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Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:11 pm
by Rednal
Lying about or misrepresenting the content within any game can result in fines from the ESRB - NISA has every reason to show the worst content in order to be sure any early question about its probable rating is right.

ESRB site wrote:Just as ESRB's rating processes are designed to deal most effectively with the differing environments through which video games and apps are made available to consumers, so too are the enforcement mechanisms used to ensure that consumers receive complete and reliable rating information.

...

However, these remedies are less readily applied with respect to packaged or boxed video game products, where the ESRB enforcement system allows for the imposition of harsh sanctions (e.g., fines up to $1 million, product recall, the stickering of product throughout all retail outlets) for instances of significant or egregious content non-disclosure. Less serious violations of ESRB content disclosure guidelines can result in the assignment of points, fines, and mandated corrective actions, and are effective disincentives for noncompliance.


Basically, bad things happen to companies who lie about the content in their games. I strongly suspect that lying about communication with the ESRB would result in them being more likely to apply harsher penalties if any problems arise in the future. They can, and will, smack companies very hard for going against the rating system (including lying about how it works and what the ESRB says), and that's a good thing for the industry.

Also, I did send the interview request to the ESRB. ^^ Hopefully they'll be willing to do it and we can get their view on this matter.

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:15 pm
by neonie
Oh yeah absolutely then. I've never said, thought or implied NISA should misrepresent the game or not do their best to show to the ESRB for what it is. That wasn't what I was saying at all.

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:26 pm
by Rednal
Nn. ^^ I think there's always the disclaimer that "Context could change our final opinion", but that's mostly just throwing out an anchor - if companies are concerned about content, they'll probably try to include as much context as possible just to be sure the response is correct.

At the same time... based on both Tom and NISA's comments, it seems like preliminary questions are normal in the industry. The ESRB takes all ratings issues very seriously (as it should), so I honestly don't believe that their preliminary reviews are going to be wrong very often. It's possible, just... you know, not something I personally believe is likely.

However!

I'm going to actually ask them about this. ^^ How often it occurs, how companies usually react, whether it happened for MSZ and why they said what they did... all of that. It's easy to debate endlessly with minimal information - I'd rather ask the people involved and see if they can shed some light on it. XD

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:35 pm
by kanade2
animeniac wrote:
Seventh wrote:@animeniac
Now this I completely disagree with. "Oh, you can get this part of the game in another media, so it's fine being removed."?

Fine, then let's get rid of the story since we can read books and watch TV while we're at it. And let's get rid of music since you can just listen to your iDevice for that - it saves businesses money to use towards making/localizing the game if they don't need to put in music! Oh hey, man, let's cut out voices too. You can just talk to people if you want to hear conversations after all.

In other words? That's horse wieners.


LOL! You're right, but that's not exactly what I meant. I'm just saying while its unfortunate that the content has been removed, it hasn't detracted from my enjoyment of the game is all. Hey I love fanservice as much as the next guy, its why I like what I like even. Horse wieners indeed, It's just futile fighting against something like this you know? They're going do it and we can't really stop it, at best maybe alter it. I'm just glad I get to even enjoy the games at all.


Well if consumers were willing to unite under one cause we could get some things changed with the industry. Believe it ,or not,but consumers do have the power to cripple every company,and industry out there if we wanted to.

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:46 pm
by Harakiri Sunshine
According to your own interview with Pheonix Spaulding
I should also note that it wasn’t solely due to the ESRB’s feedback. We also reached out to the other rating boards across the West – PEGI, OFLC, USK – and based our final decision on feedback from every region.


I'm fairly certain the ESRB is not as strict as the others, and having seen the cut content myself I highly doubt it would have gotten an "AO" in NA. I'm aware they're doing it to make it more accessible to other people as they don't just sell to NA, I just find their ESRB boogeyman excuse annoying.

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 7:55 pm
by Rednal
Well, they do publish in various regions. I'd think that making sure content is acceptable in all of those regions would be fairly high on their to-do list if they're concerned about it being too much.

And I haven't just seen the content, I've played it. The Japanese version of MSZ is sitting about eight inches away from me right now. :lol: The deciding factor seems to be player control and interaction, since they DID keep a number of the CGs within the game this time. In other words, at least some of the still images aren't a problem (although the "skin colored" CGs on the little girls might be), so the graphics aren't the main problem.

It is true that player control of any objectionable content tends to make it "worse" than content the player can't really interact with, so I think that was the main problem - but again, we'll see if that's true, assuming the ESRB consents to the interview. XD

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:36 pm
by ArmyofDarkness
Rednal wrote:
Screwy wrote:IFI could've easily emailed them all the cut pictures and asked them, "Would these put our game at risk of being unclassified or receiving too high a rating to be marketed?" And if either ratings board said yes, THEN they could've censored the images and told people, "ESRB/PEGI indicated that the game would likely be unsalable if these images were to remain, so we decided to remove them in favor of reaching a wider audience."


I just wanted to point out that this... is pretty much exactly what NISA said happened for this game. They asked, they got the "Yeah, it'd likely be unsalable" response, and changes happened. So even Tom's post there is basically agreeing with NISA's decision.

Not necessarily the "wider audience" bit (although any audience bigger than zero is something any company would want...), but the rest of it's pretty much dead-on.

I just want to point out that The NISA reps never said that the ESRB rep told them it was "Likely unsalable", they said that they would need to see more context, but it could be POSSIBLE that it reach AO. That's a big difference. One is a "Hey bro, I don't recommend this" and the other is "I'm not really sure, just do what you think is best."

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 11:09 pm
by Asianwarwallabe
ArmyofDarkness wrote:
Rednal wrote:
Screwy wrote:IFI could've easily emailed them all the cut pictures and asked them, "Would these put our game at risk of being unclassified or receiving too high a rating to be marketed?" And if either ratings board said yes, THEN they could've censored the images and told people, "ESRB/PEGI indicated that the game would likely be unsalable if these images were to remain, so we decided to remove them in favor of reaching a wider audience."


I just wanted to point out that this... is pretty much exactly what NISA said happened for this game. They asked, they got the "Yeah, it'd likely be unsalable" response, and changes happened. So even Tom's post there is basically agreeing with NISA's decision.

Not necessarily the "wider audience" bit (although any audience bigger than zero is something any company would want...), but the rest of it's pretty much dead-on.

I just want to point out that The NISA reps never said that the ESRB rep told them it was "Likely unsalable", they said that they would need to see more context, but it could be POSSIBLE that it reach AO. That's a big difference. One is a "Hey bro, I don't recommend this" and the other is "I'm not really sure, just do what you think is best."


Do we really have to rehash this? It's been pretty firmly established in the publics mind that the AO rating thing was just a boogieman excuse.

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:37 am
by Esper
I'm still going to say the "Mugen Souls would have been rated AO if they released it uncensored!" argument is total garbage. Record of Agarest War 2 had a similar minigame where you can rub down various girls in their underwear (including a loli) and they moan and make noises while being rubbed.

Game was rated Teen.

Demon Gaze, Neptunia Victory, and numerous other games have the characters completely naked and covered with just a tiny bit of soap... while they squeal and moan and often get groped by other characters.

Games were rated Teen.

I still maintain that AT WORST Mugen Souls would have been rated M. Especially considering we now have the censored Monster Monpiece with its random censorship letting you rub down lolis with moaning and other noises. Right, the Monster Monpiece censorship didn't even remove all the loli characters, or all the characters spreading their legs, or the topless characters. I can't find a single thing in common with the cards censored in that game that isn't also shared with cards that weren't censored. In any event, we have cards like this still in the game with the aforementioned rubbing and moaning.
Image

I don't think I really need to point it out, but Monster Monpiece censored was rated M.

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:47 am
by Ringwraith
I'm fairly sure Agarest 2 then had itself altered for the EU release because the ratings board was not having any of that. So, that kind of undermines itself as an example.

Also player agency is main factor here, it's very different when a character does it by themselves rather than it being input on the player's side. As that instantly makes things much questionable, not matter what said action is.

Though at the end of the day, it depends who's doing the ratings, and you can't know who that'll be. So the subjective rating will vary. It's happened before when a game was rated lower than they thought it actually would be when they submitted.

Also just to make sure: being rated M was never a issue, in case anyone wants to dredge that up.

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:55 am
by Esper
Ringwraith wrote:I'm fairly sure Agarest 2 then had itself altered for the EU release because the ratings board was not having any of that. So, that kind of undermines itself as an example.

Also player agency is main factor here, it's very different when a character does it by themselves rather than it being input on the player's side. As that instantly makes things much questionable, not matter what said action is.

Though at the end of the day, it depends who's doing the ratings, and you can't know who that'll be. So the subjective rating will vary. It's happened before when a game was rated lower than they thought it actually would be when they submitted.

Also just to make sure: being rated M was never a issue, in case anyone wants to dredge that up.

Educate thyself about Agarest 2 and PEGI. Ghostlight could have easily changed the reference to Fiona being a child and it would have passed just fine. They opted to remove her entirely instead.
Image

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 9:59 am
by Ringwraith
They still changed it though. So not sure what you're getting at.

Clearly a change was necessary, they just had options as to what to change. It still shows the whole thing is a ebbing minefield.

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:08 am
by kanade2
Ringwraith wrote:They still changed it though. So not sure what you're getting at.

Clearly a change was necessary, they just had options as to what to change. It still shows the whole thing is a ebbing minefield.


I think the point that Esper is trying to make is that Ghostlight didn't have to remove the younger generation Fiona from the mini game as long as they removed any mention of the word " child" from the script .

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:11 am
by Esper
Changing one word is a whole lot less egregious than removing an entire character from a minigame (and the stat boosts that go with it).

They could have changed "child" to "young" or something else. Instead they just yanked her out entirely.

Re: MSZ Content Editing Discussion Thread (Please Post -Here

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:11 am
by Seventh
kanade2 wrote:
Ringwraith wrote:They still changed it though. So not sure what you're getting at.

Clearly a change was necessary, they just had options as to what to change. It still shows the whole thing is a ebbing minefield.

I think the point that Esper is trying to make is that Ghostlight didn't have to remove the younger generation Fiona from the mini game as long as they removed any mention of the word " child" from the script .

Which is still a change.