When a game gets delayed, it’s usually to remove bugs or fix problems testers found before the game goes gold – not so much for the highly anticipated Windows Vista version of Halo 2. The Vista version of the 2004 Xbox shooter was delayed nearly a week when developers found a bit of partial nudity in the game’s map editor.
As if a bare-bottomed Master Chief wasn’t weird enough, Microsoft has issued an official statement and declared that the delay will not be used to remove the content from the game as it has already gone gold. The company will use the extra time rather to update the game’s packaging with a warning sticker and develop a patch that will be available via the game’s official website upon the game’s release.
"After the M (Mature 17+) rating assignment was issued for Halo 2 for Vista and just prior to the shipment of the game to retail, Microsoft notified ESRB about pertinent content found in a map editor tool that is being bundled with the game," an ESRB representative told GameDaily. "The content in question, although likely to be inaccessible to the vast majority of users, displays a photograph of an individual showing his bare backside to the user when a particular error occurs, and thus warrants a 'Partial Nudity' content descriptor in order to alert consumers to its presence in the product. Microsoft has therefore applied stickers with correct ESRB rating information to the packaging of virtually all copies that will ship to retail in the U.S. and Canada. We have been advised by Microsoft that future runs of the game will be produced without the We have been advised by Microsoft that future runs of the game will be produced without the content in question, thus negating the need for the descriptor to be displayed on those versions.
"ESRB's job is to ensure that games are appropriately labeled, and that is precisely what we did in this case. We greatly appreciate Microsoft's cooperation in this matter."