In the annals of gaming, there haven’t been very many titles to get an Adults Only rating from the ESRB. In fact, according to Wikipedia, there have only been 29 games deemed offensive enough to receive the label. While most of them are sexually explicit in nature, such as Leisure Suit Larry and Playboy: The Mansion, a slim few are stuck with the AO tag due to their excessive violence, like the infamous Manhunt 2 and Destructive Creations’ upcoming release, Hatred.
So far, the controversial isometric shooter has gotten a lot of negative press on account of its dearth of objectives beyond brutally murdering every other non-playable character in sight. Bearing that in mind, Destructive Creations has announced today that Hatred will not be available for sale on the popular video game marketplace GOG, because the company “refused to distribute the game.”
With both Destructive Creations and GOG being Poland-based organizations, it’s interesting to see the lack of solidarity between the two. And with nothing but the brief, aforementioned statement from Good Old Games to go on, one has to surmise that they’re declining to release Hatred on their platform because of the game’s gratuitous violence.
Up to this point, the messaging behind Hatred has been tumultuous to say the least. The development of Destructive Creations’ first title has been stalled, brought into question, and has almost been forced to halt completely. For instance, several months ago, the title took the top spot in the Steam Greenlight process, but was soon removed from the site altogether.
Later, citing concerns of his company infringing upon game developers’ freedom of expression, Valve creator Gabe Newell demanded that the game be placed back in the voting line-up. On top of all that, in a bid to distance itself from the grisly shooter, Epic Games asked Destructive Creations to remove the Unreal game engine logo from Hatred entirely.
Many gamers have been critical of the companies distancing themselves from the game, claiming that some of their decisions regarding Hatred are hypocritical, especially since they too have created and supported their fair share of violence-laden video games. Frankly, such arguments are valid, because when people label a piece of artwork as harmful for one reason or another, it becomes a slippery slope in judging others.
But of course, Epic Games and GOG have every right to discern what games with which they are associated, as their main concern is the bottom line and how their businesses are perceived. And even though Hatred and other games of its ilk may very well be morally bankrupt, who’s to say what people can and cannot legally enjoy?
In your opinion, when does a video game go too far in terms of graphic content? Is GOG in the wrong for refusing to sell Hatred?
Hatred will be available through Steam and Desura when it releases on June 1, and on May 29 for fans who pre-ordered the game.
Source: VG 24/7