In North America at least…
It looks like the ESRB has rated Age of Conan and yes you can all relax… There will be nipples.
I can hear the cheers go up from here. Unless it’s a Super Tuesday celebration I can hear.
This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. I never expected the North American release of Age of Conan to be censored. Don’t get me wrong, there will be controversy, after all this is an election year which means that some game somewhere will get targeted for being the corrupter of all innocence. It might as well be AoC.
I’d expect Age of Conan to be censored in some countries. Germany has a track record of banning games that the censors deem to be too violent. I’m not sure about nudity or sex though. I seem to recall reading about a TV game show where the contestants are completely nekkid. If that’s true, a few nipples won’t worry them.
Here in Australia though. Well, that’s another story. Our nations busybodies, also known as the OFLC (Office of Film and Literature Classification) have been hard at work in recent years denying the right to adults throughout our sunburned land the right to choose the games they play.
They did this way back in 1996 with Duke Nukem 3D. 3D Realms were forced to censor all the content with the strippers and turn off all the blood. Luckily 3D Realms did this using a software flag, and after the game was released here, posted the details on how to turn everything back on.
Hooray for common sense.
Reminiscences aside, I expect the boxed version of Age of Conan to be banned by the OFLC here in Oz, unless Funcom somehow guarantee to censor the game for Australians. Even if Funcom does this I suspect there will be a relatively easy way to get an uncensored client.
If not, digital purchase and download, here I come.
BTW, there is a poll this month asking what rating you are prepared to play up to. Appropriate for the topic don’t you think. Please take the time to vote.
Update: I just fired off an query to Funcom asking them about the rating, and possible censorship, of the Australian release of AoC. If I receive a response I’ll let you know the details.