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Are Teen rated games more niche now?

Jubenhimer

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Nov 11, 2018
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T for Teen is one of 7 available game ratings given by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). Means exactly what it says. Games with this rating are according to the board, best suited for those 13 and up. So while they're not as heavy or controversial as an M rating, parents would still want to take caution before letting their kids play them. Back in the earlier days of the ESRB, Teen rated games were among the most popular games on the market. With it, you could include mature content, yet still keep it accessible to a mass audience. But in the modern era, Games that are rated T for Teen don't seem to have as much mainstream clout any more. There have been exceptions such as Marvel's Spider-Man and Fortnite (the biggest T rated successes in recent years), but generally, it seems the only games that get T ratings anymore are JRPGs and indie games.

From my view, there's a few reasons for that. First, have you ever met a real-life Teenager? Hell, have any you ever BEEN a Teenager? The life of your average 15 year old is much more M-rated than what the ESRB claims is appropriate for their age group. While retailers have done their best to restrict access of M-rated games to minors, Publishers know Teenagers are going to play M-rated games one way or another anyway. Teens like to think of themselves as mini-adults in most cases, so naturally they're going to be attracted to stuff that's rated for adults. As such, the M-rating is what most major publishers aim for in their big AAA games. Adults will play it because its a hot new game everyone is talking about and their old enough to buy whatever the hell they want, and teenagers will play it because it makes them feel like they're getting away with something. It kills two birds with one stone. Plus, M-rated games have generally garnered a lot less controversy in the public eye over the years, so most publishers don't feel as pressured to water their games down to a lower rating anymore.

Nintendo is perhaps the only exception, as their image as the "Family-Friendly" publisher means the T rating is the highest they're willing to go. I'm not saying Teen rated games can't be popular today, I just listed two examples above. But to AAA publishers, that audience is going to play what adults play anyway, so why patronize them with a lower rating?
 

kiphalfton

Member
Dec 27, 2018
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The ESRB rating system is pointless. Like you said, younger kids get access to M-rated games which is probably a result of uninformed/ignorant parents.
 

kikkis

Member
Aug 13, 2020
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I remember arguing with my parents about pegi 16 game when I was 15. I got the game too, thanks parents!
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
Mar 8, 2021
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Theres alot of teen rated games, just did not advertised widely on youtube and other platforms.
These games probably catered to kids.
 

White-fire

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Jul 25, 2020
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Horizon, Uncharted, Star Wars, Halo, Final Fantasy, Tales series, Batman, many extreme sports games (Wreckfest, Riders Republic, Steep, Tony Hawk), Hades, Fortnite, Destiny, Spider-Man, Apex Legends, are all series or games that are T or have T rated entries.

I think that we look at game ratings less and less now so it’s harder to notice these things. I think the “T” rating is on a decline but I don’t think it’s at the niche status yet.
 
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