This summer has been a big season for Vita games being banned in various countries; whether it was Criminal Girls 2 being refused rating in Germany, Gal*Gun: Double Peace being pulled from store shelves in Australia, or MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death getting refused classification in Australia - it hasn't exactly been the best time to be a German or Australian fan of the platform. Unfortunately, today brings us even more news to add to the increasingly large pile of games getting refused classification, as Germany has reportedly refused classification for PQube Games upcoming Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni. We already reported that the title had been refused classification in Australia, earlier this month.
The news comes from Rice Digital - a UK-based retailer with close ties to the game's publisher, PQube. In a blog post on their official site, Rice Digital explains that the title received similar comments to the other Vita title that Germany has refused classification recently: Criminal Girls 2. The title will not be sold in the country, due to the ratings board's claims that the title "contains 'content severely harmful to minors' and [claims] there is content that depicts “minors in unnatural and sexually explicit poses”. Due to the messy situation that surrounds the German rating system, the game could still technically be rated if the Index of Media Harmful to Young Persons refuses to add the game to their list. We have sent inquiries to the relevant parties surrounding the games situation in Germany. We'll update you as we learn more.
The title has been rated M by the ESRB and PEGI 16, and will release in the game's other planned regions unhindered. Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni is planned for a September 16th release, exclusively on PlayStation Vita. The game will also receive a Rice Digital-exclusive Limited Edition at launch. Look forward to more of our coverage on the title as we get closer to the game's launch.
We have reached out to the USK and PQube to find out more and will update when we find out more.
Update - We have received a reply from PQube regarding the game's refused classification in Germany:
I don't really have a lot I can tell you at this point. We only found it about the situation shortly before we all headed to Gamescom.We don't know yet what exactly caused them to refuse classification. Naturally, losing the German territory is a big deal, as it's the second biggest market in Europe. From what we can tell, it would have been for similar reasons that Criminal Girls was refused.
It's never good to see a game refused classification in a region - especially so close to other instances for games getting banned on the very same platform. Thankfully for fans of the titles that live in the regions where they have been soft-banned, you can still import them from another region, thanks to the Vita itself accepting carts from every country. Hopefully this rapid string of "bans" for Vita games doesn't leave a chilling effect on the localization industry - leading to games not being brought over to the west in any form.