Destiny isn’t a colourful, lightweight, family-friendly affair, but it’s not quite dark enough for a mature rtaing from the ESRB, either.
Although at time of writing the rating was yet to appear on the ESRB website, Polygon reports the game has been awarded a T for Teen rating for “violence” and “animated blood”.
If you’re not familiar with ESRB ratings and content descriptions, animated blood means discoloured or otherwise unrealistic blood, and violence is one of the mildest of several similar categories including “intense violence”, “cartoon violence”, “fantasy violence”, “sexual violence” and “violent references”. To give you an idea, GTA 3 is rated for “violence”, but GTA 5 is “intense violence”.
The rating is unsurprising given what we saw in the alpha; although most of the gameplay is shooting things, there’s no gore, and enemies don’t make a significant fuss about their heads popping off. Destiny apparently also contains no sexual references, crude or mature humour, gambling, nudity, bad language or use of substances including tobacco or alcohol, as all of these would be listed in the rating.
Scoring a teen rating is a bit of a coup for Destiny as it opens the game to kids too young for Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto (or who have yet to talk their parents into ignoring age ratings). Bungie told Polygon that it didn’t “aggressively” pursue a teen rating, but hopes to “make games that lots of players can enjoy”.
“We wanted our worlds to be a place people felt good about spending time in. We wanted our worlds to be worthy of heroes. For us that meant Destiny would never be reprehensible, but rather bright, hopeful, and adventurous. That’s a world that resonates with us, and we hope it resonates with gamers, too,” a representative said.
Destiny certainly doesn’t seem childish, but this is all very interesting given some of the earliest information we received on Destiny mentioned the shared-worlds shooter would be kid-friendly; Bungie later said these leaked marketing materials were out of date, although much of the information and artwork turned out to be genuine.
Destiny hits PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in September. Those who pre-order earn access to the beta; the PlayStation version kicks off on July 17, with the Destiny Xbox beta expected later in the month.