D3Publisher of America, the publisher of the upcoming videogame Dark Sector has asked Gaming Today and FileFront to remove two video montages of the game in order to comply with a request from the ESRB.
The request received by FileFront to remove the game reads, "We recently received a ruling from the ESRB stating that the two officially released Dark Sector gameplay montages have been deemed to contain excessive or offensive content; and to this end are not to be available for download or viewing, regardless of being placed behind an age gate. In order to comply with this ruling, the ESRB has requested that the two Dark Sector gameplay montages be pulled immediately upon receipt of this notice and no longer made available for view by consumers."
The request to remove the videos came despite the fact they were blocked by an "age gate," which prompts users for their age before allowing the video to be viewed. The videos have been available on FileFront since December 2006.
FileFront has complied with the request, in spite of the fact that according to ESRB "best practice" guidelines, an age gate is sufficient protection even for Adults Only video. In part, the guidelines read, "Please adhere to the following best practices to limit access of inappropriate content to children under the age of 17 (18, in the case of Adults Only) The online age gates must ask the age of the web user in a neutral manner and must employ reasonable steps to prevent users under the age of 17 (or 18) from changing their age to be older once they have initially been prevented access to the website."
Dark Sector is scheduled to ship in the first quarter of 2008 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It has not yet been rated by the ESRB.