It should be of no surprise to learn that the mainstream video game industry has a severe aversion to mature themes in video games. I am not talking about M rated games. We have plenty of those. I am not talking about AO rated games. Those don’t really constitute maturity any more than M rated games. I am talking about mature themes. Themes that are meant to draw out emotions other than “Oh wow!!! Did you see that explosion?!?!?!”
If you look back over the years, you will find stories of games that were rejected by major publishers and console companies because they felt the theme was too bold. One such game was the DS game Imagination Is The Only Escape which told the story of a young holocaust victim as he tried to escape reality through his imagination. The game was cancelled because the topic was too controversial. Another more recent game was Six Days In Fallujah which was cancelled by Konami over concerns that it made light of war and that battle in particular. I am barely scratching the surface here.
We now learn that if it weren’t for Sony taking a chance, we may not have had one of the most critically acclaimed games, even if it wasn’t one of the best selling games, in recent history. When developer Quantic Dreams was shopping around the idea of Heavy Rain to prospective publishers, Microsoft felt the theme of kidnapped children was too mature and controversial to address.