Last night, Twitch announced it was banning the streaming of Adult-Only games.
In the announcement Twitch writes, “Our goal at Twitch is to create a safe, welcoming, inclusive community platform where everyone can feel comfortable and have fun. From time to time, we update our Rules of Conduct (RoC) in pursuit of this goal and to match emerging issues in the video game industry.”
Why now? There’s only one reason. The upcoming release of Hatred. The list of Adult-Only games is tiny, but Hatred has generated a lot of press this year with its ultra-violent trailers.
What is Hatred? It’s a top-down shooter where your sole objective is killing innocent people.
You can view the trailer here.
Some of you might be thinking, “Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and other shooters let you murder people too.” That’s true, but that is not the sole purpose of these games. Call of Duty has you killing “bad people.”
Grand Theft Auto has a story that doesn’t focus on indiscriminately murdering people. Yes, you can kill innocent people. But, that’s not the sole purpose of the game. GTA walks the line in some cases, but never crosses it. At least, not in the eyes of the ESRB.
It’s all about context.
There is some confusion about Hatred’s ESRB rating. The ESRB doesn’t list Hatred’s rating anywhere on its website. But, Hatred’s developer says it has been rated Adult-Only, and a Polygon article confirmed the rating with the ESRB.
As for non-rated games, Twitch says they are “fine to stream, but are subject to the language of the RoC and ToS as per usual.”
Amazon-owned Twitch wants to avoid any controversy about Hatred being streamed on their service. The last thing they want is news coverage associating Twitch with this game.
Some will cry censorship, but Twitch can decide what games you can or can’t stream. They are not obligated to let you stream any game you want. Don’t like Twitch’s rules? Don’t use them.
It’s ironic that all the coverage and decisions made towards Hatred will translate to higher sales than if none of this happened. The adage, ‘any press is good press’ is working for Hatred.
Hatred will release on Steam on June 1st.
I want to hear you thoughts on Twitch’s decision to ban Adult-Only games. Plus, what are your thoughts on Hatred?