space in general. Horrific viscera and dismemberment. A-Okay. MA for all!

If they could be a bit less transparent about their reasoning behind the decision, it'd be less insulting to all involved...and I don't even want to play the damned thing.
 

Bat Vader

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ambitiousmould said:
In the UK it'll be an 18. As is GTA and even Skyrim. I believe Dragon's Dogma was too, after is was reevaluated from being a 12. The point is is that the US system makes no sense to me. Here, killing and blood spilling equals an 18. Explicit nudity is also an 18.

Sidenote. This game just seems really silly. The fact that it is completely unironic just makes it funnier to me.
I know right. The game is trying to take itself seriously and instead it just makes it seem like it is trying too hard. Every time I watch the trailer I can't help but laugh at how dark and gritty the guy is trying to sound. "grrr, I hate humanity, grrr."
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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In my opinion there's two ways to take this. Fight the ESRB or add tons of sexual content to your game since it's AO anyways. I sure know the route I'd pick!
 

ToastiestZombie

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ambitiousmould said:
In the UK it'll be an 18. As is GTA and even Skyrim. I believe Dragon's Dogma was too, after is was reevaluated from being a 12. The point is is that the US system makes no sense to me. Here, killing and blood spilling equals an 18. Explicit nudity is also an 18.
This entirely. After living with 15/16 rated games and 18 rated games that are (rarely) restricted from being bought by anyone younger than those ages the fact that America has an AO rating that's the same as our 18 rating but basically "bans" the game from the retail market is just silly. It may not be "censorship" in the Moviebob Webster Dictionary definition of the word but it's still strange.
 

Davroth

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Apr 27, 2011
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This game doesn't even have Madworld levels of torture and violence in them. Frankly, considering all the games that the ESRB has waved through with a M rating, this is kind of ridiculous. This very much looks like a political move.
 

Maze1125

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LostGryphon said:
Yeeeah, not an AO level of violence.
Yes, it is. The problem is not with the game being rated 18, because it absolutely deserves it. The problem is with how America reacts to 18 rated games and that the other games you mentioned didn't get rated 18 when they should have.
 

Sigmund Av Volsung

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Dirty Cop James funs said:
Sigmund Av Volsung said:
I'd better grab me some popcorn >.>
Agreed. The whole thing so fucking hilarious. XD I am really excited to see what would happen next. Like the game getting banned or some shit. If Fox does a news coverage of the thing, my sides would probably fly to the moon.
"This just in: new Violent Video Game 'Hatred', dubbed a Mass Murder Simulator by Duck Dynasty star has been linked to the Muslim Secret Police in London"
 

loa

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Well that only serves to show how laughable, inconsistent and arbitrary the ESRB rating system in itself is.
 

shirkbot

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The Real Sandman said:
[...] when your ultimate reason for spiking controversy is "I just want to piss people off", then you don't deserve to call yourself an artist, or an adult for that matter.
KazeAizen said:
[..] when your express purpose of making something is to literally tick people off you don't get to call "free speech" and such[...]

This game deserves the death sentence of AO. Hopefully the company goes under because of this.
There are entire schools and movements of art that are based on making people angry and/or uncomfortable, so this still gets to go under the highly subjective "art" label, as well as the free speech/expression label. It may be tantamount to trolling, but it's still perfectly within the developer's rights to make an offensive game. There is nothing here that suddenly invalidates their right to free expression, or merits wishing the entire company go under considering it means those people all lose their jobs and with it their income.

I'm not interested in the game, but that's my decision with or without the rating. My problem isn't even with the rating itself because the ESRB is perfectly entitled to its recommendation, as that's all their ratings amount to. The problem is that what is intended to be a recommendation is used to kill a product that has every right to exist. I'm actually kind of happy this came up now though since it gives a good excuse to compare the ESRB and Australian ratings board and note that they're not so different. The only real difference is that as long as it's rated in Australia it can be sold, where the ESRB's AO is basically a punishment.
 

Tsun Tzu

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Maze1125 said:
LostGryphon said:
Yeeeah, not an AO level of violence.
Yes, it is. The problem is not with the game being rated 18, because it absolutely deserves it. The problem is with how America reacts to 18 rated games and that the other games you mentioned didn't get rated 18 when they should have.
Ideally? Sure.

AO shouldn't have a stigma associated with it, nor should it be all but doomed commercially...and yet, it does and is.

Barring disagreement on what constitutes "deserving" in this scenario, I certainly agree that there's an overarching problem here, but we're operating on the basis of precedent, which doesn't place this particular level of violence at the "Adults Only" level.
 

VectorSlip

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major_chaos said:
Well well well, this leaves steam with an interesting choice: either start letting AO rated games on the store, or re-remove Hatred. I really hope they go for the later, but if they go for the former I eagerly await the storefront being flooded with page after page of Eroge. Or to be fair they could take a immensely stupid third option and say AO for torturing people to death is a-OK but sex is still bad and scary and not allowed.
Well, to be honest. The former is something I would love to see happen. Eroge and the like have had trouble being legitimately recognized in the western world which is a crying shame because there is such good stuff out there porn or no. We've seen steam slowly opening itself up to things like visual novels and each baby step we take is good in my opinion. And if Hatred gets an AO rating and ends up being sold on steam that that fares all the better for Japanese devs gaining a large incentive to start really reaching out to western audiences.

I think this can turn out ot be a good thing. A very good thing indeed.
 

EvolutionKills

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Am I the only one who recognizes that context plays a role here?

It's my understanding, and I could be wrong, that the ESRB doesn't actually play games to review them. The developer/publisher seeking a rating submits a video representing 'typical' game play across the spectrum that a player can be expected to experience. This is why GTA: San Andreas got it's original M rating because of course Rockstar wouldn't have submitted footage of the content unearthed with the Hot Coffee mod, because that content is simply not accessible without modding the game (and breaching the EULA if I'm not mistaken). I still think that the ESRB re-labeling GTA:SA as an AO game after the fact over a user created mod was bullshit, so take it for what you will.

So in context, a game where you play a street thug going on crazy adventures that involves gunfights with cops (who are armed antagonists trying to stop you) and the possibility of civilian casualties? Now compare that against a game whose sole purpose appears to be recreating a hate filled psychotic killing spree where the slaughtering of innocent civilians is the goal. In games like GTA it is a possibility, but I never remember a story mission that tasked me with slaughtering civilians on purpose for the sake of killing civilians. Saints Row is just balls to the walls crazy, and comes off as so over the top and cartoony; it's almost satire it's tongue is so firmly planed in it's cheek. Compare either of those two to HATRED? Especially with the wave of mass shootings that have struck the United States in recent years? That might be enough to push a borderline game over the edge into AO territory. Especially if the footage they were supplied is far more graphic and visceral than what we have access to. But that's another thing to remember, as of yet all we have is screenshots and trailers, none of us have seen the footage the ESRB was given to evaluate; none of us have played the finished game. There simply could be more than we are not aware of. Or the ESRB could arguably be overacting, both are possibilities.

Now I'm all for freedom of expression, to let the developer make the game they want. If you don't like it, vote with your wallet and don't buy it; simple as that. Will an AO rating stop me from purchasing it? No. Will I buy it just because it has an AO rating? Nope. It will depend on whether or not it's a good game. You can make a compelling game experience out of almost anything, but without playing the game itself I cannot make that call for myself. That being said, I'm not terribly impressed with what I've seen so far.
 

NortherWolf

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Eh, the 90's-era, WoD-level of stupid edgy game about murdering innocents because "games are too nice these days" made my the Polish neo-nazis got a AO rating? Huh, who could have guessed that.
It's like, I'm surprised the sun got up this morning, or that water is wet. Imagine the wonders of surprises!

Yeah, Juvenile idiocy and creating controversies to sell your game might hurt you devs, suck it up and grow the fuck up. Or go to Facebook and like Nazi groups.
 

Superbeast

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Jan 7, 2009
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Not an American, so I don't quite fully understand the ratings system (why the hell have a 17-equivalent and an 18-equivalent? Here in the UK it goes PG-12-15-18); but I keep hearing that the average age of gamers is 30+, so why does an Adults Only rating make the slightest difference, if the largest market segment are, already, adults? I assume the argument is not that children/teenagers should be able to buy/play stuff like this, so what is the problem? Particularly in the age of the internet, where you can either order hard copies of games or get them via digital distribution, so even if the AO rating keeps this out of standard shops (like R-18 porn in this country) I'm not sure what the problem is?
 

DerangedHobo

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major_chaos said:
Or to be fair they could take a immensely stupid third option and say AO for torturing people to death is a-OK but sex is still bad and scary and not allowed.
You know that GTA V had a mission where you take pliars, gasoline, a car battery and a pipe wrench to someone right? While they're tied up mind you in a bid to extract information. If that isn't torture I don't know what is and GTA V is up on steam right now. Not to mention the killing of law enforcement agencies *as part* of many missions.

I mean I agree, I would love if steam started accepting AO games.
 

Doom972

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Does it really matter? It's a digital-only title as I understand it, so not getting shelf space on Walmart isn't really a concern.