When developing a historical game that approaches the darker or more gratuitous aspects of history, should developers shoot for something lower than an M-rating? Often, the case is that they try to portray these types of events in the most realistic manner they can, but are hindered by the heavy burden of how to respectfully recreate them.
The straight answer here is “No,” if the content in question is indicative of the period or conflict covered. You still would be able to provide an authentic take on history, even with an M-rating. Although, it’s important to remember that so much of it can prevent certain markets or players from enjoying the game. It ultimately comes down to the approach, authenticity, and understanding of the appeal behind what makes an audience flock to such titles.
How Do M-Rated Titles Fit into Historical Gaming?
Undoubtedly, incorporating mature content into a historical setting has proven to work extremely well in today’s market. If done right, an undeniably authentic and engrossing product is created for your players. Tying your audience to the action allows for a more immersive or entertaining experience as well. It’s one of the fundamental drives for players invested in Call of Duty, Battlefield, Chivalry, and so forth.
Everything from all-out medieval warfare to close-quarters trench fighting are some of many examples of how certain aspects of violence in history attract gamers. Developers around the world find ways to adapt such effectively to gameplay, often including it as a necessary part of their core design.
Yet, there is an evidently fine balance to reach between the inclusion of violence within a historical game. When do said mechanics become overdone or exaggerated? What are the boundaries of even developing a game around it? Will my players then be turned off by the grotesque nature of the game? These are just several of the numerous extensive issues in working around this balance that can limit the potential of any upcoming release under an M-rating.
Balancing Mature Content Within Historical Games
With all in mind, an M-rating does not remove or limit what a developer can work with. It may take work, but they still can provide a game that is fun and enriching. Pursuing these points though brings challenges and likely requires new thought into how to weigh out their options.
Developers all around that create M-rated historical games face these hurdles of having to balance mature content with history. There is importance in maintaining authenticity while keeping entertainment plentiful. To achieve this, they primarily look towards research and insight to help make judgments that aid the course of development. This is where companies like our own, Epoch XP, come to light.
We understand the difficulties of creating such a title and offer the helping hand you may need. Having the right balance and accuracy is the key to creating any historical game, especially for those that are tackling mature content. Our team of researchers can help thread ‘authentic’ violence and ‘entertainment’ violence together to provide an end product that is historically respectful, accessible, and true to the history recreated in your game.
At Epoch XP, we specialize in creating compelling narratives and provide research to give your game the kind of details that engage your players and create a resonant world they want to spend time in. If you are interested in learning more about our gaming research services, book your consultation today!