If there’s a blockbuster first-person shooter coming out, gamers are going to be quick to assume that it’ll be rated M for Mature by the Entertainment Software Rating Board — better known by its acronym ESRB. This board has been rating video games ever since 1994 after the original Mortal Kombat made its way onto the scene and appalled parents and politicians with its overtly violent nature.

While the aforementioned Mortal Kombat is a prime example of what equates to a Mature rating by the ESRB, a game that many assumed would receive a similar label, Destiny, will apparently be rated T for Teen.

Ditching the traditional man-on-man warfare that many consumers get up in arms about, Destiny instead focusses largely on pitting players against aliens of various origins in a bid to level up, unlock new equipment, and become the hero that Earth so desperately needs. Admittedly, the competitive multiplayer found within The Crucible makes it possible for humans to immediately make other players hit their expiration date, but when the animation for such an action is less ‘blood’ and more ‘floating into the air while evaporating’, it’s easy to see how the game scored a T for Teen rating.

Polygon reached out to Bungie to see how it felt about the rating, to which the company replied that, while the intention was never to turn down the content of its vision to meet a particular rating, the focus of the game is largely “bright, hopeful, and adventurous” to begin with.

“We’ve always set out to make games that lots of players can enjoy, and to build experiences that matter to people. For Destiny, we didn’t aggressively pursue one rating over another, though. We constructed foundational pillars that have guided development from start to finish. 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.”

Destiny combat screenshot

Given that there’s no intense violence, tobacco, drugs, or gambling found within the game, it’s easy to see why the ESRB gave Destiny the exact same rating as it did to the likes of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros.. Despite the fact that drawing that parallel makes the ESRB’s decision seem a little odd, Bungie’s comments make it sound as if the developer never intended to tell a dark and gritty story — although the fact that a faction known as ‘The Darkness’ is attempting to destroy mankind sounds pretty harsh.

Regardless, Destiny is a $500 million investment for Activison, and while it may not have banked on a teen rating, it’s good news for the publisher because the title can now find its way into the hands of even more gamers. That said, Activision’s other blockbuster franchise, Call of Duty, has never had a problem falling into the possession of a younger demographic.

What do you think of Destiny‘s T for Teen rating? Let us know in the comment below!


Destiny will be launching on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on September 9, 2014.

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Source: Polygon