MadWorld Not Planning Releases in Censor-Heavy Countries

PlatinumGames' MadWorld, the action-adventure Wii game from the studio composed of Resident Evil, Viewtiful Joe, God Hand and Okami veterans, is so violent that publisher Sega isn't optimistic about getting the game released in Japan.

And PlatinumGames and Sega are both Japanese companies.

Sega doesn't even plan to show the game at next week's Tokyo Game Show, according to MTV Multiplayer. In fact, "any Japanese release will be evaluated after MadWorld is released here."

The plan is undoubtedly in response to a recent spate of Japanese bannings for violence, the most recent being EA Redwood Shores' Dead Space. But the other usual suspects in censorship cases--Germany and Australia--are being treated the same way. "[The German and Australian] markets could see MadWorld, but it's not part of Sega's strategy right now," reads MTV's report.

MadWorld is violent enough to make headlines at Shacknews for that alone. As such, Sega's even concerned about the game's release in the land that inspired Grand Theft Auto 4. "Sega is working closely with the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to ensure the game receives just an M rating ... The ESRB receives new builds on a regular basis and Sega notes their feedback. Sega ... isn't looking to surprise them."

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 3, 2008 8:10 PM

    I don't think this is the right approach. These governments that ban these games for whatever reason - this is exactly the result they want to see; companies not even bothering at all.

    • reply
      October 3, 2008 8:15 PM

      And the right approach would be...?

      Releasing them and having them remain unclassified? Or outright banned?

      • reply
        October 3, 2008 8:44 PM

        Assist with movements/efforts to have these laws changed and in the meantime look for alternative methods of getting these games released in these countries. There's a loophole for everything, even stupid government laws against violent games.

        • reply
          October 4, 2008 1:05 AM

          I do believe that the modus operandi for getting such violent games released in stricter markets is censorship.

          Sure, helping to lobby the government regulators concerning video games is the goal. That's what the ESA is for here in North America, and I'm sure such organizations exist abroad in some capacity. But in the short term releasing a game to a ban or not releasing it tends to have the same effect: not changing legislatures minds at all.

    • reply
      October 3, 2008 10:01 PM

      Release them with a black box over what they consider objectionable and put a disclamer when you start that game "This game censored by ________ goverment"

      • reply
        October 4, 2008 12:38 AM

        It is likely a similar problem as the one in the US and Canada. Most, or all, retailers will not carry a game rated AO or unrated. Without neutering a game down to an M rating it will not have wide distribution.
        Assuming the situation is the same abroad: Even if it was economically viable to sell the game in porn stores the console manufacturers probably don't want to approve it.

        • reply
          October 4, 2008 12:56 AM

          I never said you shouldn't do that in US or Canada as well. But things do seem to be worse in other countries like Australian, Germany, and Japan sense the same games get by here and don't in those countries. Seems to be mostly problems with ratings systems in general.

          I wonder if/when digital distribution takes over people will still bother getting their games rated? Maybe not for consols for PC's why bother spending the time and money getting a rating if not having one is no impediment to your game reaching the consumer.

    • reply
      October 4, 2008 6:41 AM

      Which will make the citizens unhappy and will have the long term effect, hopefully, of making the laws change as people vote on what is important to them.

      I think this is the right approach, especially since the other approach looks like it involves censoring it everywhere.

      • reply
        October 4, 2008 7:19 AM

        The problem is that the issue affects a small minority of the population. A minority that is traditionally the opposite of vocal.

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