Bethesda on Oblivion's Rating

Bethesda Softworks Response to the ESRB Rating Change for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has word that Bethsoft is cooperating fully with the ESRB to reflect the new "M" rating for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (story), though they also want to make it clear that they were not even sipping hot cocoa when applying for the game's rating, much less drinking hot coffee:
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.
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53 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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53.
 
Re: Current political client
May 5, 2006, 23:33
53.
Re: Current political client May 5, 2006, 23:33
May 5, 2006, 23:33
 
Few people know it, but before 9/11 John Ashcroft's Justice Dept. was all set to initiate a wide-ranging and swift crackdown on indecency. It was to be one of their top priorities. Apparently they felt that indecency had been allowed to become rampant under Clinton.

But I know none of this will get past Warhawk who would surely pop in to set me straight. I mean, with friends like Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton, who needs Republicans?

Yeah no kidding, Sean Hannity Mr. Fair and Balanced Fox news himeself is ENDORSING Liberman. That says alot right there. Oh and Good Ole hillary is now Pro-Iraq war and giving head to W.

52.
 
Re: No subject
May 5, 2006, 04:30
52.
Re: No subject May 5, 2006, 04:30
May 5, 2006, 04:30
 
Howin
Does anyone remeber Daggerfall. It had boobs out of the box and a parent lock.

It had a M rating out of the box though

51.
 
Re: Gee... another
May 5, 2006, 01:55
51.
Re: Gee... another May 5, 2006, 01:55
May 5, 2006, 01:55
 
If you really want to simulate the baby-killing and hooker-raping action of the inner city, you're absolutely free to publish it.
think so? i wonder if that's true.

Instead of the violent stuff, how about this -
Would a professionally produced sim "How To Cultivate Marijuana" or "How to Make LSD" or "How to Make a Pipe Bomb" be allowed to be published?

50.
 
Re: Gee... another
May 5, 2006, 01:45
50.
Re: Gee... another May 5, 2006, 01:45
May 5, 2006, 01:45
 
Mods and modding tools are going to be a thing of the past
if someone wanted to get nasty, couldn't unauthorized mods be considered violations of the DMCA - altering the contents of copyrighted intellectual property? Threat of a federal felony would tend to put a damper on mods that weren't sending the "right" message.
---
We now have the government the founding fathers warned against.

49.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 22:55
49.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 22:55
May 4, 2006, 22:55
 
And the fact that other residents of Skingrad refer to her as a "he", when the model/voice is quite obviously a female.....

X-dressing perhaps!!
LOL! I never picked up on that.

Most people would not be aware of that first definition of necrophilia and are most certainly aware of the second. Bethesda were not trying to dodge controversy there ....

... and good on them too! I think that they're being a bit jello-spined in dealing with the way they dealt with this current issue. They put the texture in ... wear the rating. At least maintain some dignity by sticking to the published product. I still don't understand what's wrong with a "M" rating? Do people actually take any notice of it?

Avatar 19028
48.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 22:24
48.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 22:24
May 4, 2006, 22:24
 
Uhhh, the term used by the character in question (Falanu Halalu or w/e it is iirc) definately has sexual connotations

I have spoken to her a small bit about necrophilia, but I guess I haven't gotten to the dialogue you're referring to -- must be activated by some quest.

47.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 22:04
47.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 22:04
May 4, 2006, 22:04
 
Uhhh, the term used by the character in question (Falanu Halalu or w/e it is iirc) definately has sexual connotations

= )

And the fact that other residents of Skingrad refer to her as a "he", when the model/voice is quite obviously a female.....

X-dressing perhaps!!

/ducks from ESRB overreaction = )

46.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 21:34
46.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 21:34
May 4, 2006, 21:34
 
The REALLY funny thing is that no-one (definately not the ESRB) picked up on or objected to the references to Necrophilia in the game. Try talking to the alchemist in Skingrad ... she has some interesting opinions on the subject. LOL.



nec·ro·phil·i·a
n.
1. Obsessive fascination with death and corpses.
2. Erotic attraction to or sexual contact with corpses.



Not necessarily sexual, "so what?"

Especially as alchemy in this game requires many ingredients found from the dead bodies of humans/creatures -- a likely explanation for an alchemist's fascination.

This comment was edited on May 4, 21:39.
45.
 
Re: Current political client
May 4, 2006, 20:14
45.
Re: Current political client May 4, 2006, 20:14
May 4, 2006, 20:14
 
"This and other similar events are a wild overreaction driven by fear that the current puritan-infested administration will begin legislating decency standards."

Except that it's not Bush or the current administration who is pushing hardest to regulate games. As you pointed out later in your post, it's Clinton and Lieberman who are screaming the most about this. Hell, for the record, I don't even think Lieberman is that bad of a guy except for his stance on maybe video games and abortion.

"These games can't teach you how to shoot, but they can teach tactics, patience, and the need for practice."

No more than watching a movie, really...

At any rate, let them lock up all the games at the store, let them put it in a separate back room, I don't care. I'm 23 so they really couldn't legally restrict my access. It's all the kiddies who have to worry.

44.
 
No subject
May 4, 2006, 19:25
44.
No subject May 4, 2006, 19:25
May 4, 2006, 19:25
 
The REALLY funny thing is that no-one (definately not the ESRB) picked up on or objected to the references to Necrophilia in the game. Try talking to the alchemist in Skingrad ... she has some interesting opinions on the subject. LOL.

So it's been given an M rating. SO WHAT!? *sheesh*

This comment was edited on May 4, 19:27.
Avatar 19028
43.
 
Re: Gee... another
May 4, 2006, 19:17
43.
Re: Gee... another May 4, 2006, 19:17
May 4, 2006, 19:17
 
BorisP said :
__________
You notice how EVERY game that comes out seems to be WWII, a squad shooter, or some other military game? That is what the government wants to teach the kids to prepare for the future. Killing people without a qualm. Teamwork thru squad based shooters. Separating out the talents of the kids by putting them in airplanes, tanks, cars or whatever in various games.
__________

Gee, bit of unhealthy paranoia there mate..... = |

Soooo, Zoo Tycoon is designed to make you a killing machine?

Seriously, violent games (specfically squad based shooters) are more populous these days because it's what people want to freaking play. All started way back when with CTF and Team Fortress in the Quake1 days, and was really brought in to reality by Counterstrike. Get over it, there is no conspiricy

/accepts phatty cheque from an untraceable government account.... = )

As for Oblivion, the ESRB is obviously incompetant for not rating the game correctly based on violence in the initial submission. Their blatant ignorance over how modders can alter the game aside, not leveling the correct rating when you have a freaking 60 PAGE submission is criminal, particularly when it prods a company like Bethesda, which have been extremely mod friendly, to lock down their IP.

This comment was edited on May 4, 19:18.
42.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 19:16
42.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 19:16
May 4, 2006, 19:16
 
What's the ESRB rating on "Singles"? Just curious.

Avatar 19028
41.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 18:22
41.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 18:22
May 4, 2006, 18:22
 
Does anyone remeber Daggerfall. It had boobs out of the box and a parent lock.

40.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 18:05
40.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 18:05
May 4, 2006, 18:05
 
Bethseda $$$ < EA $$$ or Activision $$$, therefore ESRB has them by the balls, and Bethseda has no power. It sucks, and is a dishonorable move by the ESRB. How baout making an example out of EA if you have to, and not pick on one the smaller publishers doing some of the more interesting releases these days?

39.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 17:34
39.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 17:34
May 4, 2006, 17:34
 
Bethesda is taking steps to ensure that modders can not continue to hack into Oblivion’s art archives to create partially nude figures.

Like not releaseing the exporters to make new models. At least people have been using 3rd party tools to some effect.

Its just more excusese for them to hold back modders while they make more money off the $2 rip offs.

38.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 16:11
38.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 16:11
May 4, 2006, 16:11
 
Bethesda is taking steps to ensure that modders can not continue to hack into Oblivion’s art archives to create partially nude figures.

So modders are hackers again eh, blame the community becuase you fucked up and put boobies in the game. This sure seems like the excuse Bethesda needs to eliminate modding of the game. Methinks Bethesda is dissapointed with the sales of their official mods, they see all the user created stuff as competition. So now they plan to eliminate user mods so that your only choice is to buy from them. Beware the official patch when it comes out becuase after that the only mods you can use will be official $2 Bethesda mods.


"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Avatar 21539
37.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 16:06
37.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 16:06
May 4, 2006, 16:06
 
there needs to be an addendum to this ESRB bullshit.

"Computer games can fundamentally be altered by users, in both positive and negative fashions. As this game stands, packaged now, it is rated [Whatever the original rating is]. [Company] is NOT responsible for the changes that YOU, the buyer of this software, make to adapt, tinker, tweak, enhance, modify, or hack when you work with the tools that may be included now, or created down the line."

Exactly.

Very much like the completely obvious (but apparently entirely necessary) disclaimer they put on there already about "gameplay experience may differ online." IOW: Got lag? Fuck off and get a clue about how a network functions. So simple. Billions of lawsuits doubtlessly exterminated thanks to that

I think if Bethesda went to all the trouble to include the offending assets in the first place, they definitely shouldn't be caving to this sort of nonsense by "taking steps to ensure that modders can not continue to hack into Oblivion’s art archives to create partially nude figures."

YOU PUT THEM THERE YOU DUMB FUCKS!! Have the cojones to say "yeah, we made our female assets with nipples. Male ones too. SO? People without nipples are FREAKS, so we put them there because we're thorough like that. 'M' Rating = fine. Change it and then please fuck off."

Because if they really believe this:

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.

Then WTF are they doing? They're not standing up to shit.


-----
It may be that one day a young man will adore a Pinata.
This comment was edited on May 4, 16:07.
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I'm not even angry. I'm being so sincere right now, even though you broke my heart and killed me.
36.
 
Re: Gee... another
May 4, 2006, 15:47
36.
Re: Gee... another May 4, 2006, 15:47
May 4, 2006, 15:47
 
Yeah, because shooting an M16 in a video game is EXACTLY like shooting the real thing? Please!

Obviously, but there is something to be said for the person who takes the time out to aim properly instead of running and hoping you hit someone. These games can't teach you how to shoot, but they can teach tactics, patience, and the need for practice.]

Which you wouldn't get if you were conscripted...

I agree that there are advantages to using computer games to diffentiate between combatants - Full spectrum warrior being adapted from a U.S. training program - but you're going over the top suggesting that the government is in cahoots with the game industry to brainwash us into bombing pearl harbour and that games necessarily reflect the physical and mental prowess needed.

There is a big difference between seeing someone shot in front of you and seeing a digitalised avatar being gunned down.

35.
 
Re: No subject
May 4, 2006, 15:14
35.
Re: No subject May 4, 2006, 15:14
May 4, 2006, 15:14
 
nin, good point, I did say government.

34.
 
Re: Gee... another
May 4, 2006, 15:01
34.
Re: Gee... another May 4, 2006, 15:01
May 4, 2006, 15:01
 
Yeah, because shooting an M16 in a video game is EXACTLY like shooting the real thing? Please!

Obviously, but there is something to be said for the person who takes the time out to aim properly instead of running and hoping you hit someone. These games can't teach you how to shoot, but they can teach tactics, patience, and the need for practice.

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