Outlast 2 banned in Australia..briefly.
For a game about an apocalyptic religious sect which heavily features people skinned and skewered on spikes, Outlast 2 got in trouble with the Australian Ratings Board for the one thing the establishment abhors more than violence: sex. The ‘implication of sexual violence’ was too much for the land of Mad Max, with the board even refusing to give the highest R18+ rating.
However, apparently the developer Red Barrels sent in the wrong (unrepresentative) clip of the game to the rating board and, after some brief confusion, Outlast 2 was released to the glee of maniacs everywhere.
Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure banned in Australia for
being shit glorifying street art
Another game Australia refused to rate under the belief that it glorified street art/vandalism. And they may have had a point.
The premise of the game is that the ‘power of street art’ allows a youth from a bad part of town to take down a corrupt mayor who also murdered his father.
Command & Conquer: Generals banned in China because you get to destroy China
Where to start with this one?
The game begins with the nuclear annihilation of Beijing, continues with the destruction of both the Hong Kong Convention Center and Three Gorges Dam, and concludes with the option to bomb Tiananmen Square.
Although the Chinese authorities banning the game would seem to be justified due to the level of, ahem, ‘cultural sensitivity’, the number of games depicting the destruction of US landmarks seems to be at an all-time high.
Thank God for freedom of speech.
Fallout 3 banned in Australia for promoting drug use
Crazily, this ban actually caused the developers to completely change the content of the game.
The Australian censors didn’t like the use of morphine by the lead character, claiming it promoted drug use. Thus, morphine was changed to Med-X and, because the Australian authorities’ seem to believe that their citizens don’t know what an allusion is, the game was released with no further objections.
Witcher 2 banned in Australia for using sex as a reward
After Geralt completes a quest, he is given the option to have sex with a very lovely lady as a tribute. Despite it being down to the player to accept, the Aussies’ didn’t like the idea of ‘sex as a reward’ and promptly banned the game.
Now, the developers eventually changed the scene so that Geralt declines the offer by default, making him both a decent man and the action the most unrealistic
in a game about monster hunting.
China bans Football Manager 2005 for recognizing Tibet
Football Manager is a stat-based soccer management series that is both a worldwide phenomenon and one of the leading causes of divorce in the soccer-loving world (seriously).
So how does a game with no sex, violence, or pretty much any actual visuals, get banned? International sovereignty, of course.
The English version of the 2005 game, thus not meant for release in China, recognized Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet as independent nations. China didn’t like that, claiming the game (a game about managing a soccer teaqm) threatened “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
SEGA, the game’s developer, explained that the version of the game the Chinese authorities were seeing was, in fact, a pirated version, never meant for Chinese audiences.
A lesson about intellectual property rights there, China…
Manhunt 2 banned pretty much everywhere
The original Manhunt game was so gratuitously violent and borderline profane that, perhaps under pressure from an ever reactionary press, its successor was banned in several countries even before its release. Manhunt 2 was effectively banned in Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, while the US slapped it with an Adults Only rating.
Still, I’m sure Rockstar games weren’t too bothered; after all, they have a few other successful games out there.
Battlefield 3 banned in Iran for inciting terror
International furor alert!
In 2011, Iran banned the sale of Battlefield 3 over a scene in the game where American troops lay siege to Tehran. Authorities raided games shops and 5,000 prominent Iranians signed a petition claiming the US was creating hysteria in the international community against Iran. The only problem? EA never intended to release the game in Iran and all the seized games were pirated.
Still, they made there point
Dead Rising 3 banned in Germany for the humanoid enemies
The usual trick of turning humans into zombies doesn’t wash in Germany, who have very strict laws about any video game violence against human beings. Thus a game about zombies. while acceptable elsewhere in Europe, still counts as the killing of humans in Germany.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 banned in Pakistan for smearing the national image
Apparently, Pakistan didn’t like their country being equated with terror; which, ya know, is fair enough.
That didn’t stop games shops in Islamabad selling the game, however, with many store owners simply pleading ignorance.
Gotta make that money man!
Medal of Honor banned on US military bases for letting you play as the Taliban.
The 2010 release of the storied series allowed for playable Taliban characters in multiplayer mode, obviously not something the US military wanted its personnel to be indulging in (even virtually). Thus the selling of the game was banned on all US military bases, although you could still purchase it off-base and bring it back with you.
Because..freedom of speech maybe?
Mass Effect banned in Singapore for lesbianism
In 2007, Singapore banned Mass Effect due to an optional scene where Shephard and Liara T’soni indulge in some sapphic love. Unfortunately, due to Singapore’s improper games rating system, any sort of sexual conduct was considered extreme, no matter the actual content. Thankfully for curious Singaporeans, officials decided to use the state’s movie rating system instead and the game was duly released with a sexy 18 rating.
Interspecies lesbianism FTW!