Streaming platform Twitch.tv announced a policy preventing officially rated “Adults Only” games by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board from being streamed. In a blog post detailing its stance, the company said it would no longer make game-specific decisions on which games will be broadcast able. This method is unsustainable and unclear, they said. Instead, in an effort to make these policies more transparent it will now no longer permit games rated Adults Only on Twitch Broadcasts.
The equivalent ratings in other territories also apply. “While the ESRB ratings apply exclusively to US titles, our policy extends to versions of these games in all territories. Generally, if the US version is rated for Adults Only (18+) or has an equivalent rating in your territory, you should not broadcast the game. ESRB rated Mature versions of Adults Only titles are permitted for streaming, such as Mature versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy.”
“Games rated 18+ by other rating systems are fine to stream, so long as they are not rated AO by the ESRB, and they don’t violate the standard language of our rules of conduct and terms of service.” The current list of Adult Only games is mostly old and obscure games. There aren’t as many AO games out there, but they are classified by strong sexual content, nudity and blood. Games that would be known are the Leisure Suit Larry games, specifically Magna Cum Laude and Rockstar’s Manhunt 2.
I’m not really surprised they banned AO games. They are the ‘worst of the worst’ in a certain sense. There also aren’t very many of them, and the ones that I know about (mainly Leisure Suit Larry) games are older and harder to find anyways. I feel like there will be some that are upset, but they have to keep the idea that this is a company site. I wouldn’t be surprised if mature content labels if not already in effect come into effect soon. While this can be annoying for adults, it keeps things safer for the younger audiences that we can’t ignore.