Age of Conan Not Censored in North America (Updated)

Update: Contradicting earlier statements, Funcom community manager Shannon Drake now claims that the North American version of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures will include nipples, though the German edition will still be edited to reduce in-game violence.

"It has come to our attention that the North American edition of the game was submitted (by [publisher] Eidos) to the ESRB without any server-side censorship," Drake clarified. "Funcom apologizes for this small error (or maybe two small errors)."

However, despite the insistence that the North American version was granted an M rating with no censorship, Drake points out that the game will not feature full nudity. At this time, it is unknown if other editions will include full nudity or if this was merely a general statement. nope

Original Story: Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures developer Funcom today revealed that certain elements of its upcoming PC and Xbox 360 action-MMO will be censored on a region-by-region basis.

"If you buy the US version, you will not see nipples," community manager Shannon Drake wrote on the official Age of Conan forums. Meanwhile, the German version will have full gore and nudity but will not feature decapitation, dismemberment or excessively graphic fatalities. An edition sold elsewhere in Europe will be wholly uncensored.

"Please note this isn't a design decision or something we can reverse," noted Drake. "It's a legal (or as good as legal) requirement to sell the game in that particular territory." Oddly, other Mature-rated titles, such as SCE Santa Monica's God of War (PS2) and God of War II (PS2), have been able to legally display female nipples in their North American releases.

In an interview late last year, Funcom content developer Jason Stone told Shacknews that he expected Age of Conan's blood and nudity to pass without issue.

"We try not to make sure we don't put anything in the game that would give us an AO, but we want to do Howard's world justice. That means blood, that means sex, that means some nudity," said Stone, adding, "We try to take the same way of doing things. I don't think we're going to have a problem with it."

The PC edition of Age of Conan arrives May 20, 2008, with an Xbox 360 release following later in the year. For more on the game, check out our latest batch of hands-on impressions.