NISA's upcoming game Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors has recently been given some news that will impact where it can launch. The German Video Game Rating Board, the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (henceforth known as USK), has refused to rate it, meaning that the title cannot be advertised or sold at retail in Germany.
In addition to this, there will be no Australian release of Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors in Australia or with an OFLC rating.
On the German front there they filed an official objection to the denial of rating, but the USK stood firm in their stance on the game. Based on the wording NISA used in their post on the topic, it appears that it is being placed on the Index which puts many rules on how the title can be sold and requires it to avoid being advertised at children even indirectly, requiring it not to be present in public. It is likely that the reason for the placement on the index has to do with the sexual themes of the game, and potentially the ages of the characters. According to the BPjM, the German High Court has defined pornography as follows:
Pornography is defined by the German High Court as a presentation of sexuality that is not connected to any kind of psychologically motivated human relationship and which glorifies sexual satisfaction as the only reason for human existence, accompanied by grossly depicted genitals.
This is a blow to NISA, as they have altered the game for Western release with new art and removing voices in some segments of the game to ensure it won't be given an Adults Only rating which would force it to be further modified and resubmitted. Our friends at Censored Gaming discussed this some in their weekly round-up article on censorship in games as more information recently became available on the censorship in Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors.
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors has received a PEGI 16 rating in the rest of Europe and will be releasing on September 23rd. In North America, it received an ESRB rating of M, and will be released on September 20th.
We are reaching out to all parties involved and will update this article with more information as it becomes available.
What do you think of Germany's decision to ban Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors? Do you think this might alter NISA's view on how to localize games or merely reinforce them? Share your thoughts in the comments below!