There are a lot of sayings and songs about saying “never,” because never is a long time to try accounting for.
Back in the 90’s, Nintendo stood resolute in its defense of its own business practices, specifically with regards to the content it would allow to be published on their consoles. Conversely, SEGA was a bit more open-minded, which wound up putting them in the sights of the United States Senate when they convened to discuss the growing level of violence in video games.
In particular, two titles were in the government’s crosshairs: Mortal Kombat, a title available for both the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the SEGA Genesis, but only containing blood and the more “extreme” Fatalities in the latter, and Night Trap, a full-motion video that was originally exclusive to the SEGA CD add-on. Nintendo were thrilled by the development, and their Senior Vice President, Howard Lincoln, was more than happy to throw their growing rival under the bus.
But it’s funny how things change with time:
It was revealed back in April that the remastered version of Night Trap, which had already been released on Windows and PlayStation 4 the previous year, would be coming to the Nintendo Switch. And as of last Friday, August 24th, 2018, that release has come to pass.
Nintendo has come quite a way since the hearings which ultimately birthed the industry’s self-regulatory body, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, or ESRB. Less than a year later, Mortal Kombat II arrived on their 16-bit powerhouse, complete with all blood and Fatalities intact, kicking off a new era for the platform holder.
What’s funny is that all these years later, Night Trap — a game so decried for its alleged violent content that it received an “M” for Mature rating upon formation of the ratings system for “Realistic Violence” — now only merits a “T” for Teen rating for “Blood, Suggestive Themes, Violence.”
And that’s with higher-resolution, uncompressed visuals and more content than the original had, too.
Along with Nintendo now bankrolling M-rated titles such as Bayonetta 2 and its upcoming sequel (in something of a partnership with SEGA as an advisor, no less), it just goes to show just how much things have changed in the last 25 years — a pretty far cry from “never.”