As reported by Japan’s Famitsu, Gears of War 4 will not be coming to the Japan. The reasons for the lack of a Japanese release has been explained to be due to the Japanese rating system (CERO) and the strict guidelines that games must follow to be given a rating.
Gears of War is, of course, a very violent series, featuring much dismemberment, exploding heads and plenty of that gruesome red stuff. In fact, some of the previous games actually were released in Japan but in a heavily censored form. This time, however, the amount of censorship that would be required has meant it was decided it wouldn’t be possible to release the title at all.
This is similar to games such as Mortal Kombat X, which was also not released in Japan due to the extreme violence that far surpassed anything that censorship could fix, in order to abide by the CERO rating system's requirements.
Other violent games, though, do get released, although in a censored form. See the changes made to the Japanese version of Until Dawn above.
However, all is not lost for those in Japan. It is being reported that the Western versions of Gears of War 4 will include Japanese subtitles, and so, importing is an option for not only an uncensored release but even localized text.
The decision to include Japanese text is something of an increasingly common trend to get around regional restrictions, taking advantage that both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are not region locked in most of the world. For example, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 included full English text in the Asian release, a title that was not released outside of Asia and Japan due to cultural differences.
Gears of War 4 will be released on Xbox One and PC October 11th, 2016.
What do you think about the restrictions that Japan’s CERO rating system impose? Would you like to see this trend of subtitled foreign releases continue? Let us know in the comments below!