Welcome to the Censored Gaming Recap! In these articles, we take a look back at all of the latest happenings in the world of censorship and then round them up in a special weekly feature.
This time sees more info about the soon to be released Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors, which has had new details about its Western censorship revealed, as well as some new insight into why German versions of the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered had to be censored.
As a reminder, the dungeon crawling RPG Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors has had various changes made to its artwork outside of Japan, due to advice from the ESRB that, without edits, the title was likely to receive a dreaded Adults Only rating.
Despite not actually being submitted for a rating, publishers are able to consult with the ESRB during the development process and receive advice about matters such as this.
NIS America responded with a long blog post, explaining the reasoning for the censorship. They talk about how the heavy use of bondage and other nonconsensual sexual themes were the main cause for concern. Due to this, all restraints will be absent from the Western artwork, voices have been completely removed from the "Motivation" mini game, which is used to raise stats, the mini game itself has been renamed from its original name of "Punishment" and the characters' ages have been removed as well.
Alongside this, other alterations were made to the artwork, again, due to advice from the ESRB over the overall impression that these elements give. This means that things like nipple bumps and visible underwear have been removed in the Western versions.
Following Censored Gaming recently reporting on a post that NIS America employee Prinny Supervisor made on their forums, which stated that around half of the Motivation artwork has been censored, the localization team member was able to look into the matter some more.
It has now been revealed that:
More than half of the total Motivation scenes have been edited in some way. The overwhelming majority of these edits, something like 30 in total (including regular and Knighted outfits), were just removing chains/ropes. I found approximately 10 instances of more noticeable changes, such as changing a pose or adding clothes (mostly involving Mizuki and Kuroe). In short, more than half of the Motivation images were changed, but most of the changes were just removing visible restraints.
Important to point out is that they do stress that these numbers are still estimates, as they are not able to look at the final game file.
Because I don't want to be caught with my foot in my mouth, I thought it appropriate to go in and check how many Motivation scenes were edited. My first estimate of "half" was in the middle of the process, so the information I had was not perfect. Now that we are near release, I have more solid data. This is still an estimate, as I am not looking at the final game rom, but based on the best information that I have available at this time:
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors will be coming to the PlayStation Vita in Europe September 23rd. It has been delayed in the US due to manufacturing issues and will be available in North America October 11th.
To now move on to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, last week we reported how Activision had confirmed that the remastered release of Call of Duty IV: Modern Warfare would be censored in Germany the same as the original version was.
This is due to the original being placed on Germany's infamous List of Media Harmful To Young People and the censorship involved completely removing the arcade mode, as well as toning down a violent cutscene during the story. Whilst the removal of the arcade mode may seem quite confusing, this is due to the lack of narrative and the killing being seen as purely senseless. This is comparable to the removal of the Assignment Ada and Mercenaries modes from German versions of Resident Evil 4.
Speaking to the German website GameStar, Activision has given a new statement about the situation with the German release. It turns out that the publisher tried to get the title delisted from the list of harmful media, this being what's preventing an official uncensored release, however, the German government still won't allow it.
This has come as a big surprise to many German players, after all, since Call of Duty IV's release, nearly 10 years ago, the situation with censorship in Germany has somewhat eased up. For example, Mortal Kombat X was released in Germany completely uncensored, whilst previous titles had been unable to be officially released.
There has been a new cause for concern recently, though, with the Munich shooting prompting an influential German politician to criticise video games, as well as leading to all coverage of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s ELEAGUE being pulled from German TV.
It's hard to completely understand the government's rationale sometimes, but, for any new developments about censorship in Germany, you can be sure that you'll be able to find it reported here as soon as anything comes up.
Modern Warfare Remastered is packaged with special edition versions of the latest main entry in the Call of Duty series, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
Infinite Warfare is scheduled to be released worldwide November 4th and, at this stage, it’s not possible to purchase Modern Warfare Remastered separately.