Nintendo To Release Mature Games
February 15, 2000
Note: I wrote this news story for a News Reporting course that I took in college. Despite the fact that I graduated with a computer degree, I continued to expand my writing and communication skill sets with electives. This example shows the top-down reporting style that is similar to what is used by the Associated Press and other news organizations. It is now presented in its original, unedited form.
REDMOND, Wash.—For mature audiences only. When was the last time that phrase has been associated with Nintendo? Never. Until now.
Pressure from video game players and critics alike, along with society's continuing acceptance of vulgar material, prompted Nintendo's decision to start developing games for the ever-growing adult segment. Nintendo itself has never before developed or published a mature-rated game.
The first adult title to be released, Perfect Dark, which is due in stores on April 11, 2000, is a science fiction shooter from the developers of the multi-million selling GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64. Without the James Bond license this time, the developers had the freedom to increase the violence level and include strong language.
"The Bond license limited the amount of violence we could include and also limited our ability to stray from the Bond universe," said Ken Lobb, Product Development Manager at Nintendo of America. "With Perfect Dark, we have free reign to make a game for a more mature audience, which is something gamers have been asking for."
Conker's Bad Fur Day, the second mature game, takes an even bolder leap. Conker originally debuted as the newest cute, happy character in the Nintendo universe. But then something drastic happened: He now spews profanity, woos ladies, and dismembers anything in the way.
A bad fur day, indeed.
A two-minute preview shown to video game journalists at the recent Gamer's Day held at Nintendo of America elicited uproarious laughter and applause. The game's newfound sense of adult humor, with parodies, innuendos, and sarcasm, was apparent from the start.
The opening scene of Conker's Bad Fur Day starts with Conker sitting in a boat dressed in an old-style military uniform. All of a sudden, a bullet connects with the soldier next to him, turning the solider into a bloody mess. A full reenactment of the opening battle sequence from Saving Private Ryan ensues.
Other scenes include cute characters swearing at each other with bleeped four-letter expletives and busty female characters bringing sexual innuendos to the video game realm. Nothing in popular culture, it seems, is safe from this game.
Conker's Bad Fur Day is due for release in time for the holidays.
An independent body called the Entertainment Software Ratings Board rates the games. It was formed in 1994 after concerns about violence in video games. The rating categories are Early Childhood (ages 3+), Everyone (ages 6+), Teen (ages 13 +), and Mature (ages 17+). Additionally, specific descriptors are used in conjunction with the rating and fall into several categories, including violent content, sexual themes, language, and others such as drug use and alcohol use.