Why KI (4) NEEDS to maintain its T-rating

Hey guys, I ran across this video (not that I’m the only one…it is the #1 on trending on YouTube as of posting this) but MatPat makes a lot of good points about how ads and YouTube algorithms are hurting games with mature ratings and themes.

What does this mean for a future KI game? Well, to me I think staying the course it has had, maybe even add a few toggles to stuff like blood effects, (*coughdonttouchorchidski2outfitwithatenfootpolecough *)and KI will likely avoid all the red flags that keep videos about the game from seeing the light of day. If the goal for KI is to get as many eyeballs on the game as possible to grow the community, then it’s gotta be able to work the system, you know?

I also want it to be made clear, even though it’s no secret, I am a bit biased towards the idea of keeping KI at a conservative T rating. Although I don’t speak for all parents, being one I would prefer KI to stay the way it is in terms of gore because I love the franchise and if/when KI (4) comes out, I want to play it any time I d**n well please without “normal” people being horrified because my 6-year-old was exposed to video game characters getting drawn, quartered, flayed, beheaded, melted, mangled, etc.
Anyway, point is, I am a bit biased in this topic, so keep that in mind on this discussion, but what do you guys think about the video? Do you think KI would need to work the system or die? Or are you in the “consequences be damned, make KI a bloodbath of carnage!!!” camp?


I’d prefer a T rating because it makes the developers be more creative. I find most of the fatalities in MK boring. It’s all gore and not much else. If you look at Injustice 2’s supers are KI, they find ways to be cool without resorting to gore. It’s much more creative and awesome.


Well for starters let’s not forget the fact that the old KI games were rated T back in the 90’s, though they were re-rated M for the XB1 re-releases (probably as a safety? I don’t know).

Personally I never felt KI had any reason to go full gore like so many MK knockoffs did back in the day. At the same time I felt the reboot lacked the graphical style of the old games, where you could tell the budget was limited in places (like the ultimates for example). If they decide to keep a T-Rating for future games they have to have a bigger budget to make the animations over the top like the older games, if only for the ultimates at the very least; I’ve said this before, but Guilty Gear Xrd has finishers not much better than KI3’s Ultimates but with far better camera work and effects. Having that level of flair would justify the existence of ultimates being in the game, since most of the ones we got are mediocre at best.

With that said, if they want to go for an M-Rating then they should keep the level of violence about the same as KI1. Characters bleeding profusely after being stabbed by Sabrewulf or being melted by a lava trap created by Cinder was the most violent KI1 got, and I don’t really see a reason to go any further than that. Keep in mind how many people don’t actually like how violent MK games have gotten, as many feel it’s trying too hard to be realistic (though that was apparently the point since the 90s, according to NRS).


Yeah, a lot of people tend to forget that KI1 and 2 were both made back when Rare was a 2nd party developer for Nintendo. There was no way they were going to get away with anything too mature. I mean they eventually built up enough good will to have Conker happen, but Conker’s more of the exception that proves the rule.
But when you take off the nostalgia goggles, KI1 wasn’t exactly as dark and gritty as people remember it. And where it was dark is mostly just a result of the tech of the day more than it was an aesthetic choice. The pre/post fight animations didn’t have backgrounds, (neither did Jago’s level for some reason, though it was there in the SNES port), and one of the “darker” stages, Fulgore’s industrial stage, looks like it was ripped straight out of Donkey Kong Country.

And one other thing I think a lot of people don’t realize is KI3 has more blood in one match than KI 1& 2 would have playing them for a year straight.
Ok, that is definitely hyperbole, but point is hit for hit KI3 has tons more blood than KI 1 or 2 could ever produce, but as you play it happens so frequently it just becomes white noise over time so you stop noticing it and you just start focusing on out-maneuvering your opponent.
I’m in agreement though, I feel like the Ultimates on the whole were pretty creative given their limitations, and if the Ultimates were built into the game properly from the get-go, they would likely be a spectacle to behold.
Also, like you, I feel like MK’s finishers over time seem more like an anatomy lesson than anything to get excited over.

I wish KI would go back to making fun of ourselves as a society with its tropes, movie references and stereotypes, etc. Lighten up instead of tighten up. Just my personal taste. No need for mature rating, Teen rating is more than fine imo.


You mean Iron Man/ Transformers Fulgore, cave troll Eyedol, and Pirates of the Caribbean Spinal aren’t making fun of modern tropes? :upside_down_face:

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I never really wanted it to go m rated. If they did, I wouldn’t care. I think more of the problem in regulated to what Mat’s video is talking about is that advertisers and YouTube need to get their heads out of their asses and stop needlessly killing the industry like this. Channels like Adult Swim and Comedy Central still have commercials playing on them on television. So what’s the difference here?

Although I have to admit, if this lead to a resurgence of cartoony 3D platformers as a mainstream gaming staple, I would be extremely happy.

I think the T-rating is better fitting for KI anyway.


Mostly, predictability. If an advertiser puts ads on Comedy Central, they know well in advance what kind of content their ads will be playing on.
In the case of YouTube, you don’t know exactly if that one dorkly gamer that makes generally tame content is going to one day make a video in a German WW2 uniform(PewDePie), or ask a bunch of minors to send him nude pics(ProJared), or make a bunch of racist comments(Jontron)…
Of course, I’m just using these guys as examples of YouTube’s unpredictability. I know these instances are not the norm, but there have been enough high profile faux pas to cause…what…3 ADpocalypses? 4? I’ve lost track.

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i never cared about the level of violence on display with killer instinct. i cared more about beating the ever loving crap out of my opponents lol. sure the blood is a nice thing to have, but unless its MK im not expecting extreme amounts of gore. T rating is fine, and M rating would also be fine for me. i dont really care so long as the game is good and it is. i hope a future KI is planned and they continue to bring us greatness (if it even happens)


What did that youtuber says in the video?

In terms of whether KI “needs” to be Teen, I guess I mostly doubt it? High videogame violence is still pretty allowed on YouTube, at least provided the subjects of such destruction are aliens, zombies, or some other form of not-quite-human or cartoony horde. KI’s pretty monster heavy, so I suspect it would likely dodge a fair amount of the heat that has caught Mortal Kombat.

That said, I do think a T rating is generally good for business. Ultra-violence like MK or Gears of War is inherently limiting to some extent, and given KI’s model (free to play, tendency towards the spectacular, toybox-inspired characters) it makes sense to keep the rating at a level where interested parties can just hit “download” instead of having to do a bunch of research on “so x does what to who?” or argue to their mom about why they should be able to download it.

As has been pointed out, KI2013 characters lose approximately 3 bodies’ worth of blood per match, and I daresay that we don’t even notice it at this point. To @Sasuke99I’s point, I think good presentation and art direction/cinematography goes a lot further than just having characters mutilate one another in horrible ways or bleed all over the place.


@KevBones10 Just based on the title and the content of the thread, the video is talking about how YouTube’s algorithms are hurting video game IPs that portray realistic violence and other mature content in terms of monetization as well as advertising. If you wanted to watch for yourself, The Closed Caption option in the options menu should help. Though I would not be surprised if the captions are only semi-reliable.

But yeah. A good example of this in other videos is how Maximilian has to edit his MK11 footage not to trigger the algorithm’s red blood content flag or risk losing all monetization on his video. Same with Civvie11 editing the footage and video title in order to talk about the rather controversial Postal inspired game Hatred. Because games with mature content are getting especially hard to do Let’s Plays of for certain channels and demographics.

On the subject of Killer Instinct’s level of violence I think it’s fine as is. Apart from maybe Doom or RE2 Remake there just aren’t many games that can compete with MK for gore, and honestly it’s a niche they wear well. KI is carried more on the awesome characters and music as well as the uniquely awesome combo>breaker system. Sure having a billion gallons of blood on every hit is still cool, but it’s not the reason why the game is awesome.

The other major factor isn’t even YouTube but international releases. A lot of countries like Germany, Japan, and Australia require that violent games either tone down their content or get barred from release. For example the Japanese version of RE2 Remake has much less gore than the American release. This is partially due to government rulings yes, but also due to audience expectations abroad.

I think KI is in a very good place. It’s got a good edge, but also lots of whacky characters to make it stand out. It has its own merit and still gets lots of love for being what it is. And it’s not like the T rating has excluded us from cool finishers! The Ultimates for Fulgore, Tusk, and Hisako are some of my favorite in any game!


That’s what drew me to KI in the first place. Loved it too. It did what most fighting games don’t do. So yeah I think KI will survive with the rating it has.

I just hope people stop taking it so seriously to the point that they somehow think Rash isn’t a perfect fit for the game.

As an aside, PLEASE make Battletoads KI’s Ninja Gaiden/Final Fight and incorporate more characters from the series and add them to the actual story. So many cool designs in those games.

Personally I think KI should focus on adding new characters and add guests once they reached there limit on new characters while also keeping the essential 12. Which is the characters from KI-1 to KI-2.

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Ki 1 was never about gore, it was about being a mature game, that’s what made it cool, the gore from mk wore off pretty quickly after mk 1. Ki 1 was innovative, mature, and cool, that’s why it blew up in the arcades so fast. Ki should always be a mature game with some jokes thrown in. The difference between terminator 1 and 3 pretty much mirrors ki, t1 was the best IMO and 3 was pretty terrible because they didn’t respect what it was. This ki is great but it has tons of flaws that really don’t belong in the game. My 1994 werewolf turned into a 2013 dog

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Keeping KI in the style as it is currently is fine by me. Attacks in KI2013 have a great sense of impact and cadence to them, which is much more important to me than blood and gore. The game in general comes across as having a big superhero comic vibe to it now, with the absurd cast of characters and stylish flourishes, which I’ve always been into.

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What kind of flaws are they exactly? and what did you mean by made into a dog?

One of the quirks about KI is that it’s roster is a unique cast of characters that you won’t find anywhere else in other games. Where are you gonna find a game that lets you play as a werewolf, and ice alien, skeleton, and a cybernetic dinosaur. Any fighting game can let you play as a monk fighting a boxer, but you will never find a skeleton going head to head with a an extraterrestrial.

Or a 2-headed cycloptic satyr for that matter.

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