Question of the Week | 7-15-2011

07/15/2011

I have a question that I need some answering/clarification on. Your upcoming game Modern Warfare 3 will most likely be rated M, and I am wondering, and hoping, that it will have some sort of content filter. Im restricted on the games that I get, and I would like to get the pre-order out of the way asap. Thank you Sledgehammer Games. Looking forward to the next Call of Duty!

- Jared Hoyt

 

Hi Jared,

Call of Duty MW3 is currently "Rating Pending." The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has not completed their review process on the game.  Historically, Call of Duty games have received the M, or Mature17+, designation in the US.   

Navigating the many rating boards around the global is a unique challenge for video games.  It is especially difficult for this game and its worldwide Call of Duty fan base.  ESRB's criteria is different than the European system (PEGI). Germany does not formally recognize PEGI and instead uses their own USK system, with its own specific criteria.  Likewise, the Australia Classification Board and Japan's CERO differ in their criteria.  There are definitely region specific content concerns that we have to manage and filter on a sku/territory basis.  

That might not have answered your question. If you were asking if there would be a content filter for the US specifically, the answer is no.  The rating that ESRB assigns us will be the official, and only, rating for the US version of Modern Warfare 3.

The good news, thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in June, is that parents have the right to determine which games are appropriate for their children.  I played a lot of Grand Theft Auto, but wouldn't recommend it to my young nephew, for example. Nor would I recommend my last game, Dead Space, to him.  The M rating was given to both, but for different reasons.  One day, I expect he will play them, and his parents decided that it won't be for several more years. I support ESRB as a tool to help them, and all parents, make smart decisions around which games are appropriate to bring home.

Call of Duty isn't, and never was, about gratuitous violence.  It is meant to capture an authentic and believable depiction of modern conflict.  If your parents restrict the games you can buy based off its rating guidance, then I would say you should be thankful.  Clearly they care about you and have your best interest at heart.  

Hopefully they'll let you preorder, but if they don't you have to respect their wishes.  I wouldn't want it any other way.

Best,

Michael

 

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Written by Michael Condrey

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