It seems a lot of owners who purchased the additional downloadable content for Pinball FX3 noticed that the Medieval Madness, Fish Tales, and Junk Yard tables have been censored in someway with removal of pieces of the original artwork such as the covering up of some scantily clad women and bloody swords, etc. ArsTechnica covered this earlier in the week and have since had a statement from Zen Studios VP of Publishing Mel Kirk who explained that the censorship took place to enable them to keep the family friendly rating, as Mel says that it’s ultimately a family series of games.
“We pride ourselves on Pinball FX being a very family-friendly game,” Kirk said. “People expect a specific type of game associated with certain types of content. I’m not going to jeopardize all those relationships, all that history, all those families that play the game for some bits of artwork.” The ESRB did not review the original artwork or demand any changes to it before the alterations were made, Kirk said.”
“We’ve been penalized ourselves by the ESRB previously,” he said. “We made some mistakes. We can’t afford to be caught again.”
“Kirk also acknowledged that other Williams games added to Pinball FX3 in the future would probably need ratings-related alterations as well. In Champion Pub for instance, a simulated gambling mini-game might have to be removed entirely.”
“In extreme cases like this, something Zen has considered for a while is, is there another iteration of Pinball FX that can exist?” he said. “It’s a completely different game experience, it has more mature content, it can have blood and guts, there can be more mature themes, simulated gambling. That is something we’re actively talking about internally right now… It’s really just a matter of how much we want to focus on this. Does it bother us enough that people are mad at us?… It’s a vocal minority, but nonetheless they’re very important and we want to make them happy too.”
“For all the hardcore players that don’t like what we’ve done, we have just as many people saying thank you for doing this, because now my kids can play too, and they now know these games,” he said. “If the artwork and some of the things that are more mature are super important to people, we’ll hear them and we’ll try to make those available, maybe under a different label or a different game. But FX3 is a family-friendly game.”
“I have daughters myself that are 8 and 10 and I’m so excited that I can let them play Medieval Madness and not worry about some of the things that are in there that they’re not ready for.”]