Op-Ed

Dial 'M' for Oblivion

| 3 May 2006 17:43

Speaking of "Rated 'M' for Mature," The ESRB seems to have decided to make an example of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, as part of their recent crusade to prove that they provide a useful service to mankind.

From an ESRB press release via The Mercury News:

The change was made "due to the presence of content that was not fully disclosed when the game was originally submitted. . . Bethesda Softworks, the developer and co-publisher of the game, will be taking immediate actions to correct the rating information on all unsold inventory, future shipments and marketing materials.

This would apparently be in response to the discovery that Oblivion player models have fully-modeled, nude torsos hidden underneath their clothes. Yes, I am just as shocked as you are.

Bethesda responded with a full announcement late last night.

Bethesda will promptly implement the ratings change that the ESRB has ordered for Oblivion. We will not contest the ESRB's decision to re-rate the game as Mature, nor will we change the game's content to keep a Teen rating. We believe that this critically acclaimed game is not typical of Mature rated titles, and does not present the central themes of violence that are common to those products.

And more ...

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 full announcement from Bethesda can be found HERE.

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