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ESRB Sheds Some Light on the Street Fighter V Censorship Debacle

street fighter v 08-27-15-8

We previously reported on the Street Fighter V censorship debacle, when senior product manager Matt Dahlgren explained the reason for the change in R. Mika’s taunts was in order to keep the games Teen rating, and retain the game’s “family friendly” image.

The answer didn’t seem to satisfy many fans as they weren’t convinced that it even made sense, or if the series has ever been considered “family friendly.”

Now, a recent investigation done by independent journalist William Usher seems to shine some more light on the situation, but unfortunately doesn’t clarify it entirely. When asking the ESRB if the game was at risk of being rated M (for mature), the representative had this to say:

“After receiving a final rating submission for Street Fighter V and based on the content depicted in the game and overall context, ESRB assigned a T (Teen) rating with content descriptors that include Mild Language, Suggestive Themes And Violence.”

This statement doesn’t necessarily give too much insight, as the initial rating could have been very different. However, the representative did share some more insight, explaining how games have a pre-review process to determine a games rating.

“ESRB provides an informal pre-review process, which is open to all developers and publishers who submit their game for a rating. ESRB does not tell developers and publishers what to put in a game, but we do provide general guidance regarding content that would most likely result in a more restrictive rating. It is then up to the developer to decide how to proceed. Given the confidential nature of this process, ESRB does not elaborate or provide details about which games nor the content that may have been pre-reviewed.“

That being said, there’s no evidence showing that the change was made independent of the ESRB rating. The official rating for Street Fighter V was given on November 4th, with the first footage of the censored taunt being made public on November 7th.

It is quite possible that the change was made between the end of the second beta and the official rating of the game, so it could have been made to coincide with the game’s teen rating.

While this doesn’t exactly clear things up entirely – we’ll keep you guys posted if anything new comes out.

, ,
Alexis Nascimento-Lajoie

About

Writer at Niche Gamer. Passionate for video game journalism, and more than glad to be a part of it. I also write DOTA 2 stuff.



103 comments
  1. Heavily Augmented
    Heavily Augmented
    January 4, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    It’s still up for debate but I really doubt a buttslap would give the game an M rating for a game that otherwise isn’t very sexual at all.

  2. CrusaderEsper
    CrusaderEsper
    January 4, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I want to point out that images like this http://i.imgur.com/24BNsVj.jpg are in a Teen rated game. There is no way a butt-slap would have pushed Street Fighter into M-rated territory.

  3. Para-Medic
    Para-Medic
    January 4, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    It’s still bullshit. The ESRB doesn’t censor content period. They rate it.

    Capcom calls the shots on content at the end of the day, and they caved.

  4. Master Bating
    Master Bating
    January 4, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    ESRB is very lax nowadays.
    Theres no reason for this censorship aside from Capcom not wanting to hurt the feelings of the people who will not buy or play the game.

    That much we know, theres no need for any clarification from the ESRB, we know why they did this.

    The same reason DOAX3 will not be released for western audiences.

  5. buddyluv324
    buddyluv324
    January 4, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    So I guess the real question is this: What exactly would be the guidlines for a game to receive an M rating from the ESRB? This current statement just ask more questions than it answers regarding SF5.

  6. Master Bating
    Master Bating
    January 4, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Extreme violence
    Drug Use

    Ususally a combination of both, certainly not mild nudity.

  7. Tenryuu
    Tenryuu
    January 4, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    The butt thing is weird to me considering Chun Li’s pre-order dress is always flapping around revealing copius amounts of booty as well.

    This whole debacle gives a new spin on being “buttmad” though lol.

  8. buddyluv324
    buddyluv324
    January 4, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Those I think would consider to be M rated content, though given how inconsistent the ESRB can be at times there’s no doubt some certain content can slip by in a T rated game. What it comes down to in part ios the ESRB having a more concrete guideline to the games they rate.

  9. MGNoxa
    MGNoxa
    January 4, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    The Butt Slap was removed because people were “offended” Ono said it himself. Games with way more graphic content have T for Teen ratings, I’m sure someone has already posted the picture listing them all in these comments.

    The censorship being found out and the rating submission being so close is just a coincidence.

    Capcom could’ve saved so much face by just simply saying “Sorry guys the T Rating is more important to us than the Butt Slap.” 90% of the people who were angry would’ve stopped being angry. Instead Ono said why it was removed and because of what he said they aren’t getting my money.

  10. Tyrannikos
    Tyrannikos
    January 4, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    It’s so weird to me that a butt-slap of all things is what they chose to remove. Someone who sexualizes a taunt like that has the mindset of a 12 year-old living in a religiously strict household, so I think it was a really unnecessary removal.

    It’s a fucking TAUNT. It’s not sexual unless you MAKE it sexual.

  11. Nagato
    Nagato
    January 4, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Still feel like Sony plays some role in all of this, seeing how they’ve always played it safe and now all of a sudden two major games (SFV and FFVIIR) they’re helping fund have the companies behind them cave.

  12. Jumanji Joe
    Jumanji Joe
    January 4, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if crapcom tries to use the esrb as a scapegoat.

  13. Patrick Toworfe
    Patrick Toworfe
    January 4, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    I definitely don’t buy it that one butt slap, and not the rest of Mika AND Laura’s animations, would’ve given this game a Teen rating. it could be argued that because SFV is 3d, and the vast majority of Teen rated anime games tend to be 2D or 2.5D, perhaps that might have something to do it. I admit, I had to do a double take when I saw R Mika’s glorious chest in 3D. However, if that were the case then Tekken Tag 2, Tekken 6 and SCV all should’ve gotten Ms. Ana Williams jiggling her chest? This whole issue is muddled. And honestly, i’m ready to wash my hands of it. End of the day, Ono’s stupid PR response about it and the speculation surrounding it aside, R Mika is still in the game in all her glory so that’s fine enough for me. Still incredibly stupid to take the butt slap out, but i suppose the super move doesn’t have a jerky camera angle anymore

  14. Nagato
    Nagato
    January 4, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    #ButtSlapsMatter

  15. Guest
    Guest
    January 4, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Oddly enough, I think they pissed off far more people than they would have if they’d just kept the damn thing in and not drawn attention to it.

  16. Uncle Heffy
    Uncle Heffy
    January 4, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    I just died……………………..

  17. Neojames82
    Neojames82
    January 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Yeah I feel this is really not anything to do with the ESRB. This is totally a Capcom decision all the way. Or at least, someone at Capcom USA for sure.

  18. Badmojo7
    Badmojo7
    January 4, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    This is pure capcom and not the ESRB. Capcom just tried to redirect and use a scapegoat for THEIR decision to censor. They already admitted it way back at the first interview about it and they said they removed it to try and avoid controversy, which ironically blew up in their face and caused a controversey. When that happened they panicked and started to bullshit PR spin, originally saying it was just a camera issue in the pictures and it was still in, then when that was proved false they said it was a technical problem which was again proved bullshit, then finally blaming the esrb which is a gain bullshit. If you are going to port something from another country, do not fucking censor it and do not “westernize” it. That is bullshit, the people who buy these games want the games as close to its original form as possible. The ones bitching about being offended are not the fans and do not buy these games. Know and cater to your audience.

  19. scemar
    scemar
    January 4, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I’ll say the same I’ve said elsewhere: Either the ESRB has become corrupted, because wrestlers butt slapping is PG and there’s far more than that getting E rating already.

    Or Capcom lies.

    Either way the whole situation is a real shame for everyone involved and shows a lack of transparency and raises a lot of flags.

  20. scemar
    scemar
    January 4, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    It’s like rating Splatoon AO, it’s just not logical.

  21. No_Good_Names_Ever
    No_Good_Names_Ever
    January 4, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    I don’t know, Square has been idiots for a while and the only people who still like Final Fantasy are in the Western areas while Capcom has made tons of horrible decisions. Sony may be a bunch of pussies but I don’t think they’d try to take out something that would lure people over.

  22. scemar
    scemar
    January 4, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Can you recall any confirmable situation where they were behind forcing political correctness on a game?
    Just asking out of curiosity, I never thought of Sony as being that kind of company.
    Nintendo, sure. EA or Uibisoft, yeah.
    But Sony seemed cool.

  23. scemar
    scemar
    January 4, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    It’s sexy but not sexual.
    Big difference.

  24. DizzyGear
    DizzyGear
    January 4, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    And this is in a T rated game as well. And while the Neptunia games are pretty light hearted Ar nosurge actually had themes like torture going in some of the genometric parts.

  25. Isegrim
    Isegrim
    January 4, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    This makes sooo much sense especially if you consider how much t&a sony includes in exslusive games they developed or funded.
    This was sarcasm, by the way.

  26. Hand_Play
    Hand_Play
    January 4, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    just create 2 version, kid version and adult patch version :p

  27. djluke_1993
    djluke_1993
    January 4, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Ironically all of those got rated M here in Australia…

  28. Para-Medic
    Para-Medic
    January 4, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    I just really can’t think of many Sony games that prominently feature T&A as you say…

    Are you including 3rd party non-exclusives like Senran and DOA?

  29. scemar
    scemar
    January 4, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Gravity Rush comes to mind.

  30. DizzyGear
    DizzyGear
    January 4, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    They sure dug a hole for themselves that no matter what they do they will lose face. Since reverting the change means it was not needed in the first place and keeping the censorship will continue to draw the ire from the fans.

  31. TheCynicalReaper
    TheCynicalReaper
    January 4, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Yeah, ESRB does not censor like the MPAA and the standards are WAY more logical.

    This is Eiyuu Senki: World Conquest for PS3 (PSN) and it’s about as risque as you can get before becoming full-on 18+.

  32. TheCynicalReaper
    TheCynicalReaper
    January 4, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Ar no surge is so good

  33. Para-Medic
    Para-Medic
    January 4, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Uh no, no it does not.

    I mean, what!? I don’t even… Those little things on Kat? What? When you think tits and ass… Gravity Rush? That little girl?

    Next you’ll tell me Asuka/Rei are better waifu’s than Misato in NGE. I realize this likely a difference of opinion but man, Gravity Rush…? I spent about 30 hours on that game and not once did I find myself thinking about Kat’s T or A lol.

  34. Badmojo7
    Badmojo7
    January 4, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    They really did screw up. The smart thing to do is just go ahead and NOT censor their games, no matter what they do, the crybullies will still go after them whether it is censored or not, but at least they will not alienate and piss off their fans in the process of trying to please the unpleasable who do not even buy their games.

  35. Isegrim
    Isegrim
    January 4, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    heavy rain, the order, god of war etc.
    It’s funny how you mention doa and senran, i consider those very tame tbh. They are rated 12+ were i live too.

  36. Para-Medic
    Para-Medic
    January 4, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    I can see a case for GoW. Sure.

    Heavy Rain I played, don’t remember any T&A though. Was it prominent? I remember lots of “SHAUN!” lmao.

    The Order… That one I didn’t play, judging from the sales… who has? :p Just kidding but still.

    This isn’t a battle I want to fight, I was just genuinely curious about what people considered T&A in “Sony” games of all things.

  37. Arbitrary
    Arbitrary
    January 4, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Of course.

    One hopes this makes developers one day learn.

  38. Arbitrary
    Arbitrary
    January 4, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    “It’s a fucking TAUNT. It’s not sexual unless you MAKE it sexual.”

    It’s absolutely sexual. Even the developers admitted this. You have got to be a complete mouth-breathing fuckwit to not immediately realize this just by looking at it.

    “It’s sexy but not sexual. Big difference.”

    Unless you clarify that statement, this is quite possibly the dumbest, fucking thing I’ve read, all day.

  39. Arbitrary
    Arbitrary
    January 4, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Indeed.

  40. scemar
    scemar
    January 4, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    A sleek black dress with an exposed back is sexy.
    Legs spread wide open showing the genitals is sexual.

  41. scemar
    scemar
    January 4, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Yeah either way, some group will be mad at them.

    The key difference is that one side has the old mainstream media.
    The other side has the people.
    So the choice should be clear.

  42. JA3DN
    JA3DN
    January 4, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    The original pre-rating was Mature on Steam IIRC. I remember this in trailers just before or around the first beta. There were even articles about this premising that Capcom might be headed in a more gritty direction like Mortal Kombat X storylinewise. You can verify this with Google searches around the July-August 2015 period.

    I don’t know why the buttslap was removed as that alone wouldn’t change or cause an M rating as opposed to T, but whatever reason it was changed isn’t because of SJW boogey men so I don’t really know who supposedly Capcom “caved” to in these comments.

  43. deadeye
    deadeye
    January 4, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    ESRB is indeed lax, but what exactly constitutes what rating is still a pretty shady area. In particular where the line between M and T is.

    I would say for the average game, a T rating is ideal. You reach a much broader audience. Maybe in some cases developers try to play it extra safe and don’t skirt the boundaries?

    I dunno. Honestly, I don’t think there’s any logical reason for the change in SFV. I don’t even feel safe in blaming SJWs. Who exactly was crying against specifically the butt slap?

  44. Mildra
    Mildra
    January 4, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    If there’s any lesson to be learned about this, its that there’s no real ‘guidelines’ regarding what’s worth censoring so much as a bunch of cliff notes.

  45. JA3DN
    JA3DN
    January 4, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Yet there’s no actual evidence of real world “SJW” pressure to back the accusations. In fact even the most whiny of feminists were applauding Mika’s reveal buttsmack and all.

    The point is that this change was more a case of Capcom/Ono being p*ssy than was them being forced to change by an outside entity, which was the popular “theory” for months.

  46. Para-Medic
    Para-Medic
    January 4, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Hence the “Caving.” Even if it was to themselves, they still gave in to stupid. >_>

  47. Chocolate ISISCream
    Chocolate ISISCream
    January 4, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    “It was an internal decision”

  48. Immahnoob
    Immahnoob
    January 5, 2016 at 12:23 am

    “It’s absolutely sexual.”

    Prove it.

    “Even the developers admitted this.”

    Then the developers are as retarded as you are.

  49. Mighty No. 56008
    Mighty No. 56008
    January 5, 2016 at 1:26 am

    “Unless you clarify that statement, this is quite possibly the dumbest, fucking thing I’ve read, all day.”

  50. Mr_SP
    Mr_SP
    January 5, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Well, for some reason, Atelier Rorona Plus got an R18 in Australia, and a Teen in the US.

    I don’t know what’s going on, honestly.

  51. Mighty No. 56008
    Mighty No. 56008
    January 5, 2016 at 1:35 am

    I’m assuming this is still in the game. Would someone care to rationalize how this is acceptable but not the butt slap? Cause I don’t get it.

  52. BurgerUnit
    BurgerUnit
    January 5, 2016 at 1:36 am

    I thought the taunt was done more for comedic effect than anything else. Maybe I’m just desensitized but I’d rather wager you’re a fucking sensitive prude.

  53. Zombie_Barioth
    Zombie_Barioth
    January 5, 2016 at 1:42 am

    “You have got to be a complete mouth-breathing fuckwit to not immediately realize this just by looking at it.”

    This is what one would call declaring an opinion as fact. You even went along and insulted anybody who dares to disagree with you on it.

    Things aren’t sexual simply because they exist, people have to apply such a value to it. Just like humor is subjective, so is something like this.

    Do some people perhaps find a butt slap sexual? Sure, just like some people find eating to be.

  54. BurgerUnit
    BurgerUnit
    January 5, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Some might find it sexual. I found it humorous.

    Maybe I’m just desensitized, but since you want to act like a child and insult people to try to cement your opinion as fact, I’d rather wager you’re a fucking
    sensitive prude.

  55. grgspunk
    grgspunk
    January 5, 2016 at 2:13 am

    The moral of the story: If you don’t let the game officially receive an “undesired” rating, then nobody will believe you when you censor it and blame the ESRB.

    Without an official statement by the ESRB affirming what kind of content constituted an “M” or an “AO” rating, there’s no reason to believe this sort of censorship lies purely at the hands of the ESRB (if at all). Without any official backing of the ESRB, the companies could censor a title for any reason or none at all and blame them for it.

    This also applies to censorship of other games such as Mugen Souls, Criminal Girls, and Dungeon Travelers 2, where the ESRB has been blamed without an official rating or statment to back up their claims.

    Considering how “confidential” these unofficial “pre-screens” are, I’m surprised that the ESRB hasn’t sued any game companies for blaming them in the media for their own decisions to censor games as though the informal verdict was final. This sort of shit has clearly affected the ESRB’s reputation moreso than they deserve.

  56. DeusEx
    DeusEx
    January 5, 2016 at 2:54 am

    That would imply they played the game long enough to actually get that CG.

  57. landlock
    landlock
    January 5, 2016 at 3:15 am

    You see full on dong in The Order.

  58. No_Good_Names_Ever
    No_Good_Names_Ever
    January 5, 2016 at 3:20 am

    They’re just being cheeky at that point.

  59. landlock
    landlock
    January 5, 2016 at 3:20 am

    If I remember correcetly.

    SCEE censored Beyond Two Souls in Europe to get a 16+ rating instead of a 18+ rating for violence.

    SCEA censored BTS for sexual content.

  60. Antoinant
    Antoinant
    January 5, 2016 at 3:24 am

    A pity there is no Vita port of the updated version, just instead the original one like on PS3. I heard the consoles versions sold poorly sadly

  61. buddyluv324
    buddyluv324
    January 5, 2016 at 3:36 am

    Honestly I’m surprise there are game companies have manage to sell anything above a G rating given the recent trend with gaming in Australia.

  62. MusouTensei
    MusouTensei
    January 5, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Yeah Capcom is full of shit.

  63. Zero Beat
    Zero Beat
    January 5, 2016 at 4:27 am

    To be fair, only the first 3DS game was rated T. All others since then are rated M – Shinovi and Estival Versus for cranking the fanservice up to ludicrous levels (that’s not a complaint) and Full Burst for adding strong language on top of everything else to ensure an M rating.

  64. Zero Beat
    Zero Beat
    January 5, 2016 at 4:30 am

    I love this series a potentially unhealthy amount.

  65. Some furf
    Some furf
    January 5, 2016 at 4:35 am

    Heavy Rain had male and female shower scenes with tits and ass, and a scene where one of the women was held at gunpoint and made to strip, with the player given the option of messing up repeatedly, so she has to keep stripping until she’s topless.

  66. João Carlos Honório Pedro
    João Carlos Honório Pedro
    January 5, 2016 at 4:38 am

    A pity there’s no translation for the original 18+ version of the game, IMO.

  67. Firion Hope
    Firion Hope
    January 5, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Yeah the pre review process explains a LOT with various games getting censored. Its really dirty that they won’t share what changes they made either.

  68. Master Bating
    Master Bating
    January 5, 2016 at 4:52 am

    “Who exactly was crying against specifically the butt slap?”

    Tumblr

  69. Gentleman Banana
    Gentleman Banana
    January 5, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Quite a useful insight…though I do not think anyone didn’t already know what the ESRB does.
    Regardless, it makes this whole thing a bit more confusing (for me personally) with the elimination of one of the possible explanations.

  70. Weasel Turd
    Weasel Turd
    January 5, 2016 at 5:34 am

    As much as I want to avoid seeing actual contents in MDNVII, I felt like I got spoiled by a good amount after seeing that pic. But its just a CG, so maybe its just my imagination.

  71. benzene
    benzene
    January 5, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Well, it doesn’t surprise anyone who saw Atelier “High Impact Sex Violence” Totori

  72. Lordlundar
    Lordlundar
    January 5, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Well that’s just the Australian rating board being comprised of a pack of idiots that make evolution seem like a a regressive process.

  73. Nagato
    Nagato
    January 5, 2016 at 9:50 am

    God of War: Ascension where they gave in to the faux outrage over the “Bros before hoes” trophy?

  74. dathip
    dathip
    January 5, 2016 at 10:51 am

    GROWN MEN still crying about censorship. Cant wait for the game

  75. Rayxtr
    Rayxtr
    January 5, 2016 at 11:04 am

    And more lewd in Ar Nosurge…

  76. MGNoxa
    MGNoxa
    January 5, 2016 at 11:07 am

    The complaining isn’t about what was censored but why it was censored. We don’t know 100% why it was censored but with what Ono said I think everybody has a right to complain about it.

  77. Hiei
    Hiei
    January 5, 2016 at 11:30 am

    There is a beta fan patch :)

  78. Fear Me I Am Free
    Fear Me I Am Free
    January 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    All I’m seeing are weasel words.

  79. Rayxtr
    Rayxtr
    January 5, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Different tastes exist my friend.

  80. João Carlos Honório Pedro
    João Carlos Honório Pedro
    January 5, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Which was made from the PS3 version, thus there’s a fair amount of content missing (sex content, but still, that’s one thing people wanted out of this game).

  81. inquisitormcsagington
    inquisitormcsagington
    January 5, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-we can no longer trust games publishers. They are systematically lying, cheating and caving to the SJW influence more and more. Frankly at this point a Dev could tell me the sky was blue and I’d have to check.

    if any Game developer read this here’s the news-stick to your guns. Make games as violent, as disturbing and as lewd as you wish. You may piss the main stream off. But your game was never going to do Call of Duty Numbers. You may have SJW’s whining. But they were never going to buy it anyway.

    Piss off a fan base and many will not trust you ever again.

  82. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    January 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Yes, damn those crying baby men who want games not to be censored! They should just shut up, listen, believe, and obey because the “right” people know what’s good for the rest of us.

  83. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    January 5, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    “I’m surprised that the ESRB hasn’t sued any game companies for blaming them in the media for their own decisions to censor games as though the informal verdict was final. This sort of shit has clearly affected the ESRB’s reputation moreso than they deserve.”

    I’d be shocked if they ever did. You’re talking about an organization that WANTS to be the moral authority in game development. I’m sure to people who have that mind-set, being blamed for a game being censored is a good thing because it makes them appear more powerful and more “moral” than perhaps they really are. If there’s one thing that type of person craves and appreciates it’s greater power over others, or at least the public viewing them as having such.

  84. Isegrim
    Isegrim
    January 6, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Heavy Rain shows the black haired heroine taking a shower and running around naked. The order shows people having sex and even genitals. I’m sure that the order is uncensored worldwide but i heared that the american version of heavy rain doesn’t show any nudity, this could be bullshit though.
    I’m not here to fight, i’m just trying to make a point. It doesn’t make sense for sony to force capcom to censor a fighting game as they don’t shy away from from showing nudity and the most of the sales will come from the usual target group, that alread decided to buy the game the day they announced it, the FGC.
    I’m pretty certain at this point that capcom deliberately decided to censor the animation in order to not give oversensitive feminists a reason to complain. Fully animating the sequence, including butt jiggle and removing it midway seems like a waste of resources tbh.

  85. grgspunk
    grgspunk
    January 6, 2016 at 1:24 am

    “I’d be shocked if they ever did. You’re talking about an organization that WANTS to be the moral authority in game development. ”

    That is bullshit and you know it. XSEED themselves have already stated that the ESRB is far more lax than most of us give credit for.

    This sort of insistence on portraying the ESRB as a “moral authority” or a “censorship organization” only serves to distract from the fact that an overwhelming majority of decisions to censor games are imposed by the developers themselves without any external coercion.

    Holy fuck. Do some of you guys not realize that the ESRB was established by the ESA, or the Entertainment Software Association? This group was the same organization that had been lobbying against every single piece of government-proposed anti-video game bill in the United States, especially during the mid-2000s when the Hot Coffee scandal started a firestorm amongst gamers and lawmakers. They even outspent the NRA in their lobbying efforts, for fuck’s sake. If the ESRB really wanted to act as a “moral authority”, it’d be supporting the government in banning games, not support an organization that does the exact opposite. It’d make their job as a “moral authority” a lot easier if they did.

    I swear, this misconception is the reason why we continue to allow companies like NISA to use the ESRB as an excuse to censor their games. We can’t expect to hold the developers/publishers accountable for self-censorship if we keep letting them to lay the blame on some goddamned boogeyman.

  86. Hiei
    Hiei
    January 6, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Some people wanted this in like me, so i am happy with this solution and dont forget there is always a skip button ;)

  87. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    January 6, 2016 at 5:43 am

    Wanna go back and read my entire post instead of having a kneejerk reaction to a the first sentence? PLEASE CONTINUE READING AS I WILL RESTATE MY ARGUMENT FOR THE BENEFIT OF YOUR ADHD ADDLED MIND. I said that the ESRB isn’t going to sue these companies who throw the blame on them, justly AND UNJUSTLY, because they’re happy to be PERCEIVED as having more authority than they may or may not have. I do not dispute that some companies throw the ESRB under the bus to keep the dogs off their own heels, infact I’m aware that it is more likely than not.

    And yes, the ESRB is a morality-based regulatory agency. It doesn’t matter of the ESA formed it, the ESA also lobbied for shit like SOPA. The ESA is only concerned when it could have a negative effect on their sales which is why they aren’t pushing for game bans or government mandated censorship. If the ESA and ESRB were actually concerned about the state of censorship, self-inflicted and otherwise, in the game industry, there’d be more transparency about the process. But no, they’re quite happy to be the fall-guy for these happenings as it keeps the “think of the womens!” and the “think of the children!” crowds off their backs and the, let’s be honest, microscopic number of consumers who will actually refuse to buy a product due to censorship and are informed enough to know that these companies are engaging in self censorship doesn’t concern them and it doesn’t concern the larger publishing houses.

  88. Ophel
    Ophel
    January 6, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I find this whole Capcom bullcrap funny cause it’s related to the WWE falling ratings in some ways.For those of you who don’t know. The WWE is the biggest wrestling promotion in the world that the last time i checked their tv ratings were in the tank.The lowest ever.One of the big reasons is that they have become too political correct in comparison to their past.They try their hardest to not offend anyone.Everything is scripted.The wrestlers aren’t allowed to be creative except for rare exceptions.

    I know a lot of people in wrestling hate Vince Russo but this video where he talks about those things is pretty good:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmnRTlF9zn4

  89. British_Otaku
    British_Otaku
    January 6, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Future games in the SK series are undoubtably more lewd, but I honestly think all of them deserve the M label if any of them do.

    Girls who sexually harass and fight each other short of private parts being exposed. Sexual humour. Both check in the highest amounts in any SK game.

    I honestly think lights being flashed as they are in the Versus games actually reduces the erotic factor in comparison to light amounts of clothing on display (or particular costumes) too.

  90. chaoguy
    chaoguy
    January 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    IIRC, Phoenix Wright did show a lot more blood. Particularly a scene in the final case where (keeping spoilers at a minimum) a character’s face is covered in blood in quite a gruesome context (despite not seeing the really gruesome part of it).

    For violence, little things can get an M rating. For sex, it seems unless you see a nipple or genitalia it’s T.

    Capcom damn well knew what they were doing. They wanted the money from “new gamers”- the same people whining and barking about progressiveness and misogyny. They have betrayed their fans. Tell them what you think of them.

  91. Sonicx9
    Sonicx9
    January 6, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    It is also worth mentioning that that the 2012 XBLA/PSN digital download re-release of Sega’s Fighting Vipers in the US alone got rated E10+ completely uncensored: http://www.esrb.org/ratings/Synopsis.aspx?Certificate=100624&Title=Fighting%20Vipers on the sexual fan service on the games most popular character named Candy/Honey who is underage BTW when she has no armor/skirt: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/7aQYNCC1yHs/hqdefault.jpg ala Sevran Kagura series/Ikki Tousen series before both series even though Candy/Honey when she has no armor/skirt is far more tame in comparison to the laters. It even manages to get her underage mentioned uncensored compared to the first Sevran Kagura game released in the US, in witch the ages were not mentioned at all in the US release of the first Sevran Kagura game. https://youtu.be/3Rt6cCkcC18?t=1m38s And it also got away with some blood uncensored as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR4i2HzWVCE, heck to make things more confusing, in Japan the game was rated CERO C, witch in Japan, is a High-End T/Low-End M rating their for sexual content, but not the violence oddly enough: https://store.playstation.com/#!/ja-jp/ゲーム/fighting-vipers/cid=JP0177-NPJB00252_00-FIGHTINGVIPERS00, this is a totally opposite of what the original Sega Saturn release had back in the day, http://www.gamefaqs.com/saturn/197334-fighting-vipers/images/142151, and http://www.gamefaqs.com/saturn/197334-fighting-vipers/images/142151 the US version was T rated in censored form: http://gaminghell.co.uk/FightingVipersGalleryUS.html and http://www.mobygames.com/game/fighting-vipers/trivia with the Japanese release being all ages rating in Japan. Talk about a complete tide change. The Street Fighter V censorship may have more to do with the strick rules of the CERO when it comes to content, more info here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVvmH1XL9iE

    Note: Two of the pictures are not in the properly lined up.

  92. João Carlos Honório Pedro
    João Carlos Honório Pedro
    January 6, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    You’re misreading what I wrote. I said that there’s content that’s missing with the beta patch because it came from the PS3 version which was not 18+.

    I want the ero, damn it.

  93. NuclearKangaroo
    NuclearKangaroo
    January 7, 2016 at 2:14 am

    and how would you know the difference between toning down certain aspects for a T rating and toning them down to please some politically correct people?

    i just think we are all jumping the gun here without atleast considering both posibilities

    either they censored those camera angles for a T rating or they did it to “attract a wider audience”

  94. TsukuyomiMagi99
    TsukuyomiMagi99
    January 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    IT’S. A.BUTTSLAP.

    IT’S. A. CUNT. SHOT.

    You know what? Fuck it. I’ll just reuse this pic that others have used to show how incompetent the ESRB is.

    P.S. Thanks for saving me some money Capcom. Keep this up and I can write you off as much as I do with Konami.

  95. TsukuyomiMagi99
    TsukuyomiMagi99
    January 7, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Sorry guess I would be in the 10% who would still be angry at Capcom for censoring. I don’t give a damn what their excuse is either.

  96. MGNoxa
    MGNoxa
    January 7, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    You have the right to be angry, you’re buying the game and today age ratings don’t even influence game sales if anything the higher the rating the more sales.

    I’m just saying that a lot of people would’ve been okay if Capcom really thought the T age rating was more important, I would’ve been annoyed but I wouldn’t be angry with them.

    Obviously I’m angry at them now and there’s no way Capcom is getting my money for Street Fighter V. After a while they’ll release a version with a bunch of characters and I’ll just buy it used (assuming the characters aren’t codes, then I just won’t buy it.)

  97. TsukuyomiMagi99
    TsukuyomiMagi99
    January 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Ah okay. I get where you’re coming from and sorry if I sounded defensive I wasn’t trying to be. Like I said before, it’s the act itself not the excuses they give.

  98. chaoguy
    chaoguy
    January 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    And the article itself (plus evidence from the comment section) seems to indicate it is unlikely to be for a T rating, as far “worse” has been given it before- when the tone of the game was sex-appeal.

  99. NuclearKangaroo
    NuclearKangaroo
    January 11, 2016 at 3:49 am

    but like i showed, phoenix wright dual destinies got an M rating, its not out of the realm of possibility

  100. TWE
    TWE
    January 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Probably did it intentionally to drum up attention.
    At this point in time I feel like we are all getting played.