The Elder Scrolls Online Mature Rating Explained by the ESRB

February 26, 2014Written by Jason Dunning


Last month, Bethesda made their disagreement of the ESRB’s Mature rating for The Elder Scrolls Online public, saying how “we do not plan to challenge the rating, and we are unwilling to change the game’s content to achieve a different rating. The game we have created is the one we want our fans to be able to play.”

Today, the ESRB published the full details of their rating, citing blood and gore, sexual themes, use of alcohol, and violence as content descriptors for the Mature rating.

For even more details, here’s the full ratings summary:

This is a multiplayer online role-playing game in which players assume the role of a warrior in the fantastical world of Nirn. As players explore open-world environments, they can perform various quests and complete tasks. Characters use swords, arrows, axes, and magic attacks (e.g., lightning, fire attacks) to kill human-like and fantastical enemies (e.g., orcs, demons, giant insects).

Players engage in melee-style combat, hacking and slashing at various enemies; battles are highlighted by cries of pain, impact sounds, and blood splashes. Some sequences depict large amounts of blood streaming up-close as vampires attack/feed on characters. In some quests players have the ability to mount creatures’ severed heads onto pikes; some environments depict corpse piles or skeletons hanging from torture devices.

Text descriptions or dialogue sometimes contain references to sexual material and/or innuendo (e.g., “She…raped the men as cruelly as Bal had ravished her”; “In his mind, she would be the sheath to every knight’s blade”; “No sweetmeat for you”; But it is huge! It could take me all night!”). During the course of the game, alcohol (i.e., wine, mead, ale) can be purchased and consumed by the central character; one sequence prompts players to engage in a drinking contest, resulting in the central character’s blurred vision/slurred speech.

The Elder Scrolls Online will release for the PS4 and Xbox One this June.

Do you think a Mature rating is warranted for The Elder Scrolls Online? Let us know in the comments below.