Madmind Studio’s brand new crowdfunded horror title Agony will be receiving an official patch for the PC version in order to bypass the game’s censorship, which was originally there to retain a “Mature” (M) rating from the ESRB. Listed in our top 10 most anticipated horror games of 2018, the game has been noted for its use of nudity and sexual themes to deliver an intensely scary experience.
In a statement to backers on Agony‘s Kickstarter, the studio states: “[I]n order to be able to publish the game, we had to make some compromises.” Elaborating further, the developer insists that it has “spent a lot of time to make sure that censorship will not affect the perception of the game.” The reason that the devs have been censoring the game is to release on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems, which typically do not support “Adults Only” (AO) rated games.
Madmind clearly takes providing the game on consoles seriously, as it was a promise to backers on the Kickstarter page and will likely be popular options for sales. The studio has been “conducting interviews with age-rating companies in order not to cut out entire scenes from the game” so the game could be modified to a “Mature” rating instead of an “AO” rating, further showing how seriously it takes not changing the experience at all. For those that might not be familiar, Agony‘s dev team features veteran developers from Tom Clancy’s The Division and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, so the passion behind it is hard to doubt, and easy to see.
The PC patch that will remove this censorship will be optional for players and will be separate from the Steam game, most likely downloadable on an external website. For those who purchased a console copy, players will be able to exchange it for a PC copy, according to the studio.
Also, when asked, the studio states that it is not going to list the censorship changes as they could be considered “possible spoilers.” Madmind has elaborated that the promotional materials for the game remain uncensored, and caution players: “Do not be afraid, the full version of Agony is much heavier than what you’ve seen so far anyway.” It seems that Agony could become a classic modern horror game, and one that might have actual results from a Kickstarter.
In the comments of the update, developer TheHellMessenger confirmed that, as of yet, there is no change in censorship between regions. For example, Australia has been criticized for its strict laws on video game violence, even banning numerous games like Outlast 2. Whether Australia’s ratings board will do the same to Agony is yet to be seen.
Agony releases 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.