Game streaming service Twitch has updated its Rules of Conduct, in a move many gamers suspect is a direct response to one game in particular. Starting now, games rated Adults Only (AO) by the ESRB are officially forbidden from broadcast.
It’s not the first such move from Twitch – previously the company has made one-off, game-specific decisions based on questionable content including gratuitous violence or overtly sexual content. Now, the team has decided to make things a bit easier (and clearer) by simply announcing that “AO games are not welcome on Twitch“.
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 plan was to make things “more transparent”, but there’s one element that’s confused a lot of people – the North American AO rating has a significant amount of stigma attached, far beyond the Australian/NZ/UK R18+ equivalent. It’s taken a little while for Twitch to confirm exactly which games are prohibited from the service, and – for now at least – it looks like you can ignore the “in your territory” bit.
The RoC is a living document that we update regularly based on community feedback and industry developments. We would appreciate your feedback, too.
Obviously, one streaming service cutting support doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to find streamed gameplay of games like Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy – Director’s Cut online, just that you may need to look further afield.