Bethesda’s upcoming role-playing game, Starfield, has been rated ‘Mature 17+’ by the ESRB ratings board in the US. The game was previously rated ‘Restricted 18+’ in Australia due to its depiction of drug use, which is now revealed to involve a fictional drug called Aurora. In the game, players’ characters work in an illicit drug lab, and players can obtain Aurora by stealing or buying it from vendors. The consumption of Aurora results in a distortion effect on the screen, and it is an essential item in the game. The ESRB listing also mentions suggestive dialogue options that will play after “sharing a bed” with another character. Although sex will not be explicit in the game, players will be able to say any of the following lines after the act: “Life is a sexually transmitted disease that’s a hundred percent fatal,” “I’m all for getting a little wild, but next time let’s try it without the jetpacks,” and “Talk about seeing stars, whew… that was amazing.”
The ESRB rating has caused concern that Starfield may include microtransactions, as a brief reference to “in-game purchases” was spotted. However, it is worth noting that past Bethesda titles have also been flagged with this rating for their inclusion of downloadable content (DLC), so there is no need to worry about potential microtransactions yet.