Hatred, a game which sees players taking control of a sociopath while he murders hundreds of innocent men and women, has been given an “Adults Only” rating. The only people who are surprised appears to be the game’s developers.
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The hugely controversial PC game recently made the headlines after it was pulled from Steam Greenlight, Valve’s platform for allowing developers to publish their games on the digital distribution service without the need for publishers. After much debate in regards to whether or not Valve made the right call, the game was eventually put back onto Steam with developer Destructive Creations even receiving an apology from Valve head honcho Gabe Newell.
However, Destructive now has a new hurdle to overcome, as the game has inevitably been slapped with an AO rating from the ESRB. AO ratings make games extremely difficult to sell given that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo all shy away from letting them be released on their systems. It drastically decreases a game’s audience and, in most cases, causes a PR headache. Of course, that was always going to be the case with Hatred given its subject material. Just check out its tacky debut trailer and its poisonous rhetoric:
It would be offensive if the dialogue wasn’t so awful.
Responding to the ESRB’s age classification, one of the game’s developer took to its forum, writing: “Well, I’m not quite convinced why Hatred got AO rating while it lacks any sexual content, but it’s still some kind of achievement to have the second game in history getting AO rating for violence and harsh language only. Even if this violence isn’t really that bad and this harsh language isn’t overused.”
He continued: “I would prefer to get a standard M+ rating, because with AO we will have problems to to get to consoles in the future, but on the other hand I think you guys (our fans) would be disappointed with it.”
Typically when a game is given an AO rating the developer attempts to edit its content in order for the ESRB to whittle it down to an M, though considering it seems unlikely Hatred would ever be released on consoles anyway, it’s perhaps a little pointless for Destructive Creations to do so.
Hatred is set to be released in Q2 2015 for PC. Don’t expect to see it anywhere else (and really, why would you want to?)