EA has responded to a Fox News article which claimed the game was being marketed to children despite it’s M rating, and that children as young as nine could be exposed to the game’s violence and cursing, which could “significantly damage” their minds and encourage real-world violence.
According to Carole Lieberman, a TV psychologist speaking with Fox News, videogames play a “large part” in the increase of rape and that the US ESRB ratings system is not enforced.
“The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games,” she said, without mentioning any research or statistical data to prove her opinion.
The article goes on to quote Billy Pidgeon, an M2 Research’s games analyst, who claimed that using extreme violence or sexuality to market a game is done to hide the lack of quality in in the title.
“Games without sufficient quality of gameplay — games that include highly objectionable violent or sexual content — often pump up the level of this kind of content to gain media attention,” said Pidgeon. “This tactic typically fails, as can be seen in the poor sales performance of titles such as BMX XXX and Postal.”
In response, EA’s vice president of public relations told Game Informer: “Epic, People Can Fly and EA are avid supporters of the ESA and believe in the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rating system. We believe in and abide by the policies put in place by the ESRB.
“Bulletstorm is rated M for Mature for blood and gore, intense violence, partial nudity, sexual themes, strong language and use of alcohol. The game and its marketing adhere to all guidelines set forth by the ESRB; both are designed for people 17+. Never is the game marketed to children.
“Epic, People Can Fly and EA support the right of artists to create works of entertainment fiction for consumers of all ages, including adults who enjoy action adventures like Bulletstorm. Much like Tarantino’s Kill Bill or Rodriguez’s Sin City, this game is an expression of creative entertainment for adults.”
People Can Fly and Epic have both insisted many times that the violence in the game is very tongue in cheek, and that it prides itself on being funnily absurd, making it closer to cartoon violence than actual real-world atrocities.
Just one look at a trailer for the game would prove their point.
Bulletstorm is out this month on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.