ELSPA have put out a breakdown of the ratings assigned to games in 2007, and found that games rated M are declining:
The E category saw the largest increase over last year, accounting for nearly 60% of ratings assigned overall. The M (Mature 17+) category represented 6% of the overall ratings assigned, down from 8% in 2006 and 12% in 2005.
It’s often been said that M games are a minority of those released, and it sits interestingly with the amount of attention and criticism game get on the basis of them, even from game developers. I guess sales might tell a slightly different story to ELSPA’s ratings pie, but nonetheless, it really shouldn’t take much more than this to create a deafening silence from unfair media outlets.
Also, where’s Adults Only in the breakdown? Has it almost entirely disappeared due to large US retailers refusing to stock it?