Twitch has just updated their Rules of Conduct and Terms of Service policies, effectively banning all ESRB Adult Only rated games from being streamed on the site.
An official Twitch representative has made the following statement in regards to their newly changed adult content streaming policies.
Our goal at Twitch is to create a safe, welcoming, inclusive community platform where everyone can feel comfortable and have fun. From time to time, we update our Rules of Conduct (RoC) in pursuit of this goal and to match emerging issues in the video game industry.
Previously, we made game-specific decisions about which games would and would not be available for broadcast – sometimes due to overtly sexual content, sometimes due to gratuitous violence. This is unsustainable and unclear, generating only further confusion among Twitch broadcasters. We would like to make this policy as transparent as possible.
Today, we’re updating the RoC with regard to Adult Only (AO) games. Simply put, AO games are not welcome on Twitch. Please refer to the ESRB’s Ratings Guide and list of Adults Only games for more information.
While the ESRB ratings apply exclusively to US titles, our policy extends to versions of these games inall 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 RoC is a living document that we update regularly based on community feedback and industry developments. We would appreciate your feedback, too.
Twitch later updated the post for clarity as the original did not mention ratings for games in other territories outside of North America as well as titles that have been given multiple ratings.
If a game’s US version is rated Adults Only by the ESRB, you should not broadcast that game on Twitch. However, ESRB rated Mature versions of Adults Only titles are permitted for streaming, such as Mature versions of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy.
Games rated 18+ by other rating systems are fine to stream, so long as they are not rated AO by the ESRB, and they don’t violate the standard language of our RoC and ToS.
Twitch has once again caught the public’s attention after the partially resolved Senran Kagura Estival Versus controversy, which resulted in several accounts being suspended for streaming the game. Before it was just an issue with one niche title, but now as another AO game, Hatred has gained mainstream notoriety and is close to being released, Twitch has made their policies even stricter and solidified their stance against adult oriented gaming. We’ll be following this story if, and when more information surfaces.
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