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.