Hatred Rated Adults Only by the ESRB

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Hatred Rated Adults Only by the ESRB

The ESRB has confirmed that it will be giving Destructive Creations' mass murder simulator Hatred an AO rating.

Back in October of 2014, Destructive Creations grabbed the attention of the gaming world with the debut trailer for its mass murder simulator Hatred. Dropping players into the shoes of a deranged killer, it left many gamers shocked, disturbed and rolling their eyes. Since that first trailer however, the in-the-works game has been at the center of several controversies, including a recent bout with Steam's Greenlight service. Now, according to confirmed reports, the ESRB video games ratings group has recently decided to give Hatred an Adults Only rating for its North American releases.

This is notable, of course, because the AO rating is rarely implemented and most typically reserved for titles with strong sexual content. This fact was raised by one of the game's developers who, in a forum posting, seemed somewhat dubious about the validity of the board's decision. "I'm not quite convinced why Hatred got [an] AO rating while it lacks any sexual content," said the unnamed developer. The developer would go on to say that it was still an achievement however to have created the "the second game in history getting [an] AO rating for violence and harsh language only."

Prior to Hatred, Manhunt 2 was the only title to receive an AO rating from the ESRB for violence alone. Its rating was eventually lowered to Mature after its developers at Rockstar toned down its content. The unreleased Thrill Kill was apparently up for also up for a violence-centric AO rating prior to its cancellation. The ESRB has thus far declined to confirm what specifically in Hatred prompted its AO rating. That being the case, Destructive Creations has expressed concerns that the stigma of being Adults Only could hamper plans to release Hatred on consoles.

Source: Polygon

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I find it hard to believe that the content alone was the reason behind the rating. Unless it's much, much grittier and bloodier then the trailers implied, it's well within the the boundaries more the a few of the games on my steam library got away with only an "M".

Then again the ESRB has always been useless, much like the broken and useless MPAA it was mistakenly modeled after.

This does not look like an AO though. No, really, it does not. I have seen games with similar or EVEN higher levels of violence.

More like an M. Well... if it were a movie it would get an M :( .

I agree with Zontar here.

I'm not surprised one single bit. This always turns into some kind of debate but it's pretty obvious to me why this game is rubbing people the wrong way and why it would get such a rating.

People are emotional creatures which means we often default to an emotional standpoint, everyone does it, to say you or people do not is simply untrue. The most primal parts of us are emotional where rationality is basically brand new to life as we know it. This sets people off emotionally because it's unnatural to kill people who are not trying to kill you, as a form of entertainment it just feels wrong to most people.

Are you really trying to get kids to hoard to this?

The game that aims to be one of the, if not the single most graphically violent game ever made gets an M-rating? I'm absolutely shocked. What a perplexing development, who ever could've seen this coming?

MarsAtlas:
The game that aims to be one of the, if not the single most graphically violent game ever made gets an M-rating? I'm absolutely shocked. What a perplexing development, who ever could've seen this coming?

Except it didn't get an M rating, it got an AO rating. Which shouldn't really be a big issue for them seeing as it seems like they're going for digital distribution rather than box stores where the AO rating would hurt them.

Tyran107:

MarsAtlas:
The game that aims to be one of the, if not the single most graphically violent game ever made gets an M-rating? I'm absolutely shocked. What a perplexing development, who ever could've seen this coming?

Except it didn't get an M rating, it got an AO rating. Which shouldn't really be a big issue for them seeing as it seems like they're going for digital distribution rather than box stores where the AO rating would hurt them.

Except Steam has a policy of not allowing AO rated games.

Not that I care for Hatred, but I find the situation a little... politically suspicious.

there's a few different topics to be discussed here...

1. the game absolutely does not deserve the AO rating. everything you see in this game has been done elsewhere, including the brutal point blank executions. this game is essentially isometric gta without any pretense. if gta 5 gets an M, this deserves an M as well.

2. let them keep the AO! i hate the fact that we have this whole rating that exists that functionally doesn't exist. if a game goes AO, it dies, which shouldn't be the case. i wish Rockstar would have made GTA 5 AO worthy, because that would finally force the industry's hand. we need a big enough title that the consoles HAVE to allow the game to be published with an AO to finally break the stigma. and if AO wasn't so taboo, we could have better control over game sales. a game like mortal kombat that is just mindless violence, rated M. but a game like gta 5 that has simulated sex acts, simulated torture, AND wanton violence? i could see why that would deserve an AO. again, only if AO is actually a reasonable rating.

I think the context was considered over at the ESRB. While on a pure level of violence there are similar and worse games, unlike a many the actual context of that violence is senseless killing of innocent people as the objective not a possibility. To make the obvious comparisons to GTA and other crime based games, a massacre against random people is a possibility but the objective is usually criminal on criminal. Or in cases like Prototype and other fantastical/sci fi settings, where there is a game play need to attack random civilians ,there is an element of reality to the protagonist of hatred as it sounds like it could be some psyco that decides he has had enough with the world, it has happened before.

ive been defending the game since day one, but im gonna say, maybe for the sake of lowering the ASRB rating, they should consider toning down a few things

Content matters as much as visual aesthetics. This is getting an AO because its no parody or some sort of justified violence, its just mindless murder.

Take what I say with a grain of salt for I watched the trailer once and haven't bothered to watch it again. I think the big difference between this and other games is that the violence is targeted at civilians and that could be what the ESRB is rating the game on.

Tyran107:

MarsAtlas:
The game that aims to be one of the, if not the single most graphically violent game ever made gets an M-rating? I'm absolutely shocked. What a perplexing development, who ever could've seen this coming?

Except it didn't get an M rating, it got an AO rating. Which shouldn't really be a big issue for them seeing as it seems like they're going for digital distribution rather than box stores where the AO rating would hurt them.

Like I said, they got an AO rating for a game in which they're trying to be the most violent game ever. Anybody who is surprised hasn't been paying much attention. Its not the first game to get an AO rating on violence alone, either. Nothing to see here, just people being 2edgy4me making a game that got a rating that shouldn't be surprising. If anything, I'm surprised that the ESRB gave it a rating at all, since they've been trying to phase out the AO rating. Seems like they'd rather rate an M or nothing, and its not like the ESRB hasn't refused to give a game a rating before.

Great. Add another example to the hysterical anti-gaming lobby. As if gaming wasn't already misunderstood.

"I'm not quite convinced why Hatred got [an] AO rating while it lacks any sexual content."

LOL nice try but you're not fooling anyone. That's like someone making Sexy Beach in the US and being perplexed as to an AO rating because it "contains no killing".

-

MATURE Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

ADULTS ONLY Content suitable only for adults ages 18 and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.

Pretty simple.

Frezzato:

MATURE Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

ADULTS ONLY Content suitable only for adults ages 18 and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.

That one year gap is amazing. Like some sort of divine revelation will be bestowed upon in that interim.

OP:MorelikeIMforimmatureHUHEUHUEHHEUHUEHUEHUHEUHEUUEHUHEUHUEHUH

No, serious business. This is very serious. Like that bit where the dude in the trench coat calls people "maggots". It's very serious and very mature.

Honestly, this situation is hilarious. Hilarious cause the game is so terrible, and hilarious because of how people will respond to it(in the community and in the mainstream press).

I'd better grab me some popcorn >.>

Sigmund Av Volsung:

That one year gap is amazing. Like some sort of divine revelation will be bestowed upon in that interim.

OP:MorelikeIMforimmatureHUHEUHUEHHEUHUEHUEHUHEUHEUUEHUHEUHUEHUH

No, serious business. This is very serious. Like that bit where the dude in the trench coat calls people "maggots". It's very serious and very mature.

Honestly, this situation is hilarious. Hilarious cause the game is so terrible, and hilarious because of how people will respond to it(in the community and in the mainstream press).

I'd better grab me some popcorn >.>

I'm curious to see how this turns out. I think it's about time that the ESRB finally puts in writing, why they rate what they rate.

But as far as the AO rating goes, I say let it stand. Better to self-regulate than have governments step in and spoonfeed us.

I really do not get why there's some massive difference between a rating reserved for 17 and up and one reserved for 18 and up. Hell, WHY ARE THERE EVEN TWO SEPARATE RATINGS IN THE FIRST PLACE if the difference is literally one fucking year I mean come on now. I don't think this is a problem that any other country has.

Frezzato:

Sigmund Av Volsung:

That one year gap is amazing. Like some sort of divine revelation will be bestowed upon in that interim.

OP:MorelikeIMforimmatureHUHEUHUEHHEUHUEHUEHUHEUHEUUEHUHEUHUEHUH

No, serious business. This is very serious. Like that bit where the dude in the trench coat calls people "maggots". It's very serious and very mature.

Honestly, this situation is hilarious. Hilarious cause the game is so terrible, and hilarious because of how people will respond to it(in the community and in the mainstream press).

I'd better grab me some popcorn >.>

I'm curious to see how this turns out. I think it's about time that the ESRB finally puts in writing, why they rate what they rate.

But as far as the AO rating goes, I say let it stand. Better to self-regulate than have governments step in and spoonfeed us.

ESRB can do whatever they hell they want with the ratings as far as I'm concerned. It's still better than having some old scrote regulate them directly :P

I get the feeling that we will a "The Interview" situation where the stuff surrounding the subject matter will end up more interesting than the finished product >.>

So I wonder.... if your in-game victims make smart ass quips while you beat them to death (GTA, Saint's Row) it get's you an M rating. If your victims beg and plead for their lives while you do it that ups things to AO. That appears to be the only difference between the two games. What am I not seeing here?

If this company had the money of a AAA company to shell out on lawyer fees, the ESRB would most certainly let an 'M' rating slide. Just like movie ratings, sometimes the difference between an 'R' and an 'NC-17' is how much clout you have. You can ask Trey Parker about that one. A perfect example of why it sometimes stinks to be the little guy.

Well well well, this leaves steam with an interesting choice: either start letting AO rated games on the store, or re-remove Hatred. I really hope they go for the later, but if they go for the former I eagerly await the storefront being flooded with page after page of Eroge. Or to be fair they could take a immensely stupid third option and say AO for torturing people to death is a-OK but sex is still bad and scary and not allowed.

martyrdrebel27:
there's a few different topics to be discussed here...

1. the game absolutely does not deserve the AO rating. everything you see in this game has been done elsewhere, including the brutal point blank executions. this game is essentially isometric gta without any pretense. if gta 5 gets an M, this deserves an M as well.

Have you considered the possibility that the problem is that the American rating system is completely absurd?

In the UK this game gets an 18 rating and GTA also gets an 18 rating. Further there is no particular stigma against 18 rated games. They're seen as they are, unsustainable for children (except for those who buy them for their children anyway, but that's a different matter).

There's no reason for an AO rating, as others have said. Especially with that up close torture scene in GTA 5

And I guess it's a good thing we didn't have the current community and media back when gaming was under attack during the Doom and Mortal Kombat days... A few of the gaming media sites would call the developers devil worshippers and gamers would be calling for censortship and leave us with laws against violent games.

oh, i'm well aware that the american rating system is absurd. i'm not familiar with other countries' systems, but our is broken for sure.

I am confused by the developer's confusion. He's implying mass murder is better than sex. It's baffling.

Looks to be about as disturbingly violent as Manhunt 2 to me so it seems pretty appropriate.

I have no sympathy for the makers of Hatred. It was made deliberately to get free publicity through controversy. Apparently they overdid it, whoops.

SmapdyAge8:
So I wonder.... if your in-game victims make smart ass quips while you beat them to death (GTA, Saint's Row) it get's you an M rating. If your victims beg and plead for their lives while you do it that ups things to AO. That appears to be the only difference between the two games. What am I not seeing here?

Is that not enough of a difference on its own? A relatively small difference (in design terms) can make a huge difference in how the game presents itself.

Playing Gears of War with the Locust replaced by unarmed crying schoolchildren would be much more violent, even with all the same animations and splatter effects. Or take Left 4 Dead and replace all the Zombies with people wearing concentration camp uniforms and star of David armbands and you'd have a game that would never be sold in mainstream stores.

I definitely don't think a game like this should be banned outright but being marginalized to the point of obscurity is something I'm basically fine with, especially since Hatred has been designed to wear the "controversy" label as a badge of pride.

Granted, I'm not American and I might not fully appreciate the significance of the different ratings but if Manhunt 2 is the baseline for a game violent enough to be an AO then Hatred is an AO.

double post

To be honest, now that I finally listen to this voice and see this stuff, I can only laugh.
It all seems so cheesy and cornball-y, like this is the voice and words of someone who they thought would be like this, as well as what they would look like.
Really, this seems edgy enough to make the early 2000's and late 1990's seem like pudgy play-dough.

Can't Destructive Creations just decline the rating until the ESRB give a full justification for their score?

"Explain or STFU"

Wait a second, even if it's adults only Steam knows about it, they've approved keeping it on Greenlight, and it's even been Greenlit so they should absolutely sell it.

I can't take Hatred seriously. Every time I watch the trailer I laugh because of how gritty serious the guy is trying to sound. "Grrrr, I'm angry at humanity, grrrr."

Context people, context.

There's no satire, or parody here, nor is 'killing innocents' up to player digression like GTA, or the much better Saints Row games, or any sort of justification for it past 'the world is shit so I'm gonna kill every one'.

It is literally, just an ultra violent mass murder simulator. It deserves the AO rating.

Sigmund Av Volsung:
I get the feeling that we will a "The Interview" situation where the stuff surrounding the subject matter will end up more interesting than the finished product >.>

It'll be just that. It looks like a cut-rate GTA II, minus everything that made GTA II fun.

Oh shit I totally forgot about thrill kill now that was a fucked up game it makes hatred look like care bears in comparison. I think hatred got AO mostly because its so infamous all this does is make it interesting to see what steam will do with it now.

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