Zen Studios alters classic pinball art to protect family-friendly rating

karussellbremser

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Aug 20, 2015
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I'd rather they just avoid pins that they feel the need to sanitize like an overprotective helicopter mom. Stick to tables that they don't have to mess with. Plenty of those.

I'd think so too, however, that in itself would already be censorship.

I'm really glad right now that I have access to all the TPA recreations, as this whole scenario seems to be a "two steps forward, one step back" one.
 
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shutyertrap

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Mar 14, 2012
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Remember the hoopla over the SNES version of the first Mortal Kombat? Lots of sweat in that one! Nintendo made Acclaim clean up the blood and change "finishing moves". How ironic that in cleaning it up, they defacated all over it!

Oh how I remember that. The Nintendo version had better graphics than the Genesis version, but the Genesis had all the blood and proper 'fatalities' rather than Nintendo's 'friendship' finishers. Still, you gotta love in the Mortal Kombat movie that when Johnny Cage defeats Scorpion, they put in the 'friendship' finisher with the autographed photo. That cracked me up.
 

Jeff Strong

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Feb 19, 2012
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Interesting that you would use as an example a game that was also censored. Jungle King became Jungle Hunt after Taito was sued for the use of Tarzan's likeliness and roar. They replaced him with a more generic-looking safari explorer. You've got to love that his safari hat looks more like a bicycle helmet!

Well, I used it for the scantily clad hot babe who obviously wasn’t censored! ...and altering things as a result of being sued is a whole different ballgame. That’s not really censorship. Still, a funny story I didn’t know about, so thanks for sharing.

Yep, I remember the SNES thing too as I was a huge MK nut at the time. Nintendo still had regular fatalities (though some were toned down). It was just Nintendo being prudish, and Sega capitalized on it with their racy ad campaigns (that even had girls in bikinis...surprise surprise lol) and it worked. There was a time early on when some of my friends wouldn’t even admit to owning an SNES because it was considered wussy at the time haha.

At the end of the day, the SNES was a better version overall (sound was better too in addition to graphics) and playing fighting games with the stock 3 button Genesis controller was awful in itself. Pushing the start button to switch between punches and kicks in SF2...ugh!
 
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wilbers

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Aug 8, 2018
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Should FunHouse come to PFX3, I wonder what will they replace the sausage bonus with.

I find it fascinating that with trillions of sentences written over the centuries its possible to read one and be virtually certain no one has ever written it before!


What the bleep is a sausage bonus?
 

Citizen

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I find it fascinating that with trillions of sentences written over the centuries its possible to read one and be virtually certain no one has ever written it before!


What the bleep is a sausage bonus?

6 Rudy hits. Once per game. Getting it in a game increases the required number of hits by 1 for the next game, to a maximum of 12. Resets to 6 when high scores are wiped. The game won't award it if Rudy was just starting to talk. Worth 1 million if I remember correctly.

Beating Rudy with your balls gets you his sausage. Disney can’t object to that.
 

Sean

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Jun 13, 2012
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So I’m guessing we won’t be seeing Bally’s “Playboy” machine? Not getting any classic card-themed ones or some of the TPA ones (which I own :p) kinda sucks too, but just goes to show that Zen can’t just replace TPA.
 

shutyertrap

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Even TPA wouldn’t touch Bally’s Playboy, because the brand alone was a threat to their game rating they assumed.
 

shutyertrap

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I meant to post this here and instead posted it under a similar discussion we are having in the podcast thread. Anyways, forgive the double post!

I found this interesting, regarding the new Oktoberfest table, which is of course filled with beer references:

On the Adult Mode:

“I want to get some more adult humor into the game. We’re trying to keep it family-friendly, but the plan has always been to add a little bit more in there for adults – so if you don’t have kids around and you want a little more sexual innuendo or a little more whatever it might be…it’ll be mostly more in voice calls than otherwise. So there are some voice calls now on the list and it’s like “we can’t use that one yet”. So that is the goal and hopefully we’ll get there, hopefully we’ll come up with enough funny and good content to justify it and have it be worth while.”

So here you have an instance where the event of Oktoberfest is viewed as a family event, and the therefore no reason the table couldn't be considered the same. And rather than call it 'family mode', they'll have 'adult mode' for racier call-outs. So what would the ESRB think about that (and are pinball machines rated by the ESRB?) I think everybody can agree that advertising alcohol to kids is not a good thing, but we can also agree that the mere exposure to it is not harmful. Any sporting event on TV has ample amounts of commercials advertising beer, yet the Super Bowl is considered one of the most family oriented sporting events to watch at home.

Any wonder why all this causes confusion for what can and cannot be in a 'family friendly' video game?

I also wanted to point this out in regards to Disney and their aversion to cleavage. When Pixar was just starting out and making short films, they had one called 'Knick-Knack' which featured a snowman in a snow globe trying to visit the mermaid in the globe next to him. She was drawn with ample bosom and was clearly an adult woman. After Disney bought Pixar, they made some adjustments for their own video release of it. Now the snowman seems to be desperately trying to get with a pre-teen girl. Yet again where the correction makes things not just worse, but creepy.

14052004_knickknack2.jpg
 

seattlemark

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Jan 8, 2013
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Should FunHouse come to PFX3, I wonder what will they replace the sausage bonus with.


I find it fascinating that with trillions of sentences written over the centuries its possible to read one and be virtually certain no one has ever written it before!


What the bleep is a sausage bonus?


wilbers, I did a great amount of laughing when I saw your following words: "with trillions of sentences written over the centuries its possible to read one and be virtually certain no one has ever written it before!" :D
 
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Zaphod77

Active member
Feb 14, 2013
1,310
1
i'm pretty sure that sausage bit is mild enough to get through, since there is a super dog mode too, so it will go over any kid's head (who will just think flavorful hot dog or breakfast food), and a fair number of adults. I didn't even realize it until it was brought up as a potential censor topic. It's not in any way sexual (he's just calling you a d*ck)

Further obscuring it is the fact that road show has a cheeseburger bonus in similar circumstances, and that's totally G rated.
 
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The loafer

Member
Oct 28, 2012
494
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I meant to post this here and instead posted it under a similar discussion we are having in the podcast thread. Anyways, forgive the double post!

I found this interesting, regarding the new Oktoberfest table, which is of course filled with beer references:

On the Adult Mode:

“I want to get some more adult humor into the game. We’re trying to keep it family-friendly, but the plan has always been to add a little bit more in there for adults – so if you don’t have kids around and you want a little more sexual innuendo or a little more whatever it might be…it’ll be mostly more in voice calls than otherwise. So there are some voice calls now on the list and it’s like “we can’t use that one yet”. So that is the goal and hopefully we’ll get there, hopefully we’ll come up with enough funny and good content to justify it and have it be worth while.”

So here you have an instance where the event of Oktoberfest is viewed as a family event, and the therefore no reason the table couldn't be considered the same. And rather than call it 'family mode', they'll have 'adult mode' for racier call-outs. So what would the ESRB think about that (and are pinball machines rated by the ESRB?) I think everybody can agree that advertising alcohol to kids is not a good thing, but we can also agree that the mere exposure to it is not harmful. Any sporting event on TV has ample amounts of commercials advertising beer, yet the Super Bowl is considered one of the most family oriented sporting events to watch at home.

Any wonder why all this causes confusion for what can and cannot be in a 'family friendly' video game?

I also wanted to point this out in regards to Disney and their aversion to cleavage. When Pixar was just starting out and making short films, they had one called 'Knick-Knack' which featured a snowman in a snow globe trying to visit the mermaid in the globe next to him. She was drawn with ample bosom and was clearly an adult woman. After Disney bought Pixar, they made some adjustments for their own video release of it. Now the snowman seems to be desperately trying to get with a pre-teen girl. Yet again where the correction makes things not just worse, but creepy.

14052004_knickknack2.jpg

That's not censorship man, that's just the DVD's anamorphic output providing a wider angle therefore now everything looks smaller. Jeez.
 

Citizen

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Oct 5, 2017
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I looked at the image before reading the post and my brain didn't register the edit as being a pre-teen girl, so it didn't seem creepy to me. Just censored. Perspective, I guess.
 

shutyertrap

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Mar 14, 2012
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I looked at the image before reading the post and my brain didn't register the edit as being a pre-teen girl, so it didn't seem creepy to me. Just censored. Perspective, I guess.

I’m also saying that from the perspective of having seen the short film for years one way and then suddenly having it presented in this altered manner.
 

shogun00

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Dec 25, 2012
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Zen Studios alters classic pinball art to protect family-friendly rating

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018...rs-classic-pinball-art-for-lower-esrb-rating/
Don't you like it when they update the post and bury said update in the middle of the article?

Kirk noted that Zen Studios has been penalized for inadvertently crossing the ESRB in the past. Last year, the studio's Infinite Minigolf was removed from digital storefronts after some inappropriate placeholder artwork accidentally made its way into the VR version of the game. The ESRB raised the game's rating to a T, requiring it to be altered and resubmitted to the ESRB before it could go back on sale at the original E rating.

"We've been penalized ourselves by the ESRB previously," he said. "We made some mistakes. We can't afford to be caught again."
And there's your answer on why they are censoring.

I completely forgot about that incident with Infinite Minigolf last year.

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/08/switch-game-pulled-from-us-eshop-due-to-ratings-problem/
 

Spork98765

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Jul 3, 2015
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And there's your answer on why they are censoring.

I completely forgot about that incident with Infinite Minigolf last year.

https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/08/switch-game-pulled-from-us-eshop-due-to-ratings-problem/

That's a bit misleading when you read the updates on the story: https://kotaku.com/switch-game-pulled-from-eshop-due-to-ratings-problem-1798515928


The story says the Xbox One and PS4 versions were rated T and the Switch needed to be changed for an E rating. Yet, the ESRB link shows the entire game on PS4 and Xbox One is now rated E by the ESRB. So does that mean the assets were changed retroactively on all versions, or just the switch?

If it was just the switch, and then the rating across the whole game changed there is no good reason to change the art on Williams tables when there is a precedent for releasing differently rated DLCs on different platforms.

This is entirely of Zen's creation due to them not bothering to add content descriptors, or by not bothering to properly rate their DLC additions.
 

SilverBalls

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Apr 12, 2012
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From what I remember of seeing the Brady Bunch in the UK when I was very young, the man had 3 boys and the woman had 3 girls. That tells me that the bed never got much use as they never produced any kids together. I guess they were two knackered bringing up six kids. Not really relevant to the conversation but it just occurred to me almost 42 years after watching it - lol.
 

shogun00

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Dec 25, 2012
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The story says the Xbox One and PS4 versions were rated T and the Switch needed to be changed for an E rating. Yet, the ESRB link shows the entire game on PS4 and Xbox One is now rated E by the ESRB. So does that mean the assets were changed retroactively on all versions, or just the switch?

They removed the questionable image from all versions. The PS4 and Xbox One versions got a patch to remove the image.
 
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