The lights are on
You know that with a headline like that, there's a bigger story underneath (mostly because there are very few South Park images that aren't offensive in some way). Today, we posted screenshots for South Park: The Stick of Truth to accompany our preview. Two of them caused a bit of turmoil.
One of of those images was of Eric Cartman erupting fire from his rear end with the help of a lighter and some natural gas (you can see it up above). Another was of a poor child about to be "probed" by some aliens (that one's down below). Ubisoft decided they would rather not have those images out there. In an email, they told us that the ESRB had not approved them and that they should be taken down "per the ESRB."
The only problem is that the ESRB doesn't evaluate images intended to accompany editorial pieces. We reached out to the organization, and here's the statement we received:
Our guidelines pertain to materials that will be used for advertising and marketing purposes. Material that is only for editorial use is exempt from our guidelines.
When we received the email from Ubisoft, we complied as a courtesy. Those images are back up. And now we know that editorial publication of an image of Cartman farting fire is something that is completely outside the purview of the ESRB.