Kotaku reports that the violence level in Midway's upcoming Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe has been toned down in order to earn a T (13 and older) rating from the ESRB.
If so, the move is clearly intended to boost sales, since an M rating would make some parents think twice about buying the game.
With Midway in dire financial straits, it's hard to argue with the decision.
Some gamers, however, are lamenting the fact that a very stylistic fatal move involving the Joker has been edited. You can check out the Joker fatality in the video at left from this year's Leipzig game conference.
From Kotaku's Michael McWhertor:
[MK vs DC has] been changed up a bit, toned down to just slightly less than awesome to secure that highly coveted T-rating that Midway and Warner Bros. are so adamant about. In the latest build, Joker still whips out his prank gun, a "BANG!" flag unfurling. Unfortunately, you won't see the follow up of Joker shooting someone in the face; that actually happens off screen now, the headshot safely out of sight...
Sure, it's disappointing — Joker's original finishing move was one of the best we've ever seen — but the game would simply not exist with an M-rating.