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ESRB Providing Detailed 'Rating Summaries' to the Public, Industry Critics Applaud Move

Related Topics – ESRB

The Entertainment Software Rating Board today announced it will offer "rating summaries" for all the games it has rated since July 1, 2008, a move it says will help parents by providing them with more information about a game's content.

The rating summaries are slated to be available at beginning later today, and will "explain in objective terms the context and relevant content that factored into a game's ESRB rating assignment." Read more »

"Idiots will always find a way to be idiotic. The rest of us shouldn't have to endure lesser ..."
- Splinebastard    See all 26 comments

Bethesda Pulls Fallout 3 Marketing 'In Connection with ESRB Guidelines'

Censorship and Bethesda's Fallout 3 (PC, 360, PS3) are good friends, and the two just got a little closer: Bethesda has asked gaming websites including Shacknews to pull all trailers for the open-world RPG.

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." Read more »

"It is when you are building enthusiasm (omg the trailers are too bad ass to be shown!). I ..."
- Bensam123    See all 71 comments

Anti-ESRB Group Responds on Receiving ESA Funds

Related Topics – ESRB, ESA

The National Institute on Media and the Family, the non-profit group that has repeatedly blasted the video games industry, is now proud to "work together" with the Electronic Software Association after receiving $50,000 in funds from the ESA.

"Reasonable organizations can disagree on principle, but can work together for the betterment of families and children," said NIMF spokesman Darin Broton to GamePolitics. Read more »

"Anytime you see something this stupid happen, there is only one explanation. Money changed hands ..."
- sinclair4217    See all 9 comments

ESA Funds Inflammatory Anti-ESRB Group

Related Topics – ESRB, ESA

The Electronic Software Association, the trade association lobbying for the video games industry, has given a substantial grant to the National Institute on Media and the Family, the controversial media watchdog non-profit known for inflammatory statements towards the games industry and its ratings board in particular.

The NIMF will use the money--an unspecified piece of $1 million divided among nine recipients--to "develop an on-line e-learning zone for using the latest interactive technologies to help kids and adults understand the issues and potential areas of concern with the Internet," according to a press release from the ESA. Read more »

"...and they wonder why they are hemorrhaging members left and right. I'm not sure what they ..."
- sinclair4217    See all 5 comments

Guitar Hero World Tour PC Edition Listed by ESRB; Logitech to Offer 'Premium' Instrument Controllers

A new listing on the Entertainment Software Ratings Board's website appears to indicate that Neversoft's multi-instrument rhythm title Guitar Hero World Tour (PS2, PS3, Wii, 360) may be coming to PCs.

Though the port has not yet been officially confirmed by publisher Activision, it would follow the PC and Mac edition of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, which was developed for those platforms by Aspyr Media and released after the console version. Read more »

"Red Octane already makes the instruments. Harmonix is behind Rock Band now- Guitar Hero 3, ..."
- TerranUp16    See all 12 comments

ESRB Plugs Game Leaks with New Website Protocol

Related Topics – ESRB

A memo from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board revealed that the agency is implementing new functionality in its website to prevent evidence of upcoming game titles from being leaked before their official announcements.

The ESRB's notice, forwarded to Next-Gen by an unspecified publisher, speaks of a new online submission form that will allow publishers to choose a date when a game can be revealed on the organization's website. Read more »

"I didn't quite understand the context of the article when I posted this. Sorry guys."
- lookitzpancakes    See all 16 comments

New Bill Proposes ID Checks for Game Purchases; ESRB, FTC Say Retailers Are Getting Better

Related Topics – Legal, ESRB, Game Violence

A bill presented to the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday would force retailers to check the ID of anyone buying an M or AO-rated game or face a $5,000 fine.

Proposed by Lee Terry (R-Neb) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah), the effort relies heavily upon the Entertainment Software Rating Board's established ratings, and would ask that retailers have in-store materials explaining the system.

The use of the ESRB's rating system sets the bill apart from the typically unconstitutional game legislation proposals, which often use vague standards to label violent games instead of a set guideline. Read more »

"I swear I clicked reply to bluewagon's message... Anyway, I see what you're saying. But it's ..."
- hoov1185    See all 78 comments

ESRB Listing Reveals New DS Castlevania Title

A new listing on the Entertainment Software Rating Board's website indicates that a new title in Konami's long-running Castlevania series is heading to the Nintendo DS.

Entitled Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, the title was also recently discovered in an entry in the US Patent and Trademark Office's database which revealed the game's title and logo. Read more »

"Uh no. By all means go 3D - but keep it a side scroller a'la SOTN - in fact, as Pyide said, I'd ..."
- cause&effect    See all 29 comments

Ex-ESRB Rater Offers Harsh Critique of System

Related Topics – ESRB

Former rater for the Entertainment Software Ratings Board Jerry Bonner thoroughly criticized his ex-employer in an article appearing in this month's issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, GameSpot reports.

In his editorial, Bonner called on the ESRB to make a number of changes to its current system and policies for rating games, asking that the Board drop its insistence on secrecy and make the process of rating games more transparent. Read more »

"It should be enforced by the parents. If it's being played in the house, look at the rating. ..."
- kek    See all 34 comments

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)." Read more »

"but then I know nothing about Conan. Maybe the nipples are some essential plot element."
- Kazomir    See all 86 comments

ESRB Rating Hints at New Lost Planet Title

A new entry in Capcom's Lost Planet franchise may be headed to Xbox 360 and PC, according to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.

A listing for Lost Planet Colonies recently appeared on the ESRB's official site, proudly announcing the title's receipt of a T for Teen rating. The game's moniker game matches a trademark listing made last year, which at the time, set off a flurry of speculation regarding a possible sequel. Read more »

"I think it's safe to say that nobody cares. Mercy comment! Man, gaming news kinda sucked today."
- David Craddock    Add a comment

EA Responds to Fox News Report on Mass Effect: "A New Level of Recklessness"

Related Topics – Mass Effect, BioWare, Electronic Arts, ESRB

Were you sufficiently enraged by the Fox News Channel's recent travesty of journalism revolving around Mass Effect? If not, please go acquaint yourself.

Then, you can read this open letter issued by Jeff Brown, VP of communications at Electronic Arts, the new parent company of Mass Effect developer BioWare. Brown addressed it Fox News' Teri VanHorn and the show she produces, The Live Desk with Martha MacCallum. Brown forwarded the email on to us today. Read more »

"some good stuff in there. haha. "Trying to encourage sexual acts in a book made available to ..."
- bbmar23    See all 36 comments

Peggle XBLA Confirmed, ESRB Rates Other Unannounced Games (Updated)

Update: Peggle is indeed headed to Xbox Live Arcade and is tentatively slated for a Q2 release, a PopCap representative has confirmed to Shacknews.

Original Story: PopCap's ultra-addictive and mega-colorful casual gaming sensation Peggle is on its way to the Xbox 360, according a listing on the Entertainment Software Rating Board web site. Read more »

"Popcap should nominate Remo as "Official Peggle Spokesperson." He's just such a huge fan."
- David Craddock    See all 20 comments

Oklahoma Politician Swaps Sides to Support ESRB, Others Offer Suggestions

Related Topics – ESRB

Officially halted in September after more than a year of court battles brought on by the Entertainment Software Association, the Oklahoma bill equating games to porn was originally authored by Rep. Fred Morgan (D-Oklahoma City) and Sen. Glenn Coffee (R-Oklahoma City). In an interesting twist, Coffee has returned to the spotlight in the games industry, this time on the side of the ESA.

Coffee has created a public service announcement endorsing the Entertainment Software Rating Board's ratings system, the ESRB announced yesterday. "ESRB ratings are an effective and informative resource that allows parents to decide if the video game their child wants is appropriate," Coffee said in a statement. "I'm proud to be educating parents in our state about the tools at their disposal." Read more »

"It's not like it's an impossible idea to implement, but the parents who already disregard ..."
- BrodieMan    See all 5 comments

NIMF Slams ESRB As Complacent, ESRB Says NIMF Lacks Understanding

Related Topics – Rockstar, ESRB

A feud between the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) and the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) has erupted, causing the two organizations to clash about the effectiveness of and policy behind video game ratings.

NIMF's 2007 Video Game Report Card claims that, despite retailer and industry efforts, an investigation revealed that minors were able to purchase M-rated games, which are intended for audiences 17 and older, nearly 50% of the time. Read more »

"I expect to see a postal-style game where you get to shoot up these idiots. The violent nature ..."
- dpgagnon    See all 10 comments

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