Publicity can be terrible, but only if you don’t have any

Stropp picks up some interesting points on the “Unrated” aspect of yesterday’s Age of Conan announcement, particularly around how the team plan to use “… even more of the barbaric, brutal and sexy setting that is Howard’s Hyboria”. Recent TV series like Game of Thrones and Spartacus: Blood and Sand feature liberal sex and violence as a fundamental part of well-told stories, rather than as a sensationalist smokescreen to try and camoflague other shortcomings, perhaps Age of Conan: Unrated could herald a similar advance and be a mature MMOG, as well as “mature” (nudge nudge, wink wink)?

Or maybe it’s just a cheap bid for publicity, and “Unrated” was felt to be a slightly more subtle tagline than Age of Conan: Blood and Norks

4 thoughts on “Publicity can be terrible, but only if you don’t have any

  1. Melmoth

    It’s certainly an excellent opportunity for them to introduce more mature concepts into their MMO, which could be an excellent niche path to follow. I mean, it’s either that or they just want to take the game and shove in more bloody tits. Quite literally, I imagine.

    I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what the Age of Conan item shop holds in store.

    “Still struggling with a basic six pack on your otherwise ripped Barbarian? Get the updated and improved Ten Pack on offer in the AoC Store for only 500 Funcom points! Don’t try to look ripped in a sub-optimal fashion, get yourself raid ready with a ten packer and outperform the average slacker! It’s four more packs!”

  2. Stabs

    I think the main reason to switch to unrated is that it’s probably a lot of hassle to comply with the rating system. Presumably every piece of content has to be sent to a neutral third party who checks that it isn’t too obscene for a M rating. Possibly they’ve had content rejected and thought Screw This.

    I think it’s actually a really good move. People who are attracted to violence and depravity may see this as a sign that there’s stuff so over the top the censors can’t watch it. People too young for M rated stuff can now get this via gullible parents and grandparents (“Nan, of course it’s Unrated games don’t have ratings”). And best of all they don’t have to send every content patch to an office somewhere, wait 3 weeks, then be charged $3000 to be told they’re allowed to publish it.

    (Disclaimer: I don’t actually know how the rating system in the country where Funcom is based works, I do however know more than anyone would ever want to about bureaucracy).

  3. darkeye

    I wonder about on-going censorship in MMOs though, I’d suspect that the original game is submitted and rated, but not all or any additional material (patches/updates) is sent for approval, maybe expansions that are sold in shops, but unlikely if the expansion is digital only.

  4. ArcherAvatar

    “Nod’s as good as a wink to a blind horse I always say…ay?… ay? Say no more, say no more… ay?”

    This is one of those subjects that makes me really feel old (and old doesn’t like it when I touch him there)

    I guess pixel porn can be interesting, but for it to really get my attention it would have to go far beyond flashing a bit of cleavage, and no matter how far they took it, it could never “compensate” for basic “inadequacies” in a game’s mechanics or content.

    Oh… and puritanical censorship based on mores and morays from a previous epoc are insufferable… no exceptions.

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