In mid-July, veteran game company 3D Realms of Duke Nukem Forever infamy received a notice from the ESRB threatening them with penalties if certain guidelines regarding ESRB guidelines weren't followed on the company's website. 3D Realms' Scott Miller was ticked off by the notice, and quite vocally so. The Hollywood Reporter spoke to ESRB Patricia Vance to get her side of the story.
""What 3D Realms received was simply a 10-day warning notice that did not carry any penalties whatsoever," she explains. "We're hardly the heavy-handed bullies that Mr. Miller is painting us as. Tough love might be a better way to describe it."
Couldn't you just tell she was into tough love?
Vance goes on to explain that what they sent 3D Realms was merely a form letter that they've had prepared that has gone out to many different publishers and developers in the past without one complaint..
"The guidelines we enforce are industry-adopted and we've been enforcing them with the same vigour since they were adopted back in 2000," she says. "The fact that our enforcement of these guidelines is getting more attention these days doesn't mean that we're necessarily doing anything differently. [Scott Miller]may want to cast himself as a victim, but he's subject to the very same standards that the rest of the industry is, and he's the only one who has expressed any issue with that."
ECA President Hal Halpin also chimes in on the issue, explaining that the legalese the warning is written in could easily be taken for harshness by a developer who doesn't have legal council on hand to handle such matters.
Meanwhile, back at 3D Realms, Miller remains dissatisfied with the ESRB and the ordeal in general.
"It's probably going to look good to the public that the ESRB is being tough," he concludes. "But to those of us in the industry where, out of the 2,000 games released each year there are only a handful of problems, we're the ones who are going to have to pay for that."
Seriously, just change the graphics and let it go. You made your waves and the industry heaved a collective, "Oh it's always been like that" and gone back to making games, which I appreciate a lot. Doesn't 3D Realms have some project they were working on?
ESRB shows 'tough love' to game developer [The Hollywood Reporter via Game Politics]