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Elder Scrolls Online Rated M; Bethesda Won't Compromise

By - Source: Bethesda | B 42 comments

The "M" rating should come as no surprise.

World of Warcraft is rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB. Star Wars: The Old Republic and EverQuest II are also rated "T." Even Dungeons & Dragons Online is rated "T." But what does Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls Online receive? An "M" rating, and the studio has no plans to fight it.

"While we may disagree with the ESRB's determination, we do not plan to challenge the rating, and we are unwilling to change the game's content to achieve a different rating. The game we have created is the one we want our fans to be able to play," reads the company's Facebook page.

This should be both discouraging and welcomed news by many fans. Discouragement because of the age requirement tacked onto M-rated games. Good news because it means Bethesda is staying true to the original concept, and has no plans to water down the Elder Scrolls cup in order for it to be palatable for everyone to sip.

Let's also not forget that both Oblivion and Skyrim have an "M" rating, whereas Morrowind and older are branded with the "T" rating. That said, the ESRB's mighty stamp on the MMORPG's hide shouldn't be all that surprising.

"As a result of the ESRB rating, we are in the process of promptly updating everything with the required rating and age gates, including game trailers, web sites, and ads. Thanks for your understanding. We can't wait to welcome players into The Elder Scrolls Online soon," the company adds.

In addition to its stance regarding the MSRB rating, Bethesda also revealed on Thursday an all-star cast that will lend their voices to characters in the game. These include Academy Award nominee John Cleese ("A Fish Called Wanda," "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"), Golden Globe winner Bill Nighy ("Pirates of the Caribbean"), Kate Beckinsale ("The Aviator," "Pearl Harbor"), Alfred Molina ("Spider-Man 2") and Golden Globe nominees Michael Gambon ("Harry Potter"), and Malcolm McDowell ("A Clockwork Orange").

In addition, Lynda Carter ("Wonder Woman") returns to the Elder Scrolls series to reprise her role from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

"This extraordinary group of actors helps bring the distinctive characters in The Elder Scrolls Online to life," said Matt Firor, game director of The Elder Scrolls Online. "In The Elder Scrolls tradition, we sought world class talent to add a deep and enriching component to the immersive world the series offers players."

The Elder Scrolls Online is being developed for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac by ZeniMax Online Studios.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    edogawa , January 23, 2014 7:47 PM
    These ratings are fully irrelevant. Kids/teens will get their hands on them anyway.
  • 12 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , January 23, 2014 8:20 PM
    Quote:
    These ratings are fully irrelevant. Kids/teens will get their hands on them anyway.
    The ratings are they for parents to know the content in the game. Its up to parents on how they wish to enforce things.Its like cigarettes or alcohol, You don't necessarily legalize it for kids since some may "get their hands on them anyway." ,,,
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    edogawa , January 23, 2014 7:47 PM
    These ratings are fully irrelevant. Kids/teens will get their hands on them anyway.
  • 7 Hide
    tobalaz , January 23, 2014 8:18 PM
    Age restriction?!
    Seriously?!
    What I'd give for a game without kinds mucking it up.
  • -7 Hide
    bryonhowley , January 23, 2014 8:20 PM
    Just to bad it is a piece of crap multiplayer. I have no use what so ever for any multiplayer only game and never will. I feel this will be the end of yet another great game franchise destroyed by this kind of mutilation!
  • 12 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , January 23, 2014 8:20 PM
    Quote:
    These ratings are fully irrelevant. Kids/teens will get their hands on them anyway.
    The ratings are they for parents to know the content in the game. Its up to parents on how they wish to enforce things.Its like cigarettes or alcohol, You don't necessarily legalize it for kids since some may "get their hands on them anyway." ,,,
  • 7 Hide
    toddybody , January 23, 2014 8:30 PM
    I hope they add further realism in the violence if theyre being shackled with "M" anyways.
  • 5 Hide
    falchard , January 23, 2014 8:41 PM
    ESRB ratings mean nothing since its completely voluntary. Especially if you do not plan to distribute through retail outlets. The main thing it does is protect you from lawsuits.Its not like Alcohol or Cigarettes, there is no government mandated restrictions on age for video games. Same applies to movies.I think Bethesda was wondering how they can waste more money on the title, so they hired some actors instead of 50 people off the street.
  • 0 Hide
    edogawa , January 23, 2014 9:05 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    These ratings are fully irrelevant. Kids/teens will get their hands on them anyway.
    The ratings are they for parents to know the content in the game. Its up to parents on how they wish to enforce things.Its like cigarettes or alcohol, You don't necessarily legalize it for kids since some may "get their hands on them anyway." ,,,


    True enough, but violence or sexual content in games are not something most parents will see as harmful to a child as it's not physical like cigarettes or alcohol. Most parents don't really realize what these ratings are too, plus kids or teens can get a hold of games so much more easy than a smoke or a drink.

    Things have changed these days. Gaming was much less violent in the days of Mario and Zelda, but today it's very violent and sexualized when may have some impact on kids mentally.

    These ratings are definitely unnecessary and irrelevant which is shown by the developer as they know full well an M rating will not affect sales more than 0.001%; this is a good thing to as developers should not be get rid of content for a rating. It's a bit silly too that games where you kill people and monsters violently is not mature rated anyway.
  • 9 Hide
    coffeecoffee , January 23, 2014 9:56 PM
    That's exactly what I was thinking. It's fairly common for kids in middle school (grade 6-8) to play Skyrim these days. While I'm sure these ratings can make or break a game (to a certain degree), it's still largely irrelevant. What's relevant is Bethesda staying true to their game. Game on~
  • 2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , January 23, 2014 10:40 PM
    Quote:
    These ratings are fully irrelevant. Kids/teens will get their hands on them anyway.
    Good. I am glad I was not restricted by these BS ratings as a kid. Much less time to game nowadays, wouldn't have played all the games I played without ratings. GTA series, for instance - why do I have to be 16-18 to play that? I was 12 when I started with GTA3 and would have played Vice City and SA too back then if they ran on my laptop - had to wait till 15 till I had a more capable one. To be honest, GTA was extremely helpful in helping me learn English. I spit on all the stupid "ratings" - why is it okay to show violent and morally wrong crap on TV but not okay for kids to play GTA (in most cases much less violent than some TV stuff)?
    Quote:
    t's fairly common for kids in middle school (grade 6-8) to play Skyrim these days.
    Grade 6-8? What's that age group, 13-15 years old? I played Morrowind when I was 15, I don't see why Skyrim isn't appropriate for that age.
  • -6 Hide
    brandonjclark , January 23, 2014 10:56 PM
    This should upset all five people interested in this game.
  • 1 Hide
    lostgamer_03 , January 23, 2014 11:50 PM
    Who even cares, as a contender of the BETA and a regular MMORPG player I can surely say that there are way better MMORPGs out there that doesn't require you to pay a monthly fee. The game will surely end up to be F2P due to lack of players.
  • 1 Hide
    cypeq , January 24, 2014 12:39 AM
    In the world of digital distribution ESBR has no power, and they can stamp their own heads with their stickers.
  • 1 Hide
    NightLight , January 24, 2014 3:58 AM
    does anyone EVER look at those ratings?
  • 3 Hide
    chaospower , January 24, 2014 3:58 AM
    Rated M, oh no. That sure stopped me from playing doom when i was 4 years old...
  • 0 Hide
    Drejeck , January 24, 2014 4:38 AM
    When I was 8 I was shocked with the demo-intro menu of Doom, immediately shutdown, and it took me 3 weeks to win that fear. Now everytime I recall it I think of that fear and how good that game was. This was achieved by another game only, Dead Space 2, and I was child no more! I played it only in daytime!Actually I played the beta of TESO and I don't see where the M is. Maybe the blood or some cruel decision but an M is kind of over-rating to me. It's always good to know for parents anyway that their children won't go jumping off a window to emulate superman or start a gunfight or worse like you do in GTA (not criticizing the game but the people who play them).There is a child I know that plays a lot COD and the likes on PSN and he was loudly thrash-talking to his companions, I mean, that's something I won't allow to my children. Maybe the M rating should be on every online game and have parents to oversees player behaviour.
  • 3 Hide
    bustapr , January 24, 2014 5:54 AM
    well, you just have to open a random Call of Duty game and enter a random server with mic chat and youll see just how many parents give a damn about the esrb M ratings...
  • -1 Hide
    sjc1017 , January 24, 2014 6:43 AM
    Are there mechanisms in place that I am unaware of or are these ratings a complete waste of time? My nephews play on all the latest games that they get from me and they are dependent on adults to purchase them for them. These ratings are not like film ratings where people used to have to pass through a check point at point of purchase to watch the film, now people buy games online anyway. I assume these are very cushy well paid jobs.
  • 1 Hide
    spookyman , January 24, 2014 7:03 AM
    Hmm so will see topless woman in the game?
  • 1 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , January 24, 2014 7:20 AM
    Next time someone tells you that violent video games turn people into serial killers, ask them what type of video games would a serial killer like. When they say there is a strong correlation between violent video games and violent crime, tell them there is a strong correlation between ice cream sales and drowning. If they still don't get it, give up and walk away.
  • 3 Hide
    dextermat , January 24, 2014 7:45 AM
    Rated M!!! Count me in!!!
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