The main body tasked with rating videogames that go on sale in Korea has said that it is giving an 18+ rating to StarCraft II, the upcoming real time strategy sequel coming from Blizzard this year. This means the game can only be legally sold to adults and might lead to the title moving less copies than expected in the nation that made the initial StarCraft a national sport, which spawned the PC bang phenomenon and the creation of numerous e-sports leagues that in turn created generations of star players.
An official from the Games Rating Board has told The Korea Times that “Considering that the RC version of the game is closer to what will be sold on the shelves compared to the beta versions, we looked more carefully at the content,” adding that “However, this rating is not final, as Blizzard will get the chance to object to it.”
Blizzard has 30 days to lodge an objection. The ratings board is saying that it was troubled by how violence is shown, references to drug use and foul language.
It seems that Blizzard worked closely with the Games Rating Board and showed two earlier versions of the game in order to see how the members were reacting. Both an Alpha and a Skirmish version of StarCraft II were rated as suitable to all those who over 15. The first StarCraft was deemed to be suitable for all those over 12.
Normally, when a game gets an adults only rating, the developer and the publisher choose to work with the rating entity in order to eliminate the content deemed too offensive, the aim being to lower the rating as much as possible to reach as wide as possible an audience. Blizzard is not saying exactly when StarCraft II will arrive but the game is now in a multiplayer-only beta stage.