ESRB Tells Browser Game To Quit Bragging That It Was Rated AO

The ESRB has asked the Chinese maker of a browser-based game to quit advertising it as rated Adults Only, reports GamesIndustry.biz, largely because the game has never been rated by the ESRB.

Even if it had, Wartune would likely run afoul of ESRB policies against making a marketing spectacle of acquiring such a notorious rating (only 32 titles have gotten AO in the rating's 19-year history.)

Ads for the game, running on Google's AdSense network, tout it as an "18+ game" in type much larger than the game's logo, with scantily clad nymphs and demons offering saucy come-ons like "You deserve an orgy today." (Though when I created an account to play it, I never ran through any age-gate or verification. I did not participate in any orgies, either, but then, I only advanced to level 2.)

The AO rating icon, like every rating given out by the ESRB, is trademarked. Wartune, a turn-based RPG whose visual themes borrow, let's say, heavily from World of Warcraft and Diablo, is hosted at several browser gaming sites but is produced and marketed by Hong Kong-based R2 Games.

I sent questions -- specifically, what content in Wartune deserves a self-bestowed AO? -- to an R2 press inquiry email address but have not yet heard back. Any answers or comments will be updated here.

Wartune Advertising Runs Afoul of ESRB [GamesIndustry.biz]


Comments

    You won't get a response because there is none.
    I've playe it a bit, gave it up because I wasn't getting enough out of it, but it's an okay game. But there's just no adult content.

    Reminds me of those ads for that Evony game. I don't think that had any sexual content in it either.

    Of course you're not going to get any orgies at level 2. It's at level 3+. Before that it's just 'traditional' content.

    You know what would be *really* awesome, if Kotaku did a roundup of real "18+" adult oriented game (ie, sex games), you know, for research and stuff.

      There's probably all kinds of good stuff these days. Back when I was a kid all we had were horrifically pixellated converted gifs, usually censored anyway. (Which I didn't understand the point of. The thing already looked like entire photo had been censored by digital blur.)

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