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Oblivion Matures

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Oblivion Matures

Game News - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 4 May 2006, 19:35:19

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Oblivion has now gotten itself a Mature Rating:
Bethesda Softworks made what it believes was a full, accurate, and comprehensive submission on Oblivion to the ESRB months before the game’s release. Bethesda used the ESRB’s application forms and believes it adhered closely to their requirements. Nothing was hidden from the ratings agency. No effort was made by Bethesda to lobby or influence the agency for any particular rating.

The ESRB has concluded that the game deserves a rating of Mature because: 1) partial nudity in the PC version of the game can be created by modders; and 2) the game contains excessive blood and gore that go beyond a Teen rating. The facts are as follows:

There is no nudity in Oblivion without a third party modification. In the PC version of the game only – this doesn’t apply to the Xbox 360 version – some modders have used a third party tool to hack into and modify an art archive file to make it possible to create a mesh for a partially nude (topless) female that they add into the game. Bethesda didn’t create a game with nudity and does not intend that nudity appear in Oblivion. There is no nude female character in a section of the game that can be “unlocked.” Bethesda can not control tampering with Oblivion by third parties. Bethesda is taking steps to ensure that modders can not continue to hack into Oblivion’s art archives to create partially nude figures.

With regard to violence, Bethesda advised the ESRB during the ratings process that violence and blood effects were “frequent” in the game – checking the box on the form that is the maximum warning. We further advised that the game contained occasional torture, vulgar acts, and gore. We gave accurate answers and descriptions about the type and frequency of violence that appears in the game. We submitted a 60-page document listing the explicit language, acts, and scenes in the game. Oblivion packaging already contains warnings for “Violence” and “Blood and Gore.”

We value the role of the ESRB and believe the rating agency plays a valuable role in regulating our industry. As always, we will continue work in good faith to comply fully with the ESRB’s standards and policies.

I agree with Bethsda on this one. Changing the rating because the end user can modify in nudity or any other somewhat objectionable material should not affect the rating in the least. If that's the new standard for what is or isn't a Mature Rating game, then nearly all 3D games that come out are technically Mature and the ESRB is now a completely pointless entity.

Spotted at: Blue's News

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