Latest posts by Stephen Welsh (see all)
- Here’s All The Nintendo Switch Launch Games (and more!) - January 13, 2017
- NieR Automata Demo Out Now on PS4 - December 22, 2016
- Dark Souls 3 Ashes of Ariandel Review – The (Brief) Joy of Painting - October 30, 2016
Welcome to our new feature, The Censored Gaming Recap featuring YouTube’s Censored Gaming! Localisation changes, cut content, and outright denial of sales is an unfortunately ever-growing trend in today’s industry. We’re going to do our best to document gaming censorship as it happens, to make you aware of just what’s being affected and what content is being deemed too offensive for your libraries.
Bravely Second’s Tomahawk Class Replaced With Cowboys?
An image has surfaced suggesting that the Western localisation of Square Enix’s Bravely Second: End Layer will be censoring its “Tomahawk” job class. The role had characters dressed in attire reminiscent of Native American headdresses. If this image is legit, then the reason for changing the job class is presumably the old “cultural appropriation” argument. Rather unfortunate though that the class is supposedly being replaced by Cowboys. That seems a little *ahem* problematic… Also what kind of game called Bravely refuses to let you play as a Brave?
The image also shows a female party member’s clothing altered so that it doesn’t reveal any skin on her thighs like in the Japanese version. The original Bravely Default ran into this problem in the West as well, with costumes such as a skimpy bunny outfit for the girls covering up much more skin, while the almost-nude Wakoku Warrior clothes for a male party member were outright denied to the West. This is despite the characters being aged up to 18 to 21 compared to their Japanese depictions as 15 to 18 year olds.
Yohjo Simulator Pulled From Steam Due To Uncomfortable Easter Egg
Jumping on the bandwagon of ironic “Simulator” games this November was Sekai Project’s Yohjo Simulator – a rather shallow physics sandbox where the player is a little anime girl running around a generic city environment filled with random stuff like old men in speedos dancing on rooftops. Quality aside; the game was pulled from Steam after it an easter egg was discovered showing an unconscious girl with underwear at her side as a man stands in front staring in her direction. After an “overwhelming amount of complaints” emerged over this scene; Sekai Project pulled the game, and explained this was an oversight on their part, and that they would not have allowed the game to release with such content included had they known. The game will return with the scene removed, after the product in general sees further improvements.
Blade and Soul’s Raunchy Content Edited Out Because of “Misogyny”
Upcoming Korean MMO Blade & Soul appears to be getting subjected to censorship by an overzealous localisation team. Those working on the game’s Western release have expressed discomfort over the original script featuring “misogynistic” characters. A staff member went into detail on the game’s forums:
This particular NPC and quest chain was infamous among the team during localization. I was personally in charge of rewriting the entire quest line and NPC interactions in what is now called the “A Scholarly Path” side-quest chain. In the original version of the content, the NPC with the pun EN1 name “Ma Ture” was a misogynistic philanderer who, after having an affair with the wife of an official, ended up in prison for the insult. He suffered some unspecified abuse there that rendered him sexually impotent. As a result, the first few rounds of side-quests the PC does for him are essentially him sending the player out to find cures for his impotence. In the quest you mentioned, he’s being a peeping tom spying on women as they bathe. He wants the PC to steal some of their clothes because he believes that the women are “nymphs” and, because of some local legend, they will be forced to marry him if he has their clothes. In the end, it turns out the women were Lycandi and that the tribe has some kind of similar custom for an unexplained reason. Ma Ture ends up being forced to marry one of them and impregnates her, despite being very vocal about not having any sort of feelings for her, thinking she’s unattractive because she’s got muscles, and passive-aggressively blaming the PC for ruining his life because he’s stuck married to a woman he doesn’t like.
he whole thing was presented in a very questionable manner that sent up a lot of red flags while the quests were under review. The nature of the NPC, his actions, and the PC’s involvement in them made pretty much everyone on the team really uncomfortable. Doubly so considering there’s another side quest in that same zone that deals with the fact that Lycandi women get kidnapped and enslaved. It’s one thing to have content in a mature-rated game that addresses sexuality or plays around with adult humor, but another entirely where it makes use of crass and frankly misogynistic concepts. That sort of thing just isn’t funny and it raised way more concerns than it did laughs.
In the current EN3, the entire quest chain and NPC have been re-written. Effectively, the character was made into a decent human being who doesn’t go around trying to force women into marriage against their will. Now EN3’d as “Olgani”, the NPC is a scholar who’s studying the Lycandi in hopes of bringing their currently-at-odds communities together peacefully. In previous quests where he sent the PC off to find what he believed to be home remedy versions of Viagra, instead he’s asking the PC to help him research different aspects of the Lycandi’s lifestyle to better understand them. The bathing pool quest you mentioned earlier was changed to remove any degree of him spying on the women (while simultaneously poking fun at a bit of meta-humor from the writers involving confusion over the Lycandi character models). The end of the quest chain has him meeting one of the women – a scholar herself among her own people, interested in learning more about his culture as he was about hers.
It’s not a matter of censorship or anything like that. There are a number of quests and NPC interactions in the game that go into playful innuendos and the like. It’s more a question of whether or not we wanted to include some genuinely questionable and uncomfortable content when we had the ability to make it something more welcoming. When I’m presented with the choice of writing a character and story line that is pretty reprehensible without it being critical commentary on his actions, or reworking it to a more positive direction that isn’t going to make me and others squirm, I’m not exactly going to hesitate to go for the latter.
Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 Will Not Come West Due to Feminist Outcry Over Series
You’ve probably already heard all about this mess. Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 is the latest spinoff of the fighting game franchise, in which its female cast go to an island resort and frolic in tiny bikinis while playing beach volleyball, and the classic sport of Butt Battle. The series has received plenty of flack in the past for its unashamedly sexual focus. This has lead a Koei Tecmo community manager to explain that the game will not be coming West due to our media’s current moral crusade against boobies. Some have argued that there’s no such climate scaring Koei Tecmo away from releasing their game over here. The same people then proceeded to attack retailer Play-Asia for blaming social justice warriors on the cancellation of the Western release.
Idea Factory Wants to Avoid Censoring Games They Localise
Idea Factory International are a publisher of niche Japanese games such as the Hyperdimension Neptunia and Agarest series. In an interview with Operation Rainfall, IFI president Haru Akenaga explains that the current climate of Western games media has affected them in similar ways to Koei Tecmo:
In recent video game news Team Ninja PR has announced that they are not planning on releasing Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 here due to how the sexualization of women in video games is viewed in the West. Does this issue ever affect your process of choosing which games will be released in the West?
Haru – That’s honestly their decision, but yes, sadly, it has stopped us from localizing certain Compile Heart games. We don’t want to censor anymore because we know that’s not true to the original developed art.
Moe Chronicles was released with English subs in Asia. Will we start seeing English releases in Asia more often?
Haru –That’s actually Compile Heart Asia’s decision, not really ours. We could start seeing that more in Asia, but maybe we should do something to change in the West in the future. Anyway, we just don’t want to censor anymore.