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Study: M rated games have higher scores, better sales

Ross Miller
09.11.07
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Two mothers are talking over a cup a tea. "I think my Billy is going to be well off," she said. "He's got the heart of a teenager. Doesn't swear or advocate violence or engage in promiscuous sex or any of that! He's going far in life."

The second mother shakes her head. "Sue Ellen, that's just not how the world works nowadays. My son John is a foul-mouthed bully who dreams about rivers of napalm and who picks fights with the local church group. In this zany world, John will be richer and more well-respected than that wuss you bore."

If that conversation makes no sense, replace the mothers with game publishers and the tea with, well, hot coffee. A recent study by the Electronic Entertainment Design and Research firm concluded that games rated Mature by the ESRB, despite being only one-tenth of the titles examined, "have both the highest average Metacritic scores and the highest average gross sales in the United States."

What does this say about the average video game consumer? It's hard to say, but we're thinking the industry is learning to grow up with its audience.

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