Adults only

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Adults Only is a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in the United States. This classification (AO for short) corresponds to a classification from 18.

AO in industry

It is noticeable that there are significantly fewer AO classifications compared to the other classifications. There is a special reason for this, as many developers often try to get at least an M or Mature (classification from 17). This attempt by the developers also has a special reason: Many sales chains in the USA such as B. Wal-Mart does not include games with an AdultsOnly rating in its range. Furthermore, the company policy of Sony (Playstation 1–4) and Nintendo (Gamecube, Wii, DS, Wii U) provides that they do not publish games with such a rating for their console, and this would mean loss for many developers.


Games get an AO rating if they contain pornography or particularly horrific, inhuman depictions of violence. An example of this would be Manhunt 2 (developed by RockstarGames), which has been banned in many countries because of this depiction of violence. For the Wii as well as PSP and PS2 versions of the game, some violence filters had to be inserted in order to be able to lower the rating from AO to M so that your game could be distributed via Sony and Nintendo.

Manhunt 2 (Uncut PC Version) was even banned in Great Britain in 2007 . This was the first time since 1997 that a PC game was not sold there because of a ban. At the end of 2007, the defused game in the USA was approved for young people aged 17 and over.

In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas , which was intended more for adults anyway, the discovery of the Dutch programmer Patrick Wildenborg led to the fact that the American "moral guard" in the person of the Californian congressman Leland Yee successfully downgraded to adults only - Status demanded. After adding the "Hot Coffee-Mod" you could "unlock interactive sex scenes that were apparently deactivated by the developers before the game went into production". This was followed by an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the initiative of Republican MP Fred Upton by majority decision by the US House of Representatives. As a result, the manufacturer got off lightly by undertaking to provide the FTC with more fundamental information in advance in addition to the provision of software patches to deactivate the hidden scenes.

In 2009 Ikki Tousen: Shining Dragon for the PlayStation 2 in the United States, based on the example of the manga of the same name, was listed on the index. In contrast to other fighting games, the female characters showed the "degree of injury due to the steadily increasing tearing of clothing".

Other cases are Lula 3D from the manufacturer Brave Soul, or Mafia II .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. - Manhunt 2: New Rockstar game may not appear, June 21, 2007
  2. Manhunt 2 is now approved for young people -, August 28, 2007
  3. Gamers will never be able to play "Manhunt 2" -, October 16, 2007
  4. "GTA: San Andreas": The devil has hidden sex ( Memento from April 2, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: Stern , July 12, 2005.
  5. Sex games: GTA makers get off lightly -, June 9, 2006
  6. Ikki Tousen: Shining Dragon too suggestive -, May 21, 2009