Refusing ratings “a case of pure hypocrisy”

The topic of some videogames being denied a rating, effectively banning them in some areas, has been slowly but surely gaining traction. Some recent examples include the Manhunt 2 debacle in the UK where the game was released with an 18+ rating only after Rockstar was forced to remove some content, and the Video Appeals Committee used its independent scrutiny to overturn the BBFC’s decision. And Australia’s ridiculous rating system where 15+ is the highest possible rating a game can receive is always fun to see in action.

That VideoGame Blog recently interviewed Call of Juarez and Chrome developer Techland about their upcoming survival horror game, Dead Island, and we thought we’d get the opinion of someone who’s actually working on a gory and violent game that could possibly face similar treatment by some rating organizations.

In the interview, to be published later today, we asked PR Product Manager Blazej Krakowiak about how he feels about some games being denied classification and if he thinks there should be a limit when a game is too graphic/gory to be given even a Mature rating.

The right of certain organizations to effectively censor video games by refusing to rate them is a case of pure hypocrisy,” Krakowiak said, “Obviously there are laws that specify things excluded from the freedom of expression, like the Nazi ideology or encouragement to commit crimes. Anything beyond those laws – and there should be as few of those as possible – should be available to adults who can make their own decisions. I am sure that everyone would agree that it’s impossible to effectively ban anything in a democratic country with access to the internet. It’s better to have a consistent, independent and complete rating system covering all titles than to refuse some games their rating which results in confusion on the customers’ part.

Krakowiak added that Techland has been aiming for a Mature rating for Dead Island from the beginning, saying the game features gore and violence because it’s a part of the story. However, he is not worried about being forced to ‘gimp’ the game to satisfy rating organizations.

Be sure to check back later today for the full interview where we talk about the game’s multi layer damage system, Techland’s in-house game engine, some of the items that can be used as weapons (including Krakowiak’s favorite), and other things.

[See also: Dead Island gallery]