The request came from Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines in an e-mail which is reproduced below. The e-mail does not delve into the reasoning behind the decision, but says the request is "in connection with ESRB's advertising guidelines."
The move comes on the eve of Fallout 3's release, with thousands of retailers ready to start selling the game at midnight tonight, and follows a widely-reported public complaint regarding depictions of post-apocalyptic Washington DC in Fallout 3 ads.
The ESRB struck last year when news outlets including Shacknews were asked to remove trailers for D3 Publisher's Dark Sector, with the rating board citing "gameplay montages [which] have been deemed to contain excessive or offensive content."
The full e-mail from Hines follows:
In connection with ESRB's advertising guidelines, you are instructed to remove immediately any of our Fallout 3 trailers from your website, pending further notice.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.