The Games Wal-Mart Doesn't Play

By on December 4, 2002, 4:54 AM
There is an interesting article on [URL=http://www.wired.com/news/games/0,2101,55955,00.html]Wired[/URL] that comments on the rough situation some game developers have to go through because of content restriction applied by certain big retailers, in this specific example, Wal-Mart.

Dominating about 25% of the videogame annual sales in the US, most of the mid sized publishers sure need the kind of exposure a big retailer could give them, even when it comes at a price. Some examples that apply to this would be BMX XXX, Giants and even Duke3D...

However, Wal-Mart's policies go far beyond saying no to a 16-year old at the cash register, say game developers and industry analysts. The company's purchasing managers also review games before they're published to ensure every aspect of the product -- from packaging to content -- toes the line with the retailer's conservative policies.




User Comments: 8

Got something to say? Post a comment
poertner_1274 said:
I never would have thought that Wal-Mart made gaming companies restrict content. I know they do it with CD's, but I figured it would be a waste of time doing games, because it is so hard to code in the first place, to go back and change things seems like a waste of time.They should just make another similar game to suit the younger crowd. ( I know wishful thinking, but an idea)
Gecko said:
I doubt they actually change the game just for Wal-Mart stores. I'm sure it's a matter of Wal-Mart reviewing it and just saying yes or no. In response the developers may try to change the game before release to appease Wal-Mart, but I doubt they make a separate "Wal-Mart Edition."I says hooray for Wal-Mart! These game developers have some really twisted and sick minds sometimes. Some of the games are just a little too dark and evil in nature. It's about time someone said "this is stepping over the line."
almost2nice said:
It really shouldn't be walmarts job to censor game content or even cd content at that. it is the parents duity to know what games there kids are playing, or the music they are listening to. The most Walmart should do is deny children under the age of 17 to buy M rated games. Let the parents do there job!
Rick said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by Gecko [/i][b]I doubt they actually change the game just for Wal-Mart stores. [/b][/quote] I doubt this very much. When it comes to Pride vs Money, money usually ends up the winner for big corporations like this. Of course, what can't be changed is probably blackmailed or bribed. ;)I don't know.. After looking at some of the stuff Wal-Mart has, I am leery of believing this myself. I mean, come on.. Quake 2.. Quake 3.. Unreal Tournament.. Thes are reasonably violent games, correct?Perhaps they look more for foul language or sexual content?
MoRulez said:
Hmmm....Look into my crystal ball....I see...similarities....between the music industry...and....Walmart's discretion of picking games to sell. Just another example of a big company blocking innovation and creativity in an industry to garner sales. Another example : Composer Ron Jones who has done music for tons of t.v. shows and games (including ST: TNG ) says this in a recent interview ...Interviewer: You've worked for all the major networks and several of the big cable networks. How have you seen the process of scoring for television change since you first started out?RJ: There used to be more freedom. Now its become more like an advertising agency. Things are done by committee and you can feel like you're working for accountants, as opposed to creative producers...Because television has become frightened of all the breakdown in its market share, it has had to become much more like an advertising agency. They say, "Ok. How are we going to sell this product." So instead of going with their intuition and bringing on people who bring intuitive ideas, they go with the "patented format." And its just sad because they are just killing the little audience that's there. People can smell a dead fish.
MrGaribaldi said:
I don't really see a problem if walmart wants to restrict which games they sell in their shops... There are quite a few games out there which has content not suited for underaged children... And I'm not talking about the Quake and Unreal series... (C'mon, those doesn't have too much realism in them...) Besides, I wouldn't call Id software or Epic mid-sized publishers... But I do put a ? when it comes to the actualy censoring of games... Why can't they just get set a higher age limit, or get the publisher to do that? And maybe put it in a special section... Though the latter might just do the opposite of what walmart wants... (It's increadible how ppl are drawn towards the "forbidden"...).02$
Injecto said:
They will always be about the profit. Really strange and dark games don't have the sales they want. Look in their sporting goods dept in the states that sell guns, their are no handguns right ? well not on the racks anyway but guess what they will order any handgun you want from their gun catalog. They want to be the store that looks like their doing somthing that no one else is. But their not.
Mictlantecuhtli said:
Games are like movies these days when it comes to censoring - it's not the violence that matters but sex. The US is very conservative in this, Europe is not, I'm not sure about Asia.
Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.