Are M-rated games on the way out?
That’s what Next-Generation asked and it turns out—sorta—that yes, less M-rated games are being released. The publication took numbers from the ESRB and combined them with independently obtained numbers. The result is that graph up there (and several others in the piece proper).
There’s several possible reasons why M-rated shipments could be down. One, E-rated children’s games can be created for nothing nowadays and can be sold on the DS and Wii (and wherever else) and bring back instant profit. No need for physics engine budgets or a team of 3D artists for a Sesame Street game. Publishers could also be tiring of the heat that sometimes get pegged to M-rated games. See Mass Effect and Hot Coffee.
Even given that, it’s worth noting that M-rated games continue to be some of the best selling any given year. Last year’s Orange Box and Halo 3, the previous year’s Gears of War, etc.
Me? I personally can’t stand some of the bleakness associated with M-rated games. Same reason why I can’t watch The Wire. I get it, it’s a great TV show, but I’d rather watch a Seinfeld rerun and laugh at George’s nonsense than watch the gritty streets of Baltimore.
By the Numbers: Death of the M-rated Game? [Next-Generation]