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ESRB asks Wartune publisher to cease marketing campaign using fake rating

The ESRB has requested the discontinuation of a marketing campaign for massively multiplayer online game Wartune that uses a fake "Adults Only" rating designed to mimic an ESRB logo, reports GamesIndustry.biz.

According to GamesIndustry, the ESRB has not yet rated the free-to-play tactical title, although its publishers have allegedly been emphasizing the rating in its advertising.

"We have advised the game's publisher that they must discontinue their unauthorized use of our AO rating icon in its marketing," an ESRB representative said.

ESRB guidelines state no advertising should "glamorize or exploit" ratings, which would put Wartune's campaign in violation. These advertisements, which have reportedly run on the Major Nelson blog and through Google AdSense, include the tagline "Adult Games Only" and a logo that appears similar to the official ESRB stamp.

The Ratings Board did not specify whether it contacted Chinese developer 7th Road or one if its publishers regarding the Wartune ads, according to GamesIndustry. Wartune is currently hosted by several online companies worldwide, including Armor Games, Kabam, Kongregate, Proficient City and R2Games in the U.S. and Europe, Koramgame in Italy and through various domains in China.

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