received word on the ratings for Age of Conan
in each territory and what to expect in each version. Of course, we already know about the US version
. The rating subject has been heavily speculated about over on the official forums for a while now. So finally getting to let the Barbarian out of the barracks must have felt good for community manager Pharamond. According to Pharamond these are not design issues, but legal requirements for the ability to sell their game in each territory.
[UPDATE] It looks like nipples will be optional in the US version, according to this post
So lets get down to the nitty-gritty. The US version has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB -- the only thing removed from the game is nipples. In Germany, the game is rated 18+ by USK and contains full gore minus decapitation, dismemberment or any "over-the-top" style fatalities. Finally, the version to be available everywhere else in Europe is rated 18+ by PEGI and will remain completely unchanged.
We have to wonder how the German version contains "full gore" without any of the best parts of the gore in AoC
-- the finishing moves. Then again, the American version has been rendered nipple-free so we can play the game without being assaulted by "awful" and "terrible" imagery! We're inclined to claim false advertising