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.