So I was thinking the other day with more and more PC gamers moving to direct downloads and digital distribution to get their games. Should the game companies and publishers start looking to offer unrated versions of the games. To their adult community of gamers. (Of course.)
I have noticed a great trend of unrated movies being released on DVD, where the movie industry is not required to get or seek the rating boards blessing to distribute their DVD's to outlets. I wonder if we will see or if we SHOULD see the gaming industry offer uncut/unrated versions of their games for download. Now i don't think we will see this for console markets but could the PC market possibly get access to these. As more console games are being ported to PC, and more and more over 18 only MMO's are being released. Will other game makers start producing these, game equivalent of director cut unrated versions of their games.
I personally would love to have access to unrated versions of some of my favorite titles. I hear to often about games having to cut lots of content and tone down original content and gore to meet the distribution required MA (mature Audience) rating and avoid the AO (Adults Only) rating. Could the move of more MA MMO titles offer hope of this as an eventual reality. And maybe a resurgence of PC gaming?
I have enjoyed some of the newer MA title games with increased gore and nudity, as immersion really includes the seedy side of the world. We are all humans and basic nature is to participate in some adult activities. Especially for us adults. I know of a AO title MMO about to hit beta, that... is a little to far to the AO side than I would like... but some times you have to have those extremes in order for more moderate AO title to get a foot hold.
But will the increase in digital distribution offer wary dev teams an opportunity to release the game they wanted to. Without the heavy hand of the ESRB beating them down. I have not heard this talked about as a possibility and it kept popping into my head so I thought I would throw it out into the public forum and let us gamers debate the idea.
Would you as (adult) PC gamers and MMO players like the option of buying and downloading an unrated/uncut versions of your games?
Is it feasible to do this under the current policies of digital distribution and ESRB requirements? As I understand it its a voluntary program to get and participate in the ESRB rating system. As self governance to keep the goverment out of our gaming world. But could a game not get a ESRB rating for console and sales distribution and then offer to their online customers and direct download for a unrated version? Since primarily the reason for the rating is because game distro companies and sales companies. (walmart, gamestop/EBgames, etc..) Said they wont sell AO titles.
By offering it online only, they could control and limit access through age verification systems and tools that are all to common in this space. Would that be acceptable you think to some of the more vocal critics to AO titles?