In an interview with SCEE blog Three Speech, Naughty Dog's Evan Wells has been answering a bunch of questions sent in by Three Speech "readers". Most are fairly run-of-the-mill, but one's pretty interesting, if only from a cultural standpoint. The question was, basically, why can't I shoot the fish in the game? The answer:
We had hit reactions and even some death animations for the wildlife in the game but we chose to remove it. It was flagged as a potential issue by the ESRB and it seemed like a small concession to make in order to maintain our "Teen" rating. It may have also affected the rating in Europe.
So...killing hundreds and hundreds of human beings with guns and explosives and your bare hands is totally cool, but shooting some fish in a river can jeopardise a "teen" rating? What a strange and hilarious world we live in.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY NAUGHTY DOG'S EVAN WELLS: PART ONE [Three Speech, via Game|Life]