Streaming platform Twitch.tv has announced a policy preventing games rated Adults Only by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board from being streamed on its service.
In a blog post detailing its stance, the company said it would no longer make game-specific decisions on which games can and cannot be broadcasted, as this method is “unsustainable and unclear.”
Instead, in an effort to make its policies more transparent, it will now no longer permit games rated Adults Only in the US by the ESRB on Twitch broadcasts. Equivalent ratings in other territories also apply.
“While the ESRB ratings apply exclusively to US titles, our policy extends to versions of these games in all territories. Generally, if the US version is rated for Adults Only (18+) or has an equivalent rating in your territory, you should not broadcast the game,” the blog explains.
Twitch further clarified that “ESRB rated Mature versions of of Adults Only titles are permitted for streaming, such as Mature versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy.”
“Games rated 18+ by other rating systems are fine to stream, so long as they are not rated AO by the ESRB, and they don’t violate the standard language of our [rules of conduct] and [terms of service].”
The current list of Adult Only rated games consists mainly of old and very obscure games that have been given the classification due to strong sexual content, nudity, and blood. However, among them are a few high-profile releases, including Rockstar’s Manhunt 2 and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude.