Following the much-publicised controversy over the release of Rockstar Games’ Manhunt 2 on the Nintendo Wii last year, we very much doubt that SEGA wasn’t expecting a call from ratings boards about the upcoming Madworld, which, if you hadn’t already seen, doesn’t much hold back when it comes to violence, blood and gore. And in news that might concern players who feel no influence should exist from such bodies on the creation of games, SEGA has revealed that it is working closely with the BBFC and PEGI to make sure Madworld is actually acceptable for release.
Speaking about MadWorld and their relationship with the the UK’s BBFC and the US’ PEGI, SEGA marketing guru David Corless said:
“Yes, it’s violent. We don’t try to hide that, but as publishers, we see it as a fantasy game - it’s fantasy violence. It’s over the top. It’s cartoony. We also take the violence very seriously. We are working with the age rating boards, with PEGI and with BBFC. We’re not at the end of the game’s development, but we’re working with them now to make sure that we don’t go over the top. The game has been banned in Germany; there’s no getting around that unfortunately. But we are taking it seriously and we’re going to make sure that this game is rated for the appropriate audience.”
Here’s hoping SEGA’s choice of gameplay and artistic direction doesn’t harm how Madworld turns out. Any “let’s tone it down, guys” influence from governing boards such as the BBFC and PEGI could be seen as a bigger negative on the industry as a whole. The last thing we’d want is the main character tickling his enemies with rainbows instead of splicing them to bits with chainsaws just to ‘prove’ that violent videogames are a really, really bad thing, or to maintain the Wii’s image as a family-friendly console.