In early July 3D Realms received a violation notice from the ESRB, which has now precipitated one of the more public industry outcries against the ESRB. Scott Miller of 3D Realms spoke out against the industry regulator to The Hollywood Reporter after his company received "Internet Warning Notice" for 31 violations on their website. Miller was upset because he says his publishers handle all the rating stuff, so for the ESRB to send him a letter about violating rules because of old icons and no content descriptors made him feel like they were "sucker punching" game developers and that "The Dark Side is in control." 3D Realms' failure to comply would result in a $10,000 fine per violation.
Miller has a laundry list of issues with the ESRB and the way they handled this situation, but the ESRB says they are simply enforcing the rules the industry placed upon itself. The ESRB's Patricia Vance says, "Unfortunately, due to 3D Realms' lack of experience submitting games to the ESRB, it would appear that they were unaware of the various industry guidelines in place and the consequences of not complying with those guidelines." Was that a Duke Nukem' Forever dig? We're sure there'll be more scuffles between developers and the ESRB. The same way the film industry has fights between directors/producers and the MPAA rating board. But the ESRB will pretty much tell you, it's either their way, the self-regulated way, or regulation will fall to the US government.