List of AO-rated video games

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The ESRB's "Adults Only" ratings symbol.

The following is a list of video games that have been given the "Adults Only" (AO) rating by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), an U.S-based organization which rates the content of video games to determine its appropriateness for specific age groups. Although it is not legally binding under U.S. law, the ESRB rating system is a de facto standard which is self-enforced by the U.S. video game industry and retailers.[1]

Games with the AO rating are considered by the board to be unsuitable for those seventeen and younger; AO-rated games can contain higher levels of violent, profane, sexual, or pornographic content than the Mature (M) rating (the next-lowest on the scale) can accommodate. AO is the highest and most restrictive of the ESRB's content ratings, and dramatically impacts the commercial availability of games which carry it; all three major video game console manufacturers (Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony Computer Entertainment) refuse to allow AO-rated games to be published for their platforms, and most retailers refuse to stock AO-rated games. Due to these self-imposed restrictions on the marketing and distribution of games with the rating, the AO rating has been described as a "kiss of death" by critics.[2][3][4]

Relatively few games carry the AO-rating; the majority of AO-rated games are adult video games which received the rating for containing sexual and/or pornographic content, but there have been exceptions.[2] The fighting game Thrill Kill (1998) was given the AO rating for its violent content, but was left unreleased after its developer, Virgin Interactive, was acquired by Electronic Arts, who objected to the game's content. Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 (2007) was also given an AO rating for extremely violent content, but was re-edited to meet the M rating so it could be released on consoles (an uncut, AO-rated version for Windows was released in 2009).[5] Fellow Rockstar game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) was temporarily re-rated to AO from M in response to the release of a mod known as "Hot Coffee", which restored access to an incomplete, but sexually explicit minigame that had been removed in development.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

List[edit]

Title Platform Publisher ESRB content descriptors Notes
All Nude Cyber[12] Mac, Windows MacDaddy Entertainment Strong sexual content
All Nude Glamour[13] Mac, Windows MacDaddy Entertainment Strong sexual content
All Nude Nikki[14] Mac, Windows MacDaddy Entertainment Strong sexual content
Body Language[15] DVD NuTech Digital Strong sexual content
Critical Point[16] Windows Peach Princess Strong sexual content, violence
Crystal Fantasy[17] Mac, Windows MacDaddy Entertainment Strong sexual content
Cyber Photographer[18] Mac, Windows MacDaddy Entertainment Strong sexual content
Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Director's Cut[19] Windows Atari Blood, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content, use of drugs and alcohol, violence In North America, Fahrenheit was released in an edited, M-rated version under the title Indigo Prophecy, which removed a number of sex scenes from the game. Quantic Dream CEO Guillaume de Fondaumière noted that "tens of thousands" of players chose to import the uncut European release instead.[20]
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox Rockstar Games, Take Two Interactive Blood and gore, intense violence, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content, use of drugs Originally rated M, San Andreas was temporarily re-rated AO following the discovery of an incomplete "Hot Coffee" minigame that could be enabled with a mod, which featured characters engaging in sexual intercourse. Its rating was changed back to M following the release of a patched version of the game that excluded the offending content.[6][21]
JThe Joy of Sex[22] CD-i Philips Media Strong sexual content
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Uncut and Uncensored[23] Windows Vivendi Games Mature humor, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content, use of alcohol
Lula 3D[24] Windows cdv Software Entertainment USA Blood, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content, violence
Manhunt 2 (uncut version)[5][25] Windows Rockstar Games, Take Two Interactive Blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, strong sexual content, use of drugs Manhunt 2 was originally given an AO rating by ESRB, but was edited by Rockstar to meet the M rating. Both the original and M-rated cuts of Manhunt 2 was also refused classification by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), making it outright illegal to sell in the United Kingdom.[26] Rockstar successfully appealed for an "18" rating; the re-rating process delayed the game's British release to October 2008, a year later than the U.S. release.[10][27]
Peak Entertainment Casinos[28] Online, Windows Peak Entertainment Gambling Peak Entertainment, a provider of online gambling services, submitted its product to the ESRB for an AO rating to showcase a commitment against underage gambling.[2]
Playboy: The Mansion: Private Party[29] Windows Groove Media Nudity, strong sexual content Expansion pack for Playboy: The Mansion
Playboy Screensaver: The Women of Playboy[30] Mac Sony Imagesoft Mature sexual themes
Riana Rouge[31] Mac, Windows Black Dragon Realistic blood and gore, strong sexual content
Seduce Me[32] Mac, Windows No Reply Games Strong sexual content, nudity, strong language, and use of drugs Developed by a studio led by former Guerrilla Games employees Miriam Bellard and Andrejs Skuja, it was pulled from the Steam Greenlight program for its sexual content.[33][34]
Sexy Games[35] Mobile phone Nicosceles Sexual themes, partial nudity
Singles[36] Windows Eidos Interactive Nudity, strong sexual content
Snow Drop[37] Windows Peach Princess Strong sexual content
Thrill Kill[38] PlayStation Virgin Interactive Animated blood and gore, animated violence After Electronic Arts acquired the assets of Virgin Interactive in mid-1998, it quickly cancelled the release of Thrill Kill (which was due to be released in time for the holiday season) due to objections over the game's high level of violent content.[11]
Tokimeki Check-in![39] Windows Peach Princess Strong sexual content
Water Closet: The Forbidden Chamber[40] Windows Peach Princess Strong sexual content
Wet: The Sexy Empire[41] Windows cdv Software Entertainment USA Strong sexual content
X-Change[42] Windows Peach Princess Strong sexual content

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "House bill wants $5,000 fine for video games without ESRB rating". Ars Technica. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Big A.O.". IGN. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Retail murder: ESRB rates Manhunt 2 'Adults Only'". Joystiq. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Factor 5 CEO blasts the ESRB at GCDC, and he’s right". Ars Technica. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Manhunt 2 PC gets AO rating". GameSpot. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "FTC Hot Coffee ruling scalds, but doesn't burn Take-Two". GameSpot. Retrieved July 1, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Vivid: Sony said no to PS3 porn streaming". CNET. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (20 June 2007). "Sony, Nintendo refuse to allow AO rated games on their consoles". GameSpot. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Manhunt Saga: ESRB assigns AO rating". Ars Technica. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Manhunt 2 will see Halloween release date after getting M rating". Ars Technica. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "EA kills 'Thrill Kill' game before release". ZDNet. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  12. ^ "All Nude Cyber". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "All Nude Glamour". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  14. ^ "All Nude Nikki". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  15. ^ "Body Language". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  16. ^ "Critical Point". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Crystal Fantasy". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  18. ^ "Cyber Photographer". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  19. ^ "Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Director's Cut: PC CD ROM". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  20. ^ "No Need To Import Heavy Rain In America". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "San Andreas rated AO, Take-Two suspends production". GameSpot. Retrieved 21 December 2013. 
  22. ^ "The Joy Of Sex". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  23. ^ "Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Uncut and Uncensored". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  24. ^ "Lula 3D". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  25. ^ "Manhunt 2". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  26. ^ "Manhunt 2 denied UK release". CVG. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  27. ^ Matt Wales (3 October 2008). "Manhunt 2 Dated in UK". IGN. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "Peak Entertainment Casinos". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "Playboy the Mansion: Private Party". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  30. ^ "Playboy Screensaver :The Women Of Playboy". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  31. ^ "Riana Rouge". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  32. ^ "Seduce Me". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  33. ^ "Is Porn Right for Games?". IGN. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "No Sex Please, We're Gamers". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  35. ^ "Sexy games". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  36. ^ "Singles". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  37. ^ "Snow Drop". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  38. ^ "Thrill Kill". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  39. ^ "Tokimeki Checkin!". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  40. ^ "Water Closet: The Forbidden Chamber". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  41. ^ "WET - The Sexy Empire". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  42. ^ "X-Change". ESRB. Retrieved 16 December 2013.