Three of Xbox’s self-published titles just got rated in Australia.
As found by IdleSloth, these games received these ratings:
Clockwork Revolution – R-18
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II – R-18
South of Midnight – PG
Clockwork Revolution is a steampunk themed first person RPG that doesn’t even attempt to hide its inspiration from the Bioshock games, but that’s part of why fans are so excited for it. After learning that the city you live in was built via time alteration, you will find yourself exploiting some time hacks yourself.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is an action adventure game that brings Xbox’s favorite Pict woman, Senua, over to Iceland, where it seems she will once again face a few hallucinatory nightmare scenarios. This sequel stays with its original studio, Ninja Theory.
Finally, South of Midnight is also an action adventure, but with a completely different vibe. This one is heavily inspired by black Southern music and culture, but it also has a somewhat unexpected fantasy element. South of Midnight is being developed by Compulsion Games, of Contrast and We Happy Few fame.
That South of Midnight received a milder PG rating does seem to hint that this title is intended for younger gamers. The company that owns Double Fine and Mojang doesn’t necessarily need more games on that end. But this reflects more on the vision Compulsion has for the game. Maybe the violence that exists won’t appear to be explicit, or is perhaps obscured thanks to its magical / musical theme.
Subsequently, the R-18 ratings that Clockwork Revolution and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II received are predictable. They clearly reflect mature subject matter, and cater to the older fan base of gamers that do now constitute the bigger and more profitable segment of the market.
What is really interesting is that all three game ratings appeared at the same time. Microsoft has reinforced their intention to publish a major AAA every quarter moving forward. Furthermore, it is common knowledge at this point that if a game has received a rating, it indicates that the games are close to release. At the very least, they will be ready to publish.
So it looks like we received an early peek at Xbox’s AAA publishing schedule for 2024. If that’s the case, then we may even get an official reveal for one or all of these games in this year’s The Game Awards. As Microsoft has promised they will be bringing some important announcements on the show, we already know it will be worth watching for their fans.