Release Date For AGONY Revealed but Developer Madmind Struggles with ESRB's Rating


About a month ago, developer Madmind Studios disappointed some fans as they revealed that Agony, initially set for a release on March 30, will be delayed. Now, Madmind in partnership with Maximum Games announced that the game will be launched on May 29, 2018, and is set to release on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. 

Initially announced a couple of years ago, Agony takes players into the depths of hell and players assume the role of a tormented soul with no recollection of the past and how it got thrown into hell. As reality sets in, the player will face the struggle to escape the horrifying environment surrounded by other cursed souls damned for eternity. The player’s mission is to locate the Red Goddess, who is the only one that can help the player escape hell. 

Currently, Madmind Studios is working with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) on the game’s rating. It appears that the ESRB is threatening the developers with an AO (adults only) rating due to the excessive depiction of violence, gore, and nudity in the game. Of course, an AO rating would mean that Agony will not be allowed to release on both the PlayStation and Xbox platforms. However, Madmind Studios is committed to keeping its promise in the Kickstarter campaign to launch Agony on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One, which is why the developer agreed to modify parts of the game to get an M (mature) rating instead of an AO. 

“For many months we have been conducting interviews with age-rating companies in order not to cut out entire scenes from the game but at the same time modify it enough (e.g., just slightly changing the camera’s frame) to get an M (Mature) rating instead of AO (Adult-Only) rating. AO rating means that the game could not be released on PS4 and Xbox One, and we would not keep the promise made on the Kickstarter.”

Madmind Studios do not agree with the ESRB's initial rating, which they made clear in their update notes. Given that, the studio will include an optional patch in the PC that will remove the censored content for those players who are interested in experiencing Agony the way the developers wanted. Unfortunately, the same cannot be done to consoles, which is why Madmind will allow Kickstarter backers who initially chose the console version to switch to the PC version once the game launches. 

Agony is set to release on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on May 29. 

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