The Kickstarter-backed Agony was due out late last month, bringing a fresh round of demonic first-person horror to everyone's screens. But the game's release date has come and gone, and the developers have since revealed why: classification ratings.
In a post over the weekend, developers Madmind Studio revealed that they have been spending "many months" talking to "age ratings companies" about how to modify Agony just enough to lower the game's classification rating.
Agony was rated R18+ last month in Australia, which is sufficient to be released on the PS4 and Xbox One in Australia. However, the Kickstarter post argues that had Agony been rated AO by the ESRB, it would be barred from sale on consoles in North America. (It's also worth noting that Twitch prohibits the streaming of AO-rated games.)
Madmind added that they would be preparing "a special, optional patch for PC" that would revert some of the changes required for classification ratings:
We also want to confirm that we are preparing a special, optional patch for PC that will remove the aforementioned "censorship". We would love to do something similar for consoles but from a technical and legal point of view it is simply not possible.
With that in mind, we decided that backers who have bought the console version of Agony will be able to convert it into a PC version. Details on how to do this will be provided soon in the next update, here on Kickstarter.
They added that nothing already seen in promotional materials has been censored, and that "the full version of Agony is much heavier than what you've seen so far anyway".
But to be honest, the last time I saw Agony I took a very hard pass. And the full game is worse than the trailer above? Bugger me.