ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

March 23, 2011 -

Earlier this week, we reported on an IGN story that the ESRB had shot down publisher Deep Silver’s first box art submission for its upcoming zombie title, Dead Island.  An alternate, ESRB approved version of the cover swapped out the silhouette of a hanging man with that of a shambling zombie.  IGN has updated its original story with comments from the ESRB:

“The video game industry has set guidelines about the types of content that are appropriate in advertising and marketing materials, which includes game box art. According to those guidelines the depiction in the logo was not compliant.

We never censor or dictate in any way what type of content can be included within a game. However, a game's marketing materials are seen by an audience that is much broader than that which actually purchases the game itself, so we enforce industry-adopted guidelines as to what is suitable for inclusion in these materials.”

Checking out the ESRB’s website, it would appear that the original art did indeed run afoul of those guidelines.  Here’s the pertinent bit from the ratings board’s examples of “content that publishers should avoid when creating qualifying advertising” (emphasis ours).

“Repeated blows or gun shots inflicted upon people/creatures, violent blows to the head, guns/weapons pointed at head, impaling, exploding body parts, guns/weapons pointed toward reader/audience, depictions of fatal injuries and/or suicide, strangulation/choking, inflicting wounds with swords/knives, kicks to the groin”

In similar news, the ESRB recently worked with Tecmo to ensure that the North American release of Dead or Alive Dimensions sported a cover that complied with its Advertising Review Council guidelines.  Kasumi, the game's cover girl, now shows a bit less leg.  Check out the difference over at aussie-nintendo.

[Disclosure: I freelance for IGN.]

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen


Comments

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

I figured it had to do something with the man hanging from the tree.

As for the DoA Dimensions change mentioned in this article its seems like a pointless change since all they did was move her skirt up 2 inches.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

A boxart containing every single one of those prohibited depictions would probably be the best boxart ever.

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

What about those ads for MGS4 where Snake apparently offs himself?

Hell, what about a Hangman game?

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

If I'm remembering the ad correctly, there's no depiction of suicide.  Also, that may have been a Japanese ad that wouldn't have been approved by the ESRB.

What about a Hangman game?  What does that have to do with anything?  There's a DSi hangman game rated by the ESRB called Extreme Hangman but the art appears to follow the guidelines:

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

They don't dictate, but they expect compliance?

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

So Dead Space's dismembered floating arm was ok?

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

Well, it wasnt exploding

---------
There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

Re: ESRB Comments on Dead Island Box Art Change

I remember going as far back as Grade one, my teachers having us play the hang man game; drawing out the noose on the black board, and the hanging stick figure as we got letters wrong. It didn't feel inappropriate and nothing wrong ever came of it.

 
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Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

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