In a move predicted by more than a few comments at Joystiq, Rockstar's controversial title Bully has received a T for Teen rating from the ESRB. Questionable content includes Crude Humor, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence. Go ahead, let that one sink in, we'll wait.
What does the T rating mean, exactly? Most retail outlets follow one simple rule of thumb: don't sell Mature-rated games to minors. According to the ESRB's official ratings guide, "Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older." Come October, little Billy won't need to ask him mom or bribe a homeless man into buying the game, he can do it himself.
Wal-mart, after pulling Bully pre-orders a few weeks back (for various, disputed reasons), is now taking pre-orders on its web site.
With the political season in full swing, we imagine more than a few politicians will cite this case as an example of the ESRB's negligence, or how the ratings system is "out of touch with" or "destroying" American values. Keep in mind the game has no guns or knives, disproving the theory that this title is a "Columbine simulator" (as purported by anti-game activist Jack Thompson).
Bully will be released October 16 for the PlayStation 2.