Twitch, the service used by many gamers to stream their live playthroughs of their video games, has modified their terms of service to ban games rated “Adults Only” by the ESRB. Twitch made the announcement on the heels of the upcoming release of Hatred, a game where a more or less slaughers everyone in sight seemingly for the sake of genocide.
Twitch will use the ESRB rating to determine whether or not a game is permitted to stream through their service. Games with the Mature rating that contain adult oriented themes, such as Grand Theft Auto V, will still be permitted to watch and stream.
Our goal at Twitch is to create a safe, welcoming, inclusive community platform where everyone can feel comfortable and have fun. From time to time, we update our Rules of Conduct (RoC) in pursuit of this goal and to match emerging issues in the video game 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.
Being that there are only a handful of games that are rated Adults Only by the ESRB, this should have very little effect on the community of gamers and viewers on Twitch. So what do you guys think? Should Twitch censor some games on the market or do you think gamers should stream what they please? Let us know in the comment section below and for all things gaming, stay right here to New Gamer Nation.