[UPDATE 1]: The VSC responded to our request for a statement, and while they had no new information to offer regarding the classification, there are a few corrections to make.
Matrix Software’s titillating Omega Labyrinth Z has been refused classification in the UK, according to publisher PQube. The classification, which is handled by the Video Standards Council, or VSC, effectively bans Omega Labyrinth Z in the UK. The reasoning, well worth a read in its own right, does clarify that it would be possible to sell digital copies of the game. PQube, however, states that it prevents them from getting a license to sell it on the PSN in the UK, likely related to policies on the PlayStation Store. However, as the VSC handles PEGI ratings in the UK, it is highly unlikely that Sony would allow any game that’s been refused classification to be sold on PSN. PQube also indicated on Twitter that the ruling was final, suggesting that they would not be appealing the ruling.
Please note that while the trailer above lists a “Provisional PEGI 16” rating, Omega Labyrinth Z was awarded a PEGI 18 rating. Those of us here in America have nothing to worry about as the ERSB handed down a Mature rating.
#OmegaLabyrinthZ news – the game has been rated PEGI 18 in Europe. The game is still coming out worldwide, with the exception of the UK, Germany and Australia.
No boobs have been harmed in the rating of this game. https://t.co/xt0anUE9hi
— PQube (@PQubeGames) March 12, 2018
The British Board of Film Classification refused classification for a game only twice before: Carmageddon, in 1999, and Manhunt 2, in 2007. These bans were later overturned on appeal. The VSC took over as the UK games regulator in 2012. There’s something humorous about Omega Labyrinth Z being in the company of notoriously violent games. Of course, the VSC saw it differently, writing in their report:
There is a serious danger that impressionable people, i.e. children and young people viewing the game would conclude that the sexual activity represented normal sexual [behavior]. There is a constant theme of sexual innuendo and activity throughout the game that suggests [behavior] likely to [normalize] sexual activity towards children. As a means of reward gained by successfully navigating the game, the player has the means to sexually stimulate the female characters by using either a hand held remote device or touch screen software.
Despite the classification refusal, PQube still plans on releasing Omega Labyrinth Z in other territories. Omega Labyrinth Z was already refused classification in Australia and Germany. Several news reports also do point out that while selling physical copies of Omega Labyrinth Z is now impossible, importing the game for personal use is possible. PQube is no stranger to having games denied classification, either. Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni was also refused classification, albeit in Germany.
This is the second time in recent months that the VSC has been involved in a game’s classification. Previously, British MPs sought to have Detroit: Become Human banned because of its depiction of child abuse. In that case, the VSC responded by pointing out that the bar for a game to be banned is deliberately set high. As the VSC had not received Detroit: Become Human for review, it was physically impossible to ban the game at that time.
As a game, Omega Labyrinth Z is a sequel to the original Omega Labyrinth, a “roguelike dungeon crawling RPG.” Omega Labyrinth and its sequel follow the life of Aina Akamiya and her friends. Aina and her comrades adventure into randomly generated dungeons in order to acquire the “Holy Grail of Beauty.” As the girls level up, so do the size of their, uh, breasts. With no qualms about fanservice, Omega Labyrinth Z appears to have gone even further, adding a number of lewd and lascivious minigames. Omega Labyrinth Z will be available sometime in Spring 2018, though not in Germany, Australia or the UK.
We have reached out to PQube and the VSC for further information, and will update the article if we learn more.