While it may not be the reason given for the delay of Agony, it looks like we may have found the true reason we are all waiting a bit longer for this title to launch and it is sadly censorship. At least that is what I am presuming here and not directly what Madmind Studio has said but it makes sense now. As it turns out, they have had to go through a few changes with Agony to get it to a place where it can release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. This had to come in the way of them altering the game to bring it down from an AO rating to an M rating. Consoles, for some dumb reason I am sure, will not allow for the publishing of AO titles so we had to have our sensibilities "saved" by a bit of censorship.
This may be a bit of a downer for fans out there who have been looking forward to Agony here, but it looks like it will only be an issue for console games at the end of the day. They are also bringing the edits and changes to make it an M rated game on PC, but there will be an optional patch that can be downloaded to bring Agony back to the original vision the team had. Again, though, this is only for the PC version so bear that in mind. Until the powers that be behind the console publishing get past this rating, we will keep having these issues and only get partial games from the artists working on them.
Thankfully, gamers who backed Agony during the Kickstarter campaign who opted for a console version will be able to change their choice to a PC version if they wish. Details on that are still coming but I am sure if you backed it you will get a notification to make the change if you want to. While no specifics on what was censored have been given out, we have been assured that it will be just the obfuscation of specific elements and scenes in Agony. The game by default will be the same across all platforms. Console gamers will just need to watch YouTube videos or streams to see what their little eyes and sensibilities could just not handle in the AO version of the game.
Dear Fans and Supporters!
As mentioned many times, every version of Agony, regardless of the platform, is identical in terms of content.
However, in order to be able to publish the game, we had to make some compromises. Otherwise, we would have had to delete the whole project and never release it. With that in mind, we have spent a lot of time to make sure that censorship will not affect the perception of the game. That is why for many months we have been conducting interviews with age-rating companies in order not to cut out entire scenes from the game but at the same time modify it enough (e.g. just slightly changing the camera's frame) to get an M (Mature) rating instead of AO (Adult-Only) rating. AO rating means that the game could not be released on PS4 and Xbox One, and we would not keep the promise made on the Kickstarter.
We also want to confirm that we are preparing a special, optional patch for PC that will remove the aforementioned "censorship". We would love to do something similar for consoles but from a technical and legal point of view it is simply not possible.
With that in mind, we decided that backers who have bought the console version of Agony will be able to convert it into a PC version. Details on how to do this will be provided soon in the next update, here on Kickstarter.
Many of you ask us what exactly we had to censor, fearing that the game you have been supporting for years will not be the same experience you hoped for. We do not want to list exactly what's been censored due to possible spoilers, but it is important for you to understand that none of the elements you have seen in Agony's promotional materials (gameplay, trailers, screenshots, GIFs) have been censored. Do not be afraid, the full version of Agony is much heavier than what you've seen so far anyway.
Thanks for your support and understanding,
How do you feel about the censorship coming to Agony just so it can hit the market on all platforms? Do you think that these months of interviews with the rating boards are the real reason for the delay or was it something else? Will you be changing over to a PC version of the game or sticking with your console version and just looking up the censored scenes after launch? Let us and the world know what you are thinking down in the comments and then feel free to discuss. For more on Agony as it comes, be sure to stick close to the site here. We will keep bringing you all of those updates as best we can.