Fallout 3 is finally with us on Friday, one of the most highly anticipated games of 2008 by far, yet Bethesda is running into a spot of bother with the ESRB over the game.

Bethesda's Pete Hines emailed numerous videogame sites to request that: "In connection with ESRB's advertising guidelines, you are instructed to remove immediately any of our Fallout 3 trailers from your website, pending further notice. Thank you for your attention to this matter."

There are no reasons given for the request, though Edge suggests that it probably relates to the videos of the developer walkthrough from this year's E3 that is likely to be identified by the ratings board as a breach of 'Principles and Guidelines for Responsible Advertising Practices'.

Slow-mo head explosion

The E3 trailer shows an enemy head exploding in slow motion which could well be in breach of the ESRB's advertising principles, which clearly state no game ad should show "graphic and/or excessive depictions of violence … graphic and/or excessive depictions of blood and/or gore".

The controversy could well work to gain Bethesda those valuable extra column inches around the week of the game's release. Indeed, the conspiracists among us are already suggesting it could have been planned. Who knows…

Bethesda's beautiful, apocalyptic masterpiece of a game is out Friday. Just buy it. (Unless you are under 18, that is!)