#1 Posted by corruptsaves (212 posts) -

I was watching this Zoo Tycoon video and it is a more family friendly game and I wondered why games don't have extra bits as DLC that would bump up the age rating. You could still market and sell it to a wider audience to keep all involved happy then tweak it by changing a few things. For instance in this videos the buggies you drive around in could allow you to drive over people rather than being stopped. Or chuck a few kids in the rhino section.

I guess it would depend how expensive it would be to put these things in and it wouldn't really suit some games. But basically sell a game to more people to start of with at a lower age rating and then have simple things like blood and swearing as free DLC. More interesting random -even badly implemented due to time/money constraints- things akin to silly cheats out of the context of the game would be great. So publishers would not have to worry as much about their sales.

Does this sound like a good idea or something that could happen?

#2 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

It would invalidate the ESRB rating for one thing and probably be a legal concern.

#3 Edited by mosespippy (3981 posts) -

I don't see why not. The Saboteur had day one DLC to make the strippers topless. Doesn't most DLC have it's own ESRB ratings anyway?

#4 Posted by Bollard (5202 posts) -

For instance in this videos the buggies you drive around in could allow you to drive over people rather than being stopped. Or chuck a few kids in the rhino section.

This sentence was never said by a sane person.

#5 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1409 posts) -

@mosdl said:

It would invalidate the ESRB rating for one thing and probably be a legal concern.

The ESRB has nothing to do with the law and no games are legally obliged to comply with the ESRB, it's an industry regulation, not a legal one. As for the topic of this thread, I'm quite certain most DLC is rated by the ESRB. DLC usually receives the same rating as the main game for obvious reasons, but I don't see why the above scenario couldn't happen.

Online
#6 Edited by MonetaryDread (1987 posts) -

According to the ESRB all DLC has to fit within the current rating of your game. If you release DLC, like an E game adding the ability to slaughter people, then your rating will be revoked and you have to get recertified.

Source: ESRB.org

#7 Posted by Video_Game_King (35826 posts) -

@corruptsaves said:

For instance in this videos the buggies you drive around in could allow you to drive over people rather than being stopped. Or chuck a few kids in the rhino section.

This sentence was never said by a sane person.

And that's why I love it.

#8 Posted by crithon (3052 posts) -

just reminded of GTA4's first DLC Lost and Damned had a nude man.

But I mean if you had crocodile just mauling gazelles like in nature videos? Wild baboon just ripping the fuck out of a flamingo, I've see that on TV. I think it's possible to get away with educational aspect but ESRB might flip out if that happened, just describing it they would loose it.

#9 Posted by sjwho2 (46 posts) -

It wouldn't work.

Mostly because that type of DLC wouldn't be for the target audience of E-thru-T games and M rated games would just remain M.

#10 Edited by mosespippy (3981 posts) -

@mosdl said:

It would invalidate the ESRB rating for one thing and probably be a legal concern.

The ESRB has nothing to do with the law and no games are legally obliged to comply with the ESRB, it's an industry regulation, not a legal one. As for the topic of this thread, I'm quite certain most DLC is rated by the ESRB. DLC usually receives the same rating as the main game for obvious reasons, but I don't see why the above scenario couldn't happen.

The law has everything to do with the ESRB. It exists to be good enough that the government doesn't need to make any laws to replace it. If game companies didn't take the ESRB seriously then neither would the government. The reason trailers get age gates is so that the ESRB can say to the government that they aren't marketing inappropriate content to kids.

There may not be laws enforcing the ESRB, but laws are why it exists.

#11 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1409 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll said:

@mosdl said:

It would invalidate the ESRB rating for one thing and probably be a legal concern.

The ESRB has nothing to do with the law and no games are legally obliged to comply with the ESRB, it's an industry regulation, not a legal one. As for the topic of this thread, I'm quite certain most DLC is rated by the ESRB. DLC usually receives the same rating as the main game for obvious reasons, but I don't see why the above scenario couldn't happen.

The law has everything to do with the ESRB. It exists to be good enough that the government doesn't need to make any laws to replace it. If game companies didn't take the ESRB seriously then neither would the government. The reason trailers get age gates is so that the ESRB can say to the government that they aren't marketing inappropriate content to kids.

There may not be laws enforcing the ESRB, but laws are why it exists.

There are no laws governing the ESRB and no laws in place to punish the ESRB, game developers, or consumers in regards to anything related to mature content in games. You are correct that if the perception is that the ESRB is failing, the government would likely step in, but that doesn't mean there is any way for legal action to be taken against a publisher or developer for not complying with the ESRB as was stated in the comment I replied to.

Online
#12 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll said:

@mosdl said:

It would invalidate the ESRB rating for one thing and probably be a legal concern.

The ESRB has nothing to do with the law and no games are legally obliged to comply with the ESRB, it's an industry regulation, not a legal one. As for the topic of this thread, I'm quite certain most DLC is rated by the ESRB. DLC usually receives the same rating as the main game for obvious reasons, but I don't see why the above scenario couldn't happen.

If a game is rated T and a DLC is put out that would get a higher rating, people could sue the game publisher for misleading them (false advertising). This is why the "online interaction not rated" message exists.

#13 Edited by rahulricky (208 posts) -

@mosdl: no, that message exists because they can't control what strangers on the internet will say over voice chat.

Also that wouldn't be false advertising, unless the advertising promised DLC, because the game is still the same rating it always was. It's only the optional extra dlc that would potentially change the rating in this scenario. You can't sue someone for making an optional thing unavailable to you.

#14 Edited by AlexW00d (6168 posts) -
#15 Posted by Nictel (2364 posts) -

Every game comes with $20 boobs DLC. I don't see this happening, what if mum accidently buys the hentai dlc for her kids pokemon game? Lawsuits everywhere.

#16 Posted by Gruebacca (487 posts) -

Not only would the ESRB not like that, but making mature dlc for a family game completely ruins the tone. At that point, they should just make a different game.

#17 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

@mosdl: no, that message exists because they can't control what strangers on the internet will say over voice chat.

Also that wouldn't be false advertising, unless the advertising promised DLC, because the game is still the same rating it always was. It's only the optional extra dlc that would potentially change the rating in this scenario. You can't sue someone for making an optional thing unavailable to you.

The lawsuit in theory would be hey I thought the game was T but the DLC had Mature content that I didn't want to see my kid play, not the fact that the DLC isn't available. People will sue for the stupidest reason and I bet a lot of publishers would be wary of having DLC with higher ratings unless the UI makes it clear what the rating is (see AlexW00d's example)

#18 Posted by BisonHero (6051 posts) -

DLC is already really hit or miss regarding how well it sells, so doing potentially controversial DLC that bolts on violence/nudity to an E or T game seems especially stupid.

And as others have said, it wouldn't jive with the ESRB.

#19 Edited by Brodehouse (9519 posts) -

Even if it would jive with the ESRB, I have no doubt that such a plan would be wildly unprofitable. People who want E games buy E games because they want E games, same with people who want M games. People who want E games don't want M expansions, and people who want M games will be dissatisfied with having to purchase an E game to get at an M product. The market slice you're aiming for is so slim to be non-existent. That's not even bringing into consideration the opportunity cost. If you have a semi-successful E game and an audience who purchased it to play E content, what do you expect to make more money; an M rated DLC, or more E rated content?

Would Call of Duty do better selling an expansion where you kick a man's skull clean off his shoulders, or one in which you armwrestle with a friend and share a frosty Coke after? Which of those will interest the market more?

#20 Posted by afabs515 (1003 posts) -

@nictel said:

Every game comes with $20 boobs DLC. I don't see this happening, what if mum accidently buys the hentai dlc for her kids pokemon game? Lawsuits everywhere.

Well thanks for crushing my some sicko's hopes and dreams.

#21 Posted by hermes (1350 posts) -

"Downloadable content (DLC) that will be appended to a previously-rated product need only be submitted to ESRB for rating if its content exceeds that which is in the existing "core" product. Otherwise, the rating assigned to the core product is applicable to the DLC as well. Where, however, DLC content exceeds the rating assigned to the core product, it must be submitted to ESRB and a different rating may be assigned to the DLC."