In a recent update on Kickstarter page, in the process of continued polish and preparation for release of Agony (which was delayed from its original March 30th release date), Madmind Studio has unfortunately run into censorship issues.
“As mentioned many times, every version of Agony, regardless of the platform, is identical in terms of content,” states the team. “However, in order to be able to publish the game, we had to make some compromises.” These compromises thankfully don’t involve cutting out entire sequences from the game, but “modify [the game] enough (e.g. just slightly changing the camera’s frame) to get an M (Mature) rating instead of AO (Adult-Only) rating.”
For those wondering, an AO rating is the equivalent to NC-17 for films. And just like those films slapped with the NC-17 rating aren’t allowed to be advertised or to be played in some theatres, the AO rating means that some retailers won’t carry the game. Or in the case of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the games can’t be granted a release, physical or otherwise.
Fortunately for PC users (which aren’t as restricted by the AO rating), Madmind are preparing “a special, optional patch for PC that will remove the aforementioned ‘censorship’. We would love to do something similar for consoles but from a technical and legal point of view it is simply not possible.” As a consolation, those backers who bought the console version of the game will have the opportunity to convert it into a PC version of the game, though those details won’t be provided until a later Kickstarter update.
So, what exactly was censored? The team isn’t going into specifics (spoilers, you know), but they do state that “none of the elements you have seen in Agony‘s promotional materials (gameplay, trailers, screenshots, GIFs) have been censored.” So yes, you do get to see all the hellish delights that we’ve seen so far in their uncensored glory in the game (which hopefully gets a firm release date soon).