Sleeping Dogs Penalizes Players For Harming Civilians, But Only In Japan

By Spencer . June 27, 2012 . 2:06am

imageSquare Enix will release Sleeping Dogs in Japan a month after its North American release under the name Sleeping Dogs Hong Kong Secret Police. The Japanese release is rated CERO Z, which makes it an adults only game you have to request at a store counter.


Sleeping Dogs still has a few cuts like an event scene where a person’s organs are exposed was modified. Another scene with a sexual reference was cleaned up with alternate camerawork. Square Enix also made one character who signals the start of a street race invincible, I suppose because players could run him or her over. Perhaps the most notable difference in the Japanese version is Square Enix added a penalty for attacking civilians in some missions.


Other than those changes, Sleeping Dogs Hong Kong Secret Police is the same game as Sleeping Dogs just with Japanese subtitles. Sleeping Dogs still has English and in some parts Cantonese voiceovers.


Sleeping Dogs comes out in North America on August 14 and in Japan on September 27.

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  • Tom_Phoenix

    “Another scene with a sexual reference was cleaned up with alternate camerawork.”

    But…but Japan LIVES for sexual references! =O

    • kupomogli

      Maybe United Front is cutting content as payback for all the content cut from western releases.  :P

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      O.o…… indeed lol.^^ What country do you think that introduce me NTR here?^^

    • d19xx

      There’s no tentacles involve, so it was considered disturbing…

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    …….So the only in Japan we are penalised for killing civils? While in the globally we can kill the civil freely???

    Man i don’t know whether that just indicated that Japan still has the point of view where everyone outside of Japan loves criminal thing here lol.

    • Suicunesol

      A friend of mine who comes from Japan once told me that it is believed by most Japanese that all American households own guns because of the large number of American films and TV shows featuring guns. But in Japan, firearms are prohibited unless they’re for sport, but even then there are restrictions, mental examinations, surprise inspections, etc.

      You can bet Japan has a different point of view on civilians owning firearms. :O So perhaps Japan DOES believe Americans love “criminal things”.

      • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

        …… Umm i am not from Japan here but i also thought “most” of U.S family does had  some firearms at home? As they are allowed to buy them on a gun shop isn’t it?

        • Suicunesol



          I don’t ask most people whether or not they own a gun. Maybe I’m not as knowledgeable about gun ownership as I thought. :P But judging from articles like this one ( and my own experience, there are probably not as many gun owners in the states as foreigners might think. Probably because guns don’t see much use from upstanding citizens, and some cities/neighborhoods are more dangerous than others. Less prosperous neighborhoods, for instance, and southern states will have more guns.

          Also, states have different policies on gun ownership. Sometimes you need a permit and sometimes you don’t.

        • No, my friend, most of us families DO NOT have firearms at home. They are not so simple to obtain either.

          … This disturbs me. What do your people think of us?

          • Scrooge_McDuck

             Well, the fact that US actually have legal, established gun shops is jarring enough for me. I just assume that since it’s a shop, you could just walk in, show some identification and license, then you’re good to go! Just like buying cars.

  • Guest

    Bring back metro train and ferry use please

  • feel sorry for Japanese. when I play an openworld game I always kill random people.

  • Göran Isacson

    Interesting look at how Japanese censor-ship works. Still, I think that I’m with Tom Phoenix down there when I say that removing sexual references of all things was really surprising. I guess it was something they couldn’t hide behind a pixellated mosaic, soooo censor-ship it is?

  • You know, I kind of like the changes in the Japanese release. I don’t need to see exposed organs, nor have I the need to kill innocent NPC’s. Might I go so far as to import this version? Perhaps…

    • Luna Kazemaru


    • amagidyne

      If you don’t have the need to kill innocent NPCs then why do you feel you need to be penalized for it? And nobody said anything about exposed organs..

  • Luna Kazemaru

    shouldn’t have a Z rating if you are trying to water down the game just saying but that’s the rating board there just as bad as the ones in the west lol.

    • British_Otaku

      It often happens that when being censored but still localised, the rating system staff still accept the game at the highest level. See Manhunt 2 being rated 18 in the UK but censored so bad it isn’t even funny.

      Typically it is as the game is by definition violent as hell (or just presses a button in the region in question) and censorship to get a lower rating would lower the appeal of the project by a large amount or cut huge amounts of game content.

  • Oltheros

    Haha…that’s funny, a game getting censored when localized for Japan and not the other way around.

  • Japanese games get brought over to the West with the sexuality toned down.
    Western games get brought to Japan with the violence toned down.

  • Hmm… This is actually an interesting development if you think about it.

    Games like Record Agarest War get mild censorship in the US for cartoonishly perverted material that isn’t taken as seriously in Japan.

    On the other hand, one could look at this and assume the Japanese take realistic violence and gore even more seriously than we Americans do.

    Thoughts? Please share them!

    • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

      Umm Japan accept perverted material maybe because they hope that the gamer will be driven to get a babe himself? And increase birth rate?

      While toning down violence because they wanted to avoid crazy case where criminal will claim that they do that because they are innfluenced by the game?

      • Levin_Scorpius

        Pretty sure Japan’s allowance of sexual content has decreased the birth rate and created many a terrible eternal-virgin manchild who post questionable material on the internet and act proud about it. Why would CERO even care about birth rate or whether or not some random dude/dudette had sex anyway? It’s not their job.

        Pretty much nobody has committed a crime because a video game influenced them to do so, the case more often being is that because a video game allows them to play criminal stops/dissuades them from preforming those illegal acts in real life.

      • LOL it’s like Levin_Aquarius said, the acceptance of extreme perversion and emphasis on unrealistic sexualism in Japan is one of the main reasons their Birth rate is down. Unfortunately, that whole “I only like 2-D girls” joke comes from an actual social problem amongst their people.

        As for the violence thing, I think it may be because Japanese games, despite the amount of action, have never really been truly gory. The worst it ever usually gets is Bayonetta-style violence where the enemies cartoonishly explode with blood.
        That doesn’t really speak for their other entertainment media though, I mean come on, Neon Genesis Evangelion… COME ON…

        • Azuku

          Wouldn’t that logic result in an increased birth rate and a decreased level of violent crime in the US? Because we allow more violence, but less sexual material? I mean, if the logic is that extreme exposure to something makes people uninterested in it.

          For cultural differences in regards to ratings boards, they’re not all that different. Japan’s a little harder on violence, the US is a little harder on sexual content, but neither by all that much. Record of Agarest War wasn’t censored in the US to my knowledge (we actually got the Japanese 360 version for both the PS3 and 360, which is the more sexual version), and it got a C rating in Japan, a T rating here, PEGI 16 in the UK. It’s pretty much teens and up everywhere. Agarest Zero has a D rating in Japan, yet a T rating here. Meanwhile The Witcher 2 has full blown, uncensored sex scenes and still only gets an M here.

          The article states that they’ve removed both violence and a “sexual reference” (what does that even mean?) from the game, so this isn’t even a really good example.

          The declining birth rate in Japan can be attributed to a number of things, more working women unwilling to be full time mothers, men who see no point in working for a family, increases in cost of living, a global recession, less jobs. You really think 2D porn is keeping people from starting families?

    • Scrooge_McDuck

      Well, Agarest was 15+ in Japan and 13+ in the US. But that notwithstanding, Japan generally gives more leeway for suggestive themes for their for their teens, as long as it doesn’t lead to sex. Sex and full-frontal nudity is usually censored hard, even in CERO Z games.

  • Setsu Oh

    ?? wouldn’t it be better to add a bonsu for not killing civis?

  • Zoglog

    lol, when I played the demo at E3 I beat the crap out of civilians for 20 minutes. Some asian guy came up and asked me what I was doing and what the objective was. I asked him “isn’t it obvious?”

  • DeadInHell

    It’s good to know that people of all nationalities can relate on the matter of being treated like children by media watchdogs, ratings boards, and so on. 

    Who knows what might have happened to society if a video game had gone uncensored. OH THE HORROR. 

  • similarly

    I live in Japan, and I can confirm that you can buy Sleeping Dogs off the shelf at Bic Camera. You don’t have to request it at the counter …

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