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Calisto Protocol Has Been Cancelled in Japan After Developer Refusers to Censor the Violence and Gore

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This might come as a suprise to some of you, but Japan is actually something of a nanny state when it comes to video game censorship, especially when it comes to violence. The CERO rating system that Japan operates to set the ratings for video games will not allow very violent games to achieve a rating, resulting in many games having to be censored to be sold in that country. This has happened with Gears of War, Call of Duty, Dead Island, The Last of Us and even MGS5 to maim... I mean, name, a few.


For example, here is how even an 18+ rated game in Japan (Z rating) is still censored compared to a western version.


(To be fair, I do think that part in the western version whare the guys head comes clean off after being shot does look a little ridiculous)


This forces developers and publishers to make very different versions of games for Japan and the west in order to still sell the game in Japan. however, the developer of of Calisto Protocol Striking Distance Games have decided not to censor thier game to meet a CERO rating and not release the game in Japan officially at all. Story from Video Games Chronicle. According to the dev, the felt that censoring the game would stifle the vision for the game, so they have refused to do so.


Calisto Protocol and SDG studios are the brainchild of former Call of Duty and Dead Space veteran developer Glen Schofield and is considered a spiritual successor to Dead Space, with the game aiming for a bleak, helpless feel through it's horror and challenge. Because of that, I say good on you Glen. Obviously there are limits to what is acceptable to show in entertainment media and I don't think those limits need pointing out, but I do not understand why some organisations feel to need to shield adults from the violence and gore within games, movies or whatever that are rated specifically for adults. Why do that when the whole point of the rating system is to prevent, or at least discourage, people buying games for children that aren't appropriate? This is especially pointless in the modern era when we know people in Japan will find thier way around this, most likely though piracy, and play the "naughty western" version of the game anyway.


It is nice to see SDG sticking to thier principle and only letting thier game be shown only as intended, but do feel for the Japanese gamers who have to put up with this. Th powers that be at CERO need to take a long, hard look at themselves because this is pointless in this day in age and is only going to hurt developers who sell games in Japan.


Those are my thoughts, what do you all think?

Edited by Shagger
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Unfortunately Japan is known for their censorship. They block any content that has gore, otherwise it gets blurred out. I've watched a few Japanese shows a while back that were crime related and showed bodies, but anything too gory they would just outright blur. 

And with video games it's no different. COD and most horror games are toned down a lot in Japan compared to the US. 

As for this developer not releasing it in Japan, good on them. Yeah it means a big loss of sales, but it's the principle of it. The whole point of a ratings system is to rate a game/movie etc properly. So that if it's highly gory, people know and skip it if it's not their thing. People are smart, they know their limits and if it's something they find offensive, they have every right to not play the game or watch that movie or show. 

I doubt Japan would ever change their rules. 

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1 hour ago, Empire said:

That is insanely weird. How a country that made extremely violent anime such as Elfen Lied, Genocyber, Shōjo Tsubaki,etc. which involves tons of dismemberment is that same country that censors dismemberment in Call of Duty.


I think you will find that it's likely that those Anime's were censored for distribution in Japan. I know how that sounds, but even home-grown media in Japan gets censored compared to the version you have likely watched as someone living outside of Japan.

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Japan must think that once you get a taste of blood and missing limbs you will become a rabid Werewolf. As if people getting slaughtered on a boat before even setting foot on land isn’t gory? That’s horrible. Having a head blown off is portraying the fear, panic, and shock. Bullets and bombs do damage to the human body. If you have to censor missing limbs, then censor people getting shot. I don’t understand the option of even taking blood effects off of games either. As if hacking away at people with an axe is ok if the blood isn’t shown. What world is this? The politics of gore. It's not like this is even a controversial issue. At least it shouldn't be an issue for adults. Do they censor gore or nudity in movies? Does Japan have porn? Does their porn have a rating which prevents young people from watching? Then slap a rating on games and let there be gore for adults. How can you play a horror game in Japan when the effect of strewn body parts are taken away? Or do they keep body parts in there, but censor the torso with missing parts? Just hypocrisy. Do they allow animals with missing limbs getting blown off? If so, that is outright demonizing and disrespecting animals. And how would a deer's leg blown off any different from a human's? Does it make you want to go out a tear a deer's leg off? Imagine if the USA no longer has separation of church and state due to our politics. We will see all kinds of ridiculous censorship for adults in gaming. For christ's sake, these people think cartoons are turning kids trans. Those insane mother fuckers. 

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On 11/17/2022 at 3:01 AM, killamch89 said:

It's true - gore censorship in Japan is very much a thing and it's more stringent there than many countries in the west.

I believe they have a reason for this but I don't think any video game has been banned or censored where I am From, I don't know for a certain but I haven't heard of any.

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