Twitch Bans Streaming of Games Rated ‘Adults Only’ By the ESRB

Only affecting a handful of titles, Twitch updated their Rules of Conduct recently, banning the streaming of Adults Only (18+) rated titles.

Their new policy takes into account the ESRB rating for each title, and will extend to all territories.

Wanting to create a “safe, welcoming, inclusive community platform where everyone can feel comfortable and have fun,” Twitch talked about their decision to update the Rules of Conduct to match emerging issues in the gaming industry:

Previously, we made game-specific decisions about which games would and would not be available for broadcast – sometimes due to overtly sexual content, sometimes due to gratuitous violence. This is unsustainable and unclear, generating only further confusion among Twitch broadcasters. We would like to make this policy as transparent as possible.

Today, we’re updating the RoC with regard to Adult Only (AO) games. Simply put, AO games are not welcome on Twitch. Please refer to the ESRB’s Ratings Guide and list of Adults Only games for more information.

While the ESRB ratings apply exclusively to US titles, our policy extends to versions of these games in all territories. Generally, if the US version is rated for Adults Only (18+) or has an equivalent rating in your territory, you should not broadcast that game on Twitch.

The RoC is a living document that we update regularly based on community feedback and industry developments. We would appreciate your feedback, too.

Here is the updated Twitch Rules of Conduct.

To help clarify some questions, Twitch edited their blog post to reiterate that Adults Only rated games shouldn’t be broadcasted on Twitch. “However,” they add, “ESRB rated Mature versions of Adults Only titles are permitted for streaming, such as Mature versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy.”

If you’re playing a game rated 18+ by any other rating systems, those are fine to stream, “so long as they are not rated AO by the ESRB, and they don’t violate the standard language of our RoC and ToS.”

[Source: Twitch via Games Industry]