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Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Rating Changed

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) announced today that it has officially changed the rating assigned to the game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from T (Teen 13+) to M (Mature 17+) for PC and Xbox 360 due to the presence of content that was not fully disclosed when the game was originally submitted to ESRB for rating. Bethesda Softworks, the developer and co-publisher of the game, will be taking immediate actions to correct the rating information on all unsold inventory, future shipments and marketing materials. Take-Two, the parent company of 2K Games (who co-published Oblivion), found themselves in a similar situation last fall with the Hot Coffee mod for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC, PS2, Xbox).

The pertinent content causing the change in the ESRB rating involves more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating of the game (the game already carried a Blood and Gore content descriptor), as well as the presence in the PC version of the game of a locked-out art file that, if accessed by using an apparently unauthorized third party tool, allows the user to play the game with topless versions of female characters. The locked-out topless skin was found by ESRB to exist in a fully rendered form on the game disc, but is not accessible in the Xbox 360 version of the game.

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