News Posts matching "ESRB"

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Call of Duty: Black Ops II Now Available Worldwide

The wait is over. The groundbreaking Call of Duty: Black Ops II is now available at retail locations across the globe. The highly-anticipated sequel to the best-selling Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 console game in history has been called "the most ambitious Call of Duty ever," pushing the boundaries of the blockbuster franchise to new heights by propelling players into a world full of advanced weaponry, robotics and drone technology in the year 2025. Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which has shattered pre-order records set last year by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, is on its way to a historic launch, and is poised to usher in a new era for the 30-million Call of Duty fans worldwide with a host of new innovations to deliver the complete gaming experience. Providing great value to the Call of Duty community, starting today Activision's Call of Duty Elite services for Call of Duty: Black Ops II are free, providing fans with deeply integrated features, including Clan Operations, Zombies Leaderboards and more.

Windows Store to Pack "Mature" Games and Apps

Microsoft wants to leave no stone un-turned to establish Windows Store as a competitive online software and content distribution platform. According to a Gizmodo report, the company plans to revise its store policy to include rated-mature games and apps, leaving its definition to the buyers' imagination. For reference, Apple App Store has strict guidelines that govern "mature" content. Microsoft's move corrects a discrepancy between two game rating systems, ESRB of the US, and PEGI of Europe. While ESRB classifies 18+ games between "mature" (blood, gore, violence, bad language), and "adult" (porn), PEGI uses the broad classification of "PEGI-18." By Microsoft's own policy, it caused disqualification of ESRB Rated-M games.

Source: Gizmodo

ESRB Extends No-Cost Rating Service To All Digitally Delivered Games

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the non-profit self-regulatory body for the video game industry, today announced a streamlined, no-cost service for assigning ratings to all digitally delivered games. ESRB's new "Digital Rating Service" utilizes a brief but detailed online questionnaire to assess not only a product's content and age-appropriateness, but also interactive elements, including the sharing of personal information or physical location and exposure to unfiltered user-generated content. This newly streamlined service will first be put into use for downloadable games available from a number of computer and video game platforms including Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation Network, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Certified devices, Nintendo eShop, Wii Shop Channel and Windows 8, with other digital content aggregators, online game networks, streaming and download services to follow.

2K Games and Gearbox Software Announce Borderlands 2 Now Available in North America

2K Games and Gearbox Software announced today the much anticipated Borderlands 2 is now available in North America and will be available internationally on September 21, 2012 for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. The four-player cooperative shooter-looter already has critics raving, with review scores of 9 out of 10 from IGN, 9.75 out of 10 from Game Informer and a perfect 10 out of 10 from PlayStation: The Official Magazine.

“Borderlands 2 is a game made by gamers for gamers,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “The unique visual art style, all-new characters, loads of loot, 87 bazillion guns, and role-playing-shooting combine for a truly addictive experience, especially when played with three other friends. The initial response from the press has been fantastic and the game is poised to be one of the highest-rated titles in the history of 2K.”

Australian R18+ Game Rating System Ends Mature Game Embargos

Australian legislators voted in a new game rating system that expands choice for gamers, allowing them to play ESRB-Mature games, which often get restricted or banned in the Australian market. Called R18+, the new rating marks games restricted to consumption by people aged 18 and above. Before it, the highest game rating marker for the Australian market was M15+ ("mature", above the age of 15), which let through titles with depiction of violence, but blocked out quite a few that in the eyes of the powers that be, were "too violent" (eg: Mortal Kombat, with its gory critical hit animations). Like with every other government, in every part of the world, it took a lobby to move the Australian House and Senate (Parliament) and make R18+ a reality. Go ahead and score fatalities in style, mates.

Source: GameInformer

Tobacco-Style Warning on Video Games Proposed by US Bill

Shacknews is reporting that once again, video games are being used for a spot of political grandstanding, and in a familiar way. Not for the first time, a bipartisan pair of US congressmen have introduced a bill that would require almost every video game box to bear a warning label reading, "WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior." Should the the Violence in Video Games Labeling Act, H. R. 4204, somehow pass, it'd require the warning be placed "in a clear and conspicuous location on the packaging" of every game rated by the ESRB, except for those rated EC (Early Childhood). It makes no distinction for a game's actual content, so the warning would be slapped on Mortal Kombat and Imagine: Party Babyz alike. "The video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families and to consumers — to inform them of the potentially damaging content that is often found in their products," chief sponsor Joe Baca (D-CA) said, reported by The Hill. "They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility." Co-sponsor Frank Wolf (R-VA) chimed in, "Just as we warn smokers of the health consequences of tobacco, we should warn parents - and children - about the growing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between violent video games and violent behavior."

2K Games Announces Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gods & Kings Expansion Pack

2K Games announced today that Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings, the expansion pack for the award-winning Civilization V, is being developed for Windows-based PC. Developed by Firaxis Games, Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings introduces new gameplay content, enhancing the Civilization V experience and providing even more ways for players to achieve world domination. The Gods & Kings expansion pack spans the breadth of human civilization, taking players from founding the first Pantheon of the Gods and spreading religion across the world, to deploying spies in enemy cities to steal information and technology.

“Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword set a precedent in new content and game features in a Civilization expansion pack. 2K Games is continuing that tradition with Gods & Kings,” said Sarah Anderson, senior vice president of marketing for 2K. “The Gods & Kings expansion is the quintessential Civilization V addition, making Civilization more addictive than ever before.”

Modern Warfare 3 Sets Record for Biggest Entertainment Launch

Shattering its own day-one sales records, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, announced that its highly-anticipated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has become the biggest entertainment launch ever with an estimated sell-through of more than $400 million and more than 6.5 million units in North America and the United Kingdom alone in the first 24 hours of its release, according to Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information.

This marks the third consecutive year that the Call of Duty franchise has set day one launch records across all forms of entertainment, something no other entertainment franchise in any medium has ever accomplished. Last year, in North America and the United Kingdom , Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops had estimated day-one sell-through of $360 million and in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, set day-one records with estimated sell through of $310 million, according to Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information.

On November 8, 2011, millions of fans attended more than 13,000 midnight openings at retail stores worldwide. According to Microsoft, after just two days, the number of gamers playing simultaneously on Xbox Live set a new peak concurrency record.

Rep. Baca Introduces Legislation to Make Violent Video Games Sold With Health Warning

Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation that mandates all video games with an Electronics Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rating of Teen (T) or higher be sold with a health warning label. The Video Game Health Labeling Act of 2009 creates a new rule within the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which forces games with a T rating or higher to be sold with a simple warning label, reading: “WARNING: Excessive exposure to violent video games and other violent media has been linked to aggressive behavior.”

“The video game industry has a responsibility to parents, families, and to consumers – to inform them of the potentially damaging content that is often found in their products,” said Rep. Baca. “They have repeatedly failed to live up to this responsibility. Meanwhile research continues to show a proven link between playing violent games and increased aggression in young people. American families deserve to know the truth about these potentially dangerous products.”

Manhunt 2 Revised for Release in US

Manhunt 2 by Take-Two and Rockstar has finally been granted an "M" for Mature rating by the ESRB. The game was toned down after it originally earned an "AO" for Adults Only rating, which many stores refuse to carry. The game is now back on schedule to be released October 31st in the US on the PlayStation 2 and Wii.

Source: neoseeker

Manhunt 2 needs a platform

So, you may have heard the news about Manhunt 2. Getting a complete ban, subject to appeal, by the BBFC in the UK, followed swiftly by a AO rating from the ESRB in America - which effectively places great restrictions on where the game can retail although the ESRB is a voluntary system.

Recently contacted by gaming bloggers at Kotaku, both Nintendo of America and Sony Computer Entertainment of America have now confirmed that they will not be allowing titles with an Adults Only rating onto their respective platforms, the Wii and PlayStation 2 and PSP.

With no PC version of the game currently planned, the game is essentially homeless and Rockstar is left with the options of either abandoning the game completely, re-developing it with a less violent theme, or hope to God that an ESRB appeal will lead to a different outcome (not likely).Source: Bit-tech
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