Idea Factory Explain The Censorship In Monster Monpiece

By Ishaan . January 23, 2014 . 1:13pm

Idea Factory recently e-mailed us a statement that goes over the censorship in Monster Monpiece in greater detail. The statement is as follow:

 

Idea Factory International is fully aware of the concerns expressed by fans, so we would like to inform everyone about the censored images in greater detail.

 

Monster Monpiece is a card battle game, in which players summon various “Monster Girls” onto the game’s battlefields and then fight their opponents. These cards—meaning the “Monster Girls”—are able to be powered up by exposing themselves (taking off their clothes) via the level-up features called First Crush Rub and Extreme Love.

 

We kept the same number of cards in the game as the original Japanese version, but replaced some of the higher level Monster Girl images with the “less exposed” lower level versions of the corresponding Monster Girls due to some intense sexual imagery. The number of censored cards is about 40 out of the approximately 350 card images available in the game. This means that over 300 cards are left untouched from the original images.

 

That said, each card that has had its image removed will still have the same number of levels for the player to increase, but the higher level card images will be the same as the lower level, even though they have leveled up and have become more powerful. We would like to emphasize that the game’s playtime, the game’s system, and the game’s features are all the same as the original Japanese release, and players can level up their Monster Girls to the highest levels as well, again, matching the Japanese release.

 

This was a very difficult decision since we work very hard to satisfy our fans and want to bring the same content being offered in Japan. However, Western society is not as lenient as that of Japan when sexual images are involved—especially images of humanoids that appear to be younger than a socially acceptable age. The borderline of what is “acceptable” will always be extremely gray and vary from person to person, but as a responsible company working in the U.S., we had to make the difficult decision that we did. We sincerely apologize for those who do not agree with any level of censorship, but we greatly appreciate your understanding with the decision we have made.

 

Monster Monpiece will be available this spring in North America and Europe for PS Vita.


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  • Tenshiken

    “Western society is not as lenient as that of Japan when sexual images
    are involved—especially images of humanoids that appear to be younger
    than a socially acceptable age.”

    I hope this doesn’t become a problem for IF or anyone else who is localizing games with potentially controversial content. (Xseed, I mean you)

    • KnifeAndFork

      When I read that I immediately think of the irony of censored Japanese porn

      Anyways the amount of butthurt over this silly game is silly.

      There are far more deserving games to be localized but the ones I have in mind aren’t under IF’s to do list anyway

      • J_Joestar

        isn’t censored Japanese porn something that was forced on to Japan by the western powers?
        and even then their Live Action Smut can still be a lot weirder on average.

        • Audie Bakerson

          I think that one goes back to the Meiji era.

          • brostar

            Correct. It was illegal to depict genitalia back in the Meji era. Something that has been retained since then. It’s probably something that is just normal to the Japanese and well removing that ban probably isn’t something a politician wants to have to go through. Imagine being known as the politician who wanted genitalia to be uncensored in porn.

          • Warboss Aohd

            he would be hailed as a pervert, but a probably a hero on the internet.

        • Slickyslacker

          The Western, post-war occupation of Japan sought to enforce its own standards of living and general decency in accord with what it thought was acceptable. In recent years, Japan has been silently trying to strip itself of such vestigial remains of occidental influences.

          Moreover, despite being decidedly the most perverse nation on the planet, they still have some level of modesty. For example, prostitution over there IS nationally illegal, you know.

      • Warboss Aohd

        you

        i like you

        let us go have tea.

    • wyrdwad

      I work for XSEED, and if we do censor anything in our future titles, it won’t be without a fight from me. See my response to the main article below — I’m a die-hard anti-censorship activist, and I’ve already given my coworkers all kinds of crap for omitting the characters’ ages from Senran Kagura Burst (which, BTW, were originally going to be present but all bumped up to 18+, which I successfully fought against doing).

      I can’t promise there won’t be censorship in any of our upcoming games (since my coworkers don’t share my views on this), but I can at least promise you this: if there is, we will tell you about it, and you’ll probably see me ranting about it on our forums (props to my boss, BTW, for allowing me to publicly address my concerns about censorship, even of our own games, without restriction). And you can be sure my coworkers will have endured a looooooot of verbal lashings from me over it. ;)

      • Crazy_O

        Well, if that is true, thank you.
        Fight the good fight. If things are uncensored, you get at least one LE sale from me (if it’s dual audio too).

        • wyrdwad

          Dual audio is a tough one. We try, but we usually end up having to go Japanese audio only, or (if the Japanese voice-acting license isn’t available) English audio only.

          That one is always out of our hands, sadly.

          • Crazy_O

            Well jp audio only is ok too. About english, well no. Especially if famous jp voices are being casted for the game.

            Btw. english is not my native language, I think there is a difference in storytelling depending on the language of the author and for me at least, it destroys the immersion if it’s dubbed.

            I know it can be problematic with licensing issues. I hope in your talks with jp developers you can convince some people of how important that is to some of their players oversea. If you look at services like crunchyroll, there are more and more people getting used to subtitles and start being able to recognize different voice actors. It is a thing, even if it’s not your native language you are able to hear a good performance and a bad one.

          • wyrdwad

            Oh, I don’t disagree. But a lot of times, it is literally impossible to use the Japanese voices. I don’t know what it is with Japanese voice contracts, but you’d be shocked at just how many of them are specifically “for use in Japan only” (or sometimes “for use in Asia only”). And when that’s the case, there’s simply no choice but to release dubbed, release with no voice-acting, or don’t release the game at all.

            And given those choices, we always pick dub (particularly in games where you can turn off the voice-acting, so that those who can’t stand dubs can at least play with no voices).

          • Crazy_O

            Do you have any numbers on how many people play with eng dub or jp dub if there is a choice?
            I actually am just writing my thesis media business and studies and plan to apply at a publisher for my first job. (In Europe btw) if you meet someone with my views 5 years from now, ask him if he posts on siliconera ;)

          • wyrdwad

            I don’t, I’m afraid. But I will say that most gamers don’t seem to be too picky about voice-acting language. As long as a game with voice-acting in Japan also has voice-acting in the west — in ANY language — people do still tend to buy it. I fear purists like you may be in the minority.

            Still, you guys are a very vocal minority, and there’s not a localization studio I know of that doesn’t try their damnedest to get the Japanese voices in every game they publish. Because a lot of us are just like you at heart. ;)

          • Crazy_O

            Thanks for all the fast answers, is it ok to link to your replies if it comes up in comments or on my blog/fb?

          • wyrdwad

            Sure. As long as you credit them to me personally (my name is Tom, BTW) and not to XSEED as a corporate entity. I’m a fairly outspoken individual, and often say things I regret, so I’d prefer not to have them attributed to XSEED when it’s really just me running my mouth off. ;)

          • Armane

            Atlus?

          • wyrdwad

            I’m… not sure what you’re asking. Are you asking if Atlus tries to keep the Japanese voice-acting in every game they publish? Because I believe the answer to that is yes — I don’t think they’ve ever released a dub-only game by choice, just as we haven’t.

          • Armane

            Yeah that’s what I was asking. I probably should have made it a bit clearer.

            I’m not sure I believe the answer is yes though, at least not for every property.

      • http://twitter.com/matty_125 matty

        Thanks for doing what you do ( ̄^ ̄)ゞ

  • Quinnjdq

    IF is trying really hard to keep it close the Japanese version and I honestly feel this is extremely good for what they had to do. Huge props on them for bringing something like this over!

  • Audie Bakerson

    Did they hire Beverly McLachlin to run IFI or something? A “responsible company” doesn’t support censorship.

    If they, for instance, got an AO from the ESRB and told they needed to cut these things to get a rating that won’t stop them from sale, I’d understand, but cutting out large chunks of content due entirely to your own choice? You go straight to the trash and I am not buying your product.

    Who the hell even decides what the “line” is here anyways?

    • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

      ^ doesn’t understand censorship and culture differences. Keep that up and we will have a right mess in these articles.

      • Audie Bakerson

        Funny you should mention that. The only people who would buy it want it FOR the cultural difference. No one seriously believes that anyone but western otaku has any interest in this game.

        • J_Joestar

          while it is true that it is a definitely a niche title, that wont stop crazy zealots who will harp on anything they deem remotely offensive even if it isn’t directed at them.

          • Audie Bakerson

            I don’t see why any sane company would give a damn.

            Oh no! Someone who wouldn’t have never even HEARD of my product is going to give it free advertising! This will RUIN us!

            Clickbaitaku and its kin have been at that shit for years, and the ONLY things that have gotten are because the devs were too stupid to realize they weren’t going to buy it anyways and gave in. The only thing that even got mainstream attention (rapelay) wasn’t even released in English, let alone the US.

          • J_Joestar

            Well in reasonable doses like how that guy from ONM’s anti-Senran Kagura rant seeming coincides with a sudden increase in UK Pre-orders, but they probably want to avoid getting to the point where politicians start trying to toss Sin Taxes and such at their products.

          • Audie Bakerson

            Which has been tried, repeatedly, and laughed out every single time (and not just for lack of supporters. There is a distinct lack of any metric that won’t run into Chicago V Morales beyond the private ESRB, which can’t be used because it is private).

          • GH56734

            Oh please. Some politicians in France had their career started with them launching the Hokuto no Ken controversy, which led successfully to the censorship, and eventually the cancellation of a very popular Japanese anime hour program.
            Nothing is safe, neither extremely popular media, nor extremely obscure import-only stuff like Rapelay which they still managed to make a controversy of. Stuff that’s not even accessible like the Hot Coffee scene led to games being banned.
            What do you think warrant taking this risk? (In the case of Xseed’s Senran Kagura, they removed the ages and made it digital-only)

          • Audie Bakerson

            Not losing money, because I assure you this will NOT do well.

            Rapelay didn’t even result in anything being done, it just got mainstream attention (but not all that much), and Hot Coffee, which was in one of the best sell games ever, not an obscure download only title, had actual sex, not lewd images (plus the career of its most prominent complainer is dead and buried).

          • GH56734

            Many, many political/media careers took off with controversies. There’s always a beginning.
            I’m sure this company has other activities and definitely doesn’t want to be involved with a loli erotica scandal: they do have an image and long-term goals that they wouldn’t like to waste on something as risque.

            (that eroge got banned from several countries, and the controversy embroiling it got so big Japanese feminists joined it. They say the company itself banned their own site for non-JP IPs. Not what I would call a happy ending)
            And there’s the fact the US is the lawsuit-happy land. It’s not important if you “win” or “lose”, for the huge expenses of the lawsuit will be the end of the company.

          • Audie Bakerson

            Business, especially new business, is all about risk and weighing odds.

            Sane businessmen will tell you the risk of a controversy errupting, when attempts to make such have been ignored or laughed at for almost half a decade is a better risk to take than pissing off 90% of the people who would want to buy your product.

            And you know what? The game is STILL overtly sexual enough for Cirno News Network and co to complain about it, so this solved ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

          • RagingTiger44

            Indeed. I think some critics out here would tear this games to shreds for images alone even with the censorship. Card battle system be damned. Given the nature of the game, there’s no way to avoid it.

          • wyrdwad

            They’re going to do that anyway, even with the censored version. I don’t think 40 extra smutty images would’ve made the backlash any worse, given the themes of this game.

      • Audie Bakerson

        ONE MORE THING! “Culture differences” is the POINT of exported art.

    • brostar

      I’d like to point out that sending something to the ESRB is crazy expensive. So doing that would be something only a big wealthy company can do. I doubt Idea Factory can afford to have it rated twice.

      • Cyo

        Was this receiving a physical release though? That doesn’t apply to digital releases anymore.

        • brostar

          Oh I see. I’m not 100% clear on it but I just know the ESRB charge a lot of money.

    • Cyo

      I think it’s total bullshit as well, but I can understand where they’re coming from. Imagine trying to sell your own product in the United States with semi-explicit loli images in it. Instead they just opted to not even go there and took out the more risque images.

      I even asked them if it was possible to include the cards with their original art as an optional DLC pack, but they said that would be impossible as well for the exact same reason.

      I don’t agree with it, but I suppose I can understand in this specific situation only because of the retards that would have jumped all over this on other gaming sites.

      • Audie Bakerson

        US Courts have been quite clear that even actually explicit loli is protected.

        • Cyo

          That is quite the naive way of looking at things.

        • ninjabart122

          I’d be wary about that. Just because something isn’t exactly forbidden doesn’t mean it’s fine to just have.

    • XiaomuArisu

      IF tried its best
      Censor is annoying,but the gameplay isnt affected.Its only the pics and those you can google

      • http://twitter.com/#!/Leafy_Cam Leafhopper

        Too bad a majority (not everyone) aren’t getting this game for the gameplay.

        • XiaomuArisu

          They can google the pics~

    • lozffvii

      “cutting out large chunks of content due entirely to your own choice?”
      “Who the hell even decides what the “line” is here anyways?”
      You haven’t even read the article, have you?
      Here, let me quote it for you:

      “Western society is not as lenient as that of Japan when sexual images are involved—especially images of humanoids that appear to be younger than a socially acceptable age.”

      In other words, they’re cutting anything that may be considered sexualisation of minors.
      Do you think that somebody won’t kick up a shit storm if they DIDN’T censor it?

      I’m against censorship, but I’m also aware when something is simply in bad taste and doesn’t affect the product if it’s removed anyway.

      • Crazy_O

        They will have that shitstorm anyway.

        This way they not only have the shitstorm from activists (who will find a new thing to complain about a month later) but also the fans who actually spend money on it.

        Yes, it’s a dumb move.

        • British_Otaku

          They won’t have to look hard for something to complain about. The game is still coming out worldwide with most of the content intact, unless the game isn’t being released in their region and is recalled in all regions, you could see some uproar against a game like this or Senran Kagura no matter what you do.

  • Yggdr5

    This is just a very elaborate way of them admitting that it’s unnecessary self-censoring.
    It wasn’t required by law or for the ratings, they voluntarily censored the game and gave themselves a higher ESRB Rating than necessary.
    Turns out they get a lot of free PR this way, from this point of view this decision was genius.

    • Audie Bakerson

      PR that makes people who WOULD buy your product avoid it like the plague and only pleases people who still aren’t going to buy your product. Mugen Souls and it’s failure to sell 75% of its LE a year after the game has come out (while most NISA LEs sell out entirely before release) shows that doesn’t help.

      • ninjabart122

        That makes it sound like that those people who would buy the product bought it just for the images as opposed to the game-play itself.

        It’s not exactly a deal-breaker for me to miss out on a few images that I personally wouldn’t be proud to be around with.

        • Hikari Langley

          Some do buy it for the images, and not the game. As for the case of Mugen Souls, it’s gameplay is pure crap.
          I love the loli fanservice but for Monster Monpiece, I can now see why they taken a few of the images out.
          I’ll consider getting the game, just to support them, but Mugen Souls Z is already out of the question.

        • Audie Bakerson

          It’s an IF game. Of course they were going to because they could never quite make their gameplay anything more than bearable.

          It’s just now NO ONE will buy it, even those who may have been interested in it for other reasons because people HATE censorship.

        • ronin4life

          I imagine the images weren’t the problem, but the principle: They refused to purchase to prove a point.
          You know how people always say we should boycott Capcom or SE for their ridiculous behavior, only for someone to say “people will buy it anyway”? Well, imagine that except the total number of people are ridiculously small: and almost ALL of them are on gaming forums. Unlike the pointless boycotting against FF, I can imagine such an action being quite noticeable. The niche CAN “Vote with their wallets” on Principle alone.

        • Crazy_O

          I buy it for all of it.
          Anything removed is a deal breaker. Even if it’s a sentence that was too naughty. Yes one line of text and I’m out.

          I have my priority, you have yours.

          • British_Otaku

            A pretty strict one, you are.
            I would like to think I’m around that level but I like Ace Attorney for some reason and probably know little of the cultural gags outside of the visual obvious ones… >_>

            What is your take on ages being removed from a piece of media, like Xseed did with Senran Kagura? I figure that it is cool for the game as the voice actors still reference it in Japanese (:P) and it doesn’t change any core facts which can be contradicted in sequels where either it is safe to show ages in profiles or everyone is over 18 or whatever.

          • Crazy_O

            I’m really against it, but it can be done without actually telling the age. Would require good writing though. If the story starts to get wierd because of it, absolutly no. I would rather have something like this: “But you are 1X. You shouldn’t drink alcohol!” or “You are under the drinking age!” Changing the age would make this conversation akward.

          • landlock

            Every single game that is translated into English is different from the original release. Weather it is a joke or the way something is said there is always something changed. You better not buy anything then.

          • Boku

            Pretty lazy argument since he’s talking about elements of the game being removed and not simply phrases being localised to make sense to a target demographic. Trying to turn some “naughty” script into something family friendly only really harms it; compare the translations of Muramasa between Wii and Vita versions. Removing innuendo or simple lurid language can destroy meaning or context.

          • landlock

            Not really since he said one line of text is enough.

          • Crazy_O

            Way to miss the point.

          • landlock

            apparently

      • landlock

        Yep, it was such a failure they bringing over the sequel this year. Weird that I guess.

        • Audie Bakerson

          I had no idea why they did that either. I suspect they were contractually obligated to do so.

          • landlock

            More then likely it still made a profit for them.

          • Boku

            Maybe. It could have simply been successful “enough” to warrant subsidising the cost of localisation. Hard to say, though, since Mugen Souls is kind of a rarity for NISA as in its not an already established series with fanbase to back it up. But another way to put context on the situation is that it sold (in both NA and EU) less than TokiTowa.

            Either way, NISA lost a LOT of trust with their dedicated fans over that. And thats not something they can throw any amount of money at to get back.

    • konsama

      I have to disagree on this, the game wasn’t fully censored, and most of the material that did was related to loli characters that didn’t only looked young teens, some even looked like really young girls.

      There’s a lot of people that can find that uncomfortable, not me cuz im an insensitive son of a bitch, but there’s thin line between having a voluptuous woman picture in very skimpy suits to having what looks like a 9-10 year old girl spreading her legs in a smaller suit than the voluptuous woman has.

      In the end to each his own, but i am with them on the action they took.

      And the game is for vita, if there is really someone that thirsty for lolis, they can import the japanese game very easily, Vita isn’t region locked or anything.

      • Audie Bakerson

        “some even looked like really young girls”

        Where do you live that really young girls have giant eyes, no nose and have spines/legs that can move in bizzare manners?

        • konsama

          Lmao way to stretch an answer.

          • Audie Bakerson

            I’m not joking. To make most animated children, even non-sexual ones, out as children and not flat dwarf women (or at least short/flat teenagers/young adults) is a massive suspension of disbelief dependent on the author and previous authors telling you outright these characters are children.

            Even just the basic limb proportions are completely separate from an actual child, and the samefaceness prevents any facial features from IDing them as children either.

          • konsama

            I can see your point, but of course most of the authors wouldn’t admit they are children or very young, even in japan those images can be seen as questionable. Hell most of them delude themselves making a character that looks like 9-10 year old but say she’s like 21. And that kind of stuff is mostly used in erotic doujinshis.

            It can also get quite complicated with the huge raise of “moe” and other stuff to add to it, but the thing is not what it really is or the author says, but what it look like, using the same term others use to defend the censorship, art is subjective and whether you drew a firefighter truck and people see it as a naked woman, it will surely get known as a naked woman and not what you say it is/was. I mentioned an example on another post here with the rafflesia and her “bleeding” boobs.

    • KuroNathan

      I thought that in europe they have stricter cp laws that extended to cartoon depictions as well? I was under the impression that’s why they censored mugen souls as well.

      • British_Otaku

        “In Europe” is very vague. I can find a number of sources confirming that Canada may have a problem (http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=37552 ) or the United States, but I would say all of us have strict CP laws which at random can extend to things aren’t child pornography.

        Mugen Souls would be censored for NA first, just going off NISA being an NA publisher who probably didn’t even go out their way to make it multi-5 (guessing…).

      • LegoBaka

        You’re thinking of the United Kingdom, which does indeed have strict anti-loli laws, as do other countries such as Finland, but in the latter’s case that mainly deals with customs and the importing of such goods.

        Pretty much every country is different, though no place in Europe is quite as restrictive as, say Australia (who will probably not even be seeing this game, poor souls).

        • British_Otaku

          Australia got Senran Kagura… Or at least will have it the same time that we do, so this could come to their PSN…

          And with that, they can visit the UK PSN store to get all of the goodies worst comes to worst.

          They are hardly poor souls for having to fiddle with their options a bit.

        • KuroNathan

          Ok so I was right about some countries having laws that actually prohibit this kind of content. I guess they couldn’t be bothered to create a separate US and European version

          • British_Otaku

            Curious that the UK’s laws haven’t picked up on Senran Kagura Burst and probably won’t do so if it is this close to release.

          • KuroNathan

            Maybe they’re only concerned with pre-pubescent anime characters?

          • landlock

            It’s pretty much not enforced. The only time I heard of any problems was when someone tried to import hardcore loli manga into the UK and it was picked up by customs.

    • Ladius

      The bit about giving themselves an M rating seems to be a complete misunderstanding, considering in their last twitter message they explicitely mentioned ESRB giving them an M rating because of the material they submitted.

      To be honest, it was the first time I ever heard of ESRB allowing publishers to self-rate their own games, digital or not. Afaik, they can do it if they want to go straight to AO (which would make the game unsuitable for anything but a PC release because of the rules decided by console platform holders), but not if they aim at lower ratings like T or M.

      Is there a source that validates this interpretation?

      https://twitter.com/IdeaFactoryIntl/status/426152562866130944/photo/1

    • Scipio

      Pretty much, you don’t see Aksys or XSEED doing this in their localizations. It’s their choice I guess, if the sells suffer for it or not, it’s on them.

  • J_Joestar

    to anyone familiar with the original uncut game, just how bad does it get?
    I mean how bad could it be that they had to outright remove the images rather than doing touch ups like a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh cards get?

    • ninjabart122

      Someone posted the images before. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d rather not be caught dead with these on-screen.

      http://imageshack.com/a/img856/6803/0wbg.png

      • Audie Bakerson

        Remember that Agarest and Neptunia, two IF titles that have come over COMPLETELY uncensored, have stuff on the same level as this.

        • brostar

          Really? Granted I haven’t played much of Neptunia because I gave up on how God awful the original was. So I didn’t see anything on the same level as those cards.

        • KuroNathan

          I don’t remember anything on the level of Maou Shibau bahamut or titania in Neptunia mk2

          • Audie Bakerson

            Well maybe not those, but those aren’t the only censored ones.

        • Wtv

          Dunno about Agarest, but Neptunia does not have things in this level in-game (promotional images, maybe).

          The only thing I can remember now that it’s close is the dogoos CG and those wires bondage in Mk2. Aside of that, is mostly panty-shots and skimpy clothes. And lolis are way less exposed than the older characters.

        • lozffvii

          Sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with you again. I’ve played 2 out of 3 Neptunia games (the GOOD two) and I haven’t seen cg’s anywhere near as bad as, say, the ‘Mau Shibau’ in that link that ninjabart122 posted.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou
        • XiaomuArisu

          Neptune?
          Nice cameo

        • KuroNathan

          this art… ugh I don’t mind the fanservice but the art itself is sort of poor quality.

        • konsama

          Well i wonder which of those 40 cards got censored, because if all 40 of those are max level upgrades, that would be roughly most of the cards max upgrades lolz.

      • Wtv

        I’m just wondering….Why Fia?

      • KuroNathan

        what’s wrong with kraken? I think she looks cute.

      • GameTaco

        In regard’s to Kaishou’s response containing the other image with the full evolution lines:

        While this doesn’t concern me (don’t own a Vita, no plans at this time to buy MonMon), I suppose it is an interesting angle on the specifics of censorship.

        Because, as I understand it, the card art for each evolution is basically the same art with less clothing and a different facial expression, does that mean we finally have that “line” we keep asking to see whenever this kind of discussion arises? Can we use this game as precedent and say “this is the minimum amount of clothing to display on a character depicted at this particular age?” Or did IF jump the gun a bit, as some speculate, in order to save costs and not need to submit to ratings boards more than once?

        That said, as distrustful as I am of any “difficult decision” statements, I’m willing to take IF’s word for it for now.

        Edit: Wow, I chopped up this reply pretty heavily as I wrote it. Maybe I’m censoring myself. >_>

        • ninjabart122

          Kaishou posted an extension link providing just that.

      • Kawashima

        I don’t see whats so wrong about phantom, but I can see why most of these got censored

    • konsama

      People would still find a way to complain about that too, in some cases even more, tho in an example, like rafflesia pic, as shown below by another poster, IMO could have been better if they just repainted the red spurts to green or yellowish, even when i don’t mind that much, i can see it the way the average people would and pretty sure that looks like blood coming out of their nipples.

  • Slickyslacker

    Much gratitude to you, Idea Factory. Not only for bringing the game over in the first place, but for publicly addressing something so controversial, and staunchly defending their reasons for not localizing the game entirely intact.

    Besides the obvious draw of the game: it looks like fun, doesn’t it?

    • Derek E Nay

      I wouldn’t know how fun it is. All the news is about the censorship…. Makes me feel stupid for just checking out the censorshp but not the game itself; but right now I need to run so I will check it out later.

    • 40

      It’s a fun game. I just wish the opp AI were smarter

      • Slickyslacker

        Exactly. There are a bunch of fun strategy-based games like this that are fun and appealing otherwise, but the AI enemies could hardly be easier to defeat.

        • Sigfried Silverblade

          I’m taking your word for it, then.

          And say that, if the AI is on the easy to beat side, challange was probably not the intended selling point of the game.
          It was probably the nude girls.

          I guess people wouldn’t want to work too hard for ecchi pictures.

          • 40

            To its credit, the game is very entertaining, has good music and online play. The ecchi really isn’t a huge factor.

          • MXC

            Wait this thing has online play?!…Pre-ordering for sure now especially if it has an LE edition.

          • Slickyslacker

            Well yeah, I mean it’s not like customers would gravitate towards the card-battling facet as opposed to the 2D animu girls.

      • Instain

        vita = life = opp AI

        • 40

          nice formula lol. Sharp eye too

        • 40

          hahahaha I still cant stop laughing!

      • AFatHouseCat

        That pun deserves a *hat tip* good sir, well played

  • RagingTiger44

    You may not like the idea of censorship, but you have to give these guys props for coming out to explain themselves. At this point, if anyone is still mad, be mad at the West’s stance on the sexual imagery rather than IF.

  • TheGreenHobo

    Of course now the visual feedback no longer supports the game mechanics.

    • British_Otaku

      Few people are going to take into account how the game’s design has been impacted by even keeping the cards and sharing out the artwork, but you have a point. On top of me not liking the censorship thing, it isn’t going to benefit the game’s design in the way they did it or even keep it at the original level with slightly recoloured, slightly editted or alternative levels of artwork.

  • Crazy_O

    It’s a Vita game. Europe’s rating is 12+.

    1. Release uncensored european version.
    2. Import.
    3. ???
    4. Profit.

    • ninjabart122

      The European version is just as censored as the US version.

      • lozffvii

        You’ve missed the point.
        He/She is saying that the EU PEGI rating is lower than the US ESRB on the CENSORED version. So, they should release an uncensored European version, probably get a 16 or an 18, and then US gamers can import it.

        • ninjabart122

          I see.

          I kinda didn’t get that impression from reading it, but wouldn’t you need a European 3DS to play it anyway?

          Sounds like the same thing as buying a JP 3DS for the JP game except you have more availability for these kind of games with a JP 3DS compared to a European 3DS.

          • lozffvii

            It’s Vita, not 3DS.

          • ninjabart122

            I still have this preconceived notion that portable gaming with touch capabilities equals 3DS.

            Oh well, my mistake.

          • ZnTxn

            Despite the “Touching is good!” DS-family ads, this game is for the Vita.

          • Crazy_O

            3DS? What are you talking about.

            This is a Vita exclusive.

      • Crazy_O

        look at point 1.
        Release uncensored european version.

    • British_Otaku

      Judging from how they never even made an uncensored European release, either they are afraid of our moral guardians and laws (can’t blame them too much) or it is too expensive to make multiple versions of a game (can’t blame them too much).

      Given that this is a digital release only, I’m pretty sure it is the budget.

      • Crazy_O

        Ah well, at least Danganronpa and Demon gaze will be out soon. I’ll just give my money to games that are uncensored and do have dual audio.

        • British_Otaku

          Both of those games, have dual audio confirmed AND are uncensored (not much of a surprise since I hear Danganronpa is a more horror focused Ace Attorney or sorts or something).

          Good news for when I get a Vita. I hope the European releases have the same features.

  • Brandonmkii

    I don’t like censorship, I really don’t. But I’d still rather have a censored version than no version at all.

  • Captmotorcycle

    Still not going to buy it.

    • lozffvii

      Then why comment?

  • MrTyrant

    I’m confused I think I actually saw worse images in games like Agarest or Neptunia with some underage looking girls and they didn’t get censored. Maybe they are a little afraid and playing safe for now.

    • lozffvii

      I don’t know anything about agarest, but I’d like you to tell me which cg’s in Neptunia were worse than this game. I’m pretty certain there aren’t any.

      • MrTyrant

        The one with tentacles?

        • Wtv

          No nude and no loli. So no…

          • MrTyrant

            Not saying that neptunia was the one with “lolis” but got confused in the orders of my words.

          • Wtv

            Yeah, the main problem here is loli and REALLY sexual scenes. A lot of them.

            Neptunia Mk2 has two that are really risk, and no loli in any of them, so it’s different.

            And even this scene (no tentacles, btw, but the idea is simulate a bondage, anyway) is still safer than most of the deleted cards.

            There are some cards that even I don’t know why they censored, but…

          • MrTyrant

            Yeah the main point is why they censored 40 like that. I can understand the most lewd ones with little girls but a teenager/adult looking girl in bikini doing a sexy pose isn’t that bad. Those were average.

            Someone post kraken pic, that one is a loli yet is not very sexualized and she don’t show much skin neither.

          • Wtv

            Yeah, Kraken is as much skimpy as Ram and Rom in HDD. There are others like Fia that no one would care. She isn’t a kid e images like her appear a lot in western things.

            Maybe IF still don’t know what is ok or not here.

        • lozffvii

          I don’t remember any with tentacles.
          There were a couple cg’s in mk2 that had the cpu’s bound by strands, but they weren’t basically naked like characters in this game.

    • British_Otaku

      That’s exactly the case, they won’t forced to remove the images, but made the call personally and are definitely off in places aside from some other US releases being more lewd.

    • konsama

      Actually don’t remember any “loli” content of that kind in neptunia, haven’t played agarest so can’t opinion on it.

      • MrTyrant

        Not “loli” but they aren’t adult exactly and some of them look like young teenagers buut I consider like that too…most importantly they censored in Monster Monpiece teenager looking girls in bikini. I know some of them were pretty lewd but other not so much.

        • konsama

          Yeah i see your point, but usually most of the “pervy” stuff imo was from their “transformed” versions that look older and had more assets to pass them as lolis. Of course this is just me.

          And in such case, most of those monpiece pics don’t look like teenagers at all, they look like very young girls, the only “teen” i see no wrong was phantom.

          And the others look extremely sexual, i mean my anime-fan inside says “there’s nothing wrong with the pegasus”, but that’s nly cuz i am accustomed to watching even more provocative stuff. That kind of pic would be really sexualized on an average person case.

    • Lynx

      Funny thing about Agarest too, is you had to WORK to get those CGs. Hell, I’m pretty sure my first playthrough of each game (blind, mind you) where I only used a guide that helped with stats and builds, I didn’t even get any aside from the mandatory/obvious ones.

      For a game that was marketed the way it was, I do find that funny.

      The game clearly wasn’t made with those in mind.

  • LegoBaka

    If all you do is replace images with the same lower level ones from previous tiers then you’re just removing images. 40 out of 350 is not quite 12 percent, which is only considerable because this is first and foremost a card-collecting game. In an already niche genre on a system that frankly isn’t seeing enough games, that’s enough content to convince.me to pass this one by. There was some interest, but not enough to look past the realization that the world is run by over-sensitive art critics.

  • wyrdwad

    “The borderline of what is “acceptable” will always be extremely gray and
    vary from person to person, but as a responsible company working in the
    U.S., we had to make the difficult decision that we did.”

    No, you really didn’t. You could’ve just run the 40 questionable images by the ESRB and asked them, “Hey, would any of these be unacceptable for an M rating?” And they would’ve most likely said nope, all good, and then you could’ve released the game completely uncensored. Maybe you’d get crap from activist groups, but the thing is, you STILL WILL, even with the censored version of the game, because it’s still a game about rubbing the clothes off of women (many of whom look very young) to power them up.

    This is definitely a case of “you knew what you were getting into when you took on this project.” If you weren’t willing to stick to your guns, you shouldn’t have worked on this game at all.

    I will definitely not be purchasing it, and frankly, I’m really disappointed that this is how you debut your western publishing branch. You had a chance to rock the boat and make a name for yourselves by releasing a really risque game uncensored, but you chose instead to go the “safe” route, and I’m betting that decision will come back to bite you.

    • Warboss Aohd

      it’s not just the ESRB, it’s also PEGI they gotta check with.

      again, this version is the one the USA, Europe, and UK are getting.

      • wyrdwad

        In my experience, PEGI is much more lax about nudity and sexual content than ESRB. You can have full underage nudity in a game, and as long as it’s not sexual in nature, it’s barely a blip on their radar. I honestly don’t even think it would be necessary to check with PEGI on these, as I can almost 100% guarantee PEGI would rate them no higher than a 16 at worst.

        Honestly, CERO is stricter than PEGI when it comes to nudity and sexual situations.

        • Hikari Langley

          No one allows full underage nudity, as no game has it. Where did you you get that from?

          • wyrdwad

            Our own Corpse Party features a bath scene in which Seiko, a 15-year-old girl, is bathing with her 9-year-old brother Yuu. Both characters are depicted fully nude (albeit with steam covering their private areas), and Seiko even tackles Yuu and tickles him, fully depicted through animated (albeit small and undetailed) sprites. The two then have a heartfelt brother-sister talk, after which point Seiko jokingly lightens the mood by telling Yuu he’s sweet and asking if he “wants some of Mama’s milk,” to which Yuu says something like, “Don’t be a pervert! That’s not even possible!”

            This scene remains in the game, uncensored, after being reviewed by both ESRB and PEGI (and CERO, of course). And Corpse Party is a game which earned an ESRB M and PEGI 16 rating (as well as CERO D in Japan).

          • Hikari Langley

            But “albeit with steam covering their private areas” that doesn’t count as nudity as for anyone could know, they could have bathing suits under. Nudity is something like Heavy Rain or GTA 4 has. With nothing coving that counts rather as Sexually suggestive.
            Also most of Corpse Party’s rating was on the issue that it had some bloody scenes. It’s “Sexual” content wasn’t anything, but what you see in the most common of Fanservice with anime.

          • wyrdwad

            OK. Well, there’s also Muramasa: The Demon Blade, which has obviously underage boys among its many villager sprites, and these boys are shown to be very clearly not covering themselves well, with easily discernible penises.

            Also:

            “That doesn’t count as nudity as for anyone could know, they could have bathing suits under.”

            No, they very clearly don’t. If you watch the scene in question, you’ll see what I mean. But even aside from that, Monster Monpiece SHOULD be even more viable to remain uncensored, then, since the characters not only “could” have bathing suits underneath, they very clearly do.

          • Hikari Langley

            Alrighty, I almost forgot which scene you mean for Corpse Party, yeah the soap is coving them but that’s still not fully nude nor is it provocative like the bathing minigame in Mugen Souls.
            As for Muramasa, it’s a shame but people couldn’t really care too much if it was men that were nude in a type of way. But if it’s a female that’s showing something and she’s really young. (Like around 9) Then you can bet there is going to be hell to pay

          • AFatHouseCat

            This was what I thought too, there’s a difference between nudity and sexualized nudity, esp concerning characters that appear under aged. I can’t imagine the ratings board didnt see the two as separate beasts as well.

        • SupaPhly

          but PEGI was the reason that a character was cut out of a minigame in Agarest 2 (for the european release)

          • wyrdwad

            Hmm? Haven’t heard of this. Do you know for certain it was due to PEGI? If so, what are the details? I’d be very curious to learn more, as I have some doubts that PEGI would’ve called for a game to be censored due to nudity or even sexual situations…

          • Hikari Langley

            http://blog.ghostlight.uk.com/post/a-closer-look-at-the-deluxe-edition
            Read the bottom they had to take Fiona as to her being underage, but she is placed back in after Generation 1 when she appears older… shame

          • British_Otaku

            I could be making a wrong call, but couldn’t it be the USK (German system) more so and not PEGI specifically?

            They said themselves “Please understand that we are making these changes under advisement from PEGI and the USK”.

    • rpgmaniac

      Very nicely said man agree 100% with u they knew what was the nature of this game what’s the point to censor a game of this kind? make it M/18+ if necessary & let your customers to experience the original product else don’t release it at all.

      • Ladius

        ESRB rated it with an M even after the censoring, so the issue could have very well been not being able to publish the game in the US otherwise (AO rated games can’t be released on consoles).

        The bit about IF rating their own game seems to be a complete misunderstatement according to the latest IF tweet, as I tried to outline in my post above.

        • wyrdwad

          No, if that were the case, they would’ve specified as such rather than saying things like “This was a very difficult decision.” It’s not a difficult decision if it’s essentially made FOR you, after all.

          It’s also extraordinarily difficult to get an AO rating. Honestly, even if these characters were fully nude, I’m not convinced the game would’ve been rated AO. You pretty much need out-and-out GRAPHIC SEX for that.

          Also, I don’t think it was a misstatement at all to say that they rated their own game, as that is generally how it’s done for digital titles. Though the ESRB is very responsive if you ever have concerns, which is why I firmly believe IF could’ve just emailed them the 40 pics and been like, “Yo, we good with these?”

          • Ladius

            IF itself stated they submitted a censored build of the game to ESRB and got an M rating (see the post above for a link to their tweet), so unless you are willing to call them liars we have no reasons to assume they decided to censor themselves and rate their game accordingly without considering the ESRB’s stance.

            Also, I think you’re taking a fairly simplistic hardline stance on the matter. Compared to the Corpse Party scene you described below, for instance, this minigame required a player’s interaction and was far more suggestive. I’m not condemning anything or anyone, but this is something I hope we can agree with regardless of our own takes on the situation.

            I like you, your company and the games you fought to bring us, and I understand you have an hard stance on this subject, but I think it’s rather unfair to pan a competitor’s first localization without even giving them the benefit of doubt.

          • wyrdwad

            “IF itself stated they submitted a censored build of the game to ESRB and got an M rating” — Er, that means they censored it themselves BEFORE they submitted it. Which is the issue here. Submit it uncensored, and if the ESRB says “No, you get an AO!”, then you censor things until it gets dropped to an M. You don’t *start* by censoring things — especially when you can always email pictures to the ESRB and outright ask them, “Will this put me at risk of getting an AO?”

            And it may indeed be unfair of me to condemn this game outright, but I feel *very strongly* that voluntary censorship damages the entire industry by normalizing censorship and setting precedents for other companies to follow. It creates a culture of censorship, so to speak, and I refuse to support anything that contributes to that. Hell, I almost quit my job over the Senran Kagura Burst issue (no joke!), and only stayed because my boss was willing to let me publicly speak out against censorship even in our own products.

          • Ladius

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but from past discussions on this subject I understood that submitting a game multiple times to ESRB costs money (not to mention the issues regarding the creation of said builds), which is probably a major issue for an extremely niche digital game from a new company.

            Also,we don’t know if they tried to do as you said in your previous post, asking them beforehand if some images would fly or not and then, after a negative answer, revising their build before submitting it. This is why I think there’s no reason to think they didn’t try to avoid censorship as much as they could, and the fact they pinpointed some images rather than scrapping all the top-tier evolutions could very well mean they had some guideline to follow.

            Other than that, you are obviously free to express yourself, but I think it’s somewhat in poor taste to advocate what most people will perceive as a boycott for a company that operates in your same niche, especially considering something like this could happen to an XSEED game in the future despite your stance and for reasons outside of your control.

          • wyrdwad

            Honestly, if we censor any future XSEED titles, I hope it does. Teach my coworkers that censorship doesn’t pay. ;)

            If Idea Factory comes out and specifically says that they asked the ESRB and were told the game would receive an AO rating if those images remained (which there is nothing in any NDA to prevent any company from saying), I will take back everything I said here and advocate purchasing this game.

            But they did not say that, which tells me it probably didn’t happen. Because trust me, companies know that there are anti-censorship activists like me out there in the wild, and they know what a huge difference that little morsel of information can make.

          • Derp Minos

            Considering Record of Agarest War 2 had these scenes and got a T rating, I doubt Monpiece would had gotten a AO rating. Plus IFI originally stated they rated the game themselves, not ESRB.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf-qgwazaug
            The scenes in questions weren’t censored by Aksys.

          • Bigabu Beaze

            Yo Wyrd, are you ever gonna localize Medabots 7 or Dual or Metal Max 3DS?

          • wyrdwad

            We haven’t announced any of those, so I’m afraid that’s the sort of question I can’t answer. Sorry!

          • Bigabu Beaze

            Damn well I thought I’d ask. Also could you answer this question? Whats the deal with Localization firms localizing games will alot of flash and little to know substance? Take Atlus for example, they used to localize some great games; Metal Saga, Super Robot Taisen for the GBA, etc and now they are bringing out Conception 2. Its like they only want to localize games with heavy fan service and games like Medabots, Summon night 5, Metal Max 3DS dont have a snow balls chance in hell.

          • wyrdwad

            Conception II is developed by Spike, so it’s probably a pretty damned good game — most of their stuff is a lot deeper and more hardcore than it sounds. If I were you, I wouldn’t dismiss Conception II on concept alone.

            That said, localization studios typically can’t localize whatever they feel like — it’s possible Atlus and other companies have all tried for one or more of the games you’ve listed, but were unable to get them due to prohibitive licensing costs, lack of availability for programming support (because remember, most localization studios don’t have in-house programmers and have to rely on the original Japanese developers to implement their translations and such), lack of interest from the developers (some developers actively don’t WANT their games localized), insurmountable technical issues… you name it.

            There are also times where localization studios will play an advance copy of a game and… simply not like it very much. We’ve passed on games before that fans had been clamoring to play simply because we all played them and unanimously agreed that they kinda sucked. And in the end, I think fans would rather we make that judgment call than knowingly release something that we feel most players would likely find to be a really subpar experience.

            I can’t speak for Atlus, nor do NDAs allow me to speak of any specific titles in relation to us, but any or all of these could be factors in answering your question.

          • Bigabu Beaze

            Thanks for taking the time to answer that. I’ll look at some info for conception 2.

          • rpgmaniac

            wyrdwad u said u work for XSEED eh hmm let me also ask u something then :) can I hope that XSEED will localize the HD edition of all 3 chapters of Trails in the Sky for PS3? :) that’s what I want to see the most now from XSEED I can’t enjoy games on a handheld :/ so can I hope? :) is XSEED as a company thinking to acquire this project? did they even discuss (those who is responsible for those matters) about it?

          • wyrdwad

            The PS3 versions are on a separate license from the PC and PSP versions, so sadly, that’s not part of our current release plan for Trails 1 and 2 (though it is something we’re looking into for the future, of course — we just have no idea if we’re going to be able to get them or not, so for now, we have nothing to announce on that end).

            However, do be aware that PSP games *can* be output to TV if you’re using any model other than the initial release, so you can still play both Trails 1 and 2 on your television that way, rather than on a handheld. And if Vita TV is ever released in North America, you can theoretically play them on that as well, with better-quality visuals and a PS3 controller.

            In addition, we’re releasing the original PC versions of Trails 1 and 2 soon on Steam, and those are the highest-quality versions of them all, superseding even the PS3 in many regards (since both the PSP and PS3 versions are ports of these PC originals). The PC originals can be played using an Xbox 360 controller, PS3 controller or any other USB-compatible controller, and can also be output to TV with a bit of finagling, so if you really want the full console experience, you might want to consider picking up both games on Steam once they’re out.

            As for Trails 3, that one is still up in the air — we’re too busy with Trails 2 (and Trails 1 on Steam) to even THINK about that game right now. So I’m afraid for that one, I can’t say anything as to release platforms at the moment.

          • rpgmaniac

            Thx a lot for take the time to explain all this things, I have this cable u need to connect a PSP to TV but the cable is too short I can’t sit back & relax from a distance like I do with any other console game I must be very close to my TV also the game don’t fill the whole screen just a small portion so I must be close to be able to read the text anyway…

            About the Vita TV no idea when we r going to get this one over here but even if we get it why the game will have better visuals if I play it from there I didn’t get that can u explain it to me plz?

            The most interesting part about what u said was that the steam version is the best of them all so does it look the same or better than the PS3 HD remaster? is the HD edition for PS3 just a port of the PC version they didn’t enhance the visuals further from PC to PS3? & what do u mean when u r saying “superseding even the PS3 in many regards..” for which other reasons the PC version is better than the HD edition for PS3? can u explain this one also plz?

          • wyrdwad

            The Vita TV plays PSP games full-screen, as opposed to the PSP’s TV-out displaying them boxed into the center of the screen, which is why I said they would have “better visuals” on Vita TV. I suppose I should’ve said “bigger visuals,” but hey, bigger is better, right? ;)

            As for the PC versions of Trails 1 and 2, the primary way in which they’re better than their PS3 counterparts (or CAN be, anyway) is visually, since you can play them at much higher screen resolutions than the PS3 is capable of displaying (provided your graphics card and monitor are up to snuff, anyway). The PS3 versions are also technically ports of the PSP versions, which are themselves ports of the PC versions — though Falcom did add back in a lot of the graphical finesse from the PC versions when porting the games to PS3, so the PS3 versions do look an awful lot LIKE the PC versions. And to be fair, the PS3 versions have a few things the PC versions don’t — content that was added for the PSP ports — though our Steam programmer is looking into the possibility of back-porting those into the PC versions. And if that happens, the PC versions will become the absolute definitive versions of the games, without a doubt, since they’ll offer absolutely everything the PS3 versions do + Steam achievements (note that the PS3 versions have *no* trophies) and leaderboards.

            …Sorry if this response is rambly. I realize I’ve used the word “versions” more than anyone ever should. Heheh.

          • rpgmaniac

            Aha very interesting thx again :) I didn’t plan to ask anything else but after what u said “And to be fair, the PS3 versions have a few things the PC versions don’t — content that was added for the PSP ports..” I’m curious now what is those extra things is it something of big importance like for example bigger main story extra missions or gameplay improvements? if it’s possible can u explain this in detail plz? :)

          • wyrdwad

            Just a couple playable side characters in Trails 2 (not central to the plot, but more as an extra), and a few minor gameplay additions, like selectable difficulty levels. I think some extra voice-acting was also added for the PSP/PS3 version, though again, we might be able to back-port that to the PC versions.

          • rpgmaniac

            So in the end the steam/PC version is my best option if I want to have a console-like experience as u said but that’s just for playing the game, I still would like to have the PS3 version because steam is digital only & can’t add those in my collection, I want to have physical copies of all 3 chapters so if it’s possible there in XSEED bring us the PS3 version as well plz ^__^

          • neo_firenze

            Couple quick points to add to the “how do I play stuff on my TV” discussion:

            1) The PSP Go in particular is pretty great for TV-out because you can connect a PS3 controller via Bluetooth! Besides being a portable, the Go basically doubles as a Vita TV style experience for any PSP game available on PSN if you get a fairly cheap video out cable. So, if you have a Go or can snag one cheap that’s a possibility.

            2) Connecting a PC to your TV is a lot easier than most people give it credit for. Nearly any modern video card or notebook needs only an HDMI cable and you’re good. Steam even gives you a really user friendly and controller friendly interface with its “big picture mode”.

            While some high end PC games might require a high end machine that could present you some physical space concerns, it’s also worth remembering that stuff like XSeed’s Ys and Trails in the Sky releases don’t have demanding specs (the original Falcom Japanese releases are many years old now). Even a notebook with decent integrated graphics is likely gonna be fine for those, so quite easy to fit into most any setup.

          • landlock

            Hate to say it but sounds like Xseed should be releasing this game. :) I guess since it there first game they worried but releasing the content.

            But they not making the kind of first impression they want with fans this way.

          • MXC

            Come to think of it didn’t Heavy Rain have something like that and still only get an M-rating?

          • Phoenix

            On the subject of these images not getting an AO, I was recently in touch with ESRB about a game we’re working on that had images on roughly the same level (but way fewer) and they came back and said it would likely earn us an AO with those images in the game. So I’m not as convinced that they would have been fine.

          • wyrdwad

            Wow, really? That’s extremely surprising, based on our experiences. Maybe it just depends on the person you happen to speak with at the ESRB. Perhaps some are just a bit more conservative than others, making it a “luck of the draw” sort of thing.

          • Phoenix

            Yeah, pretty much. We’ve had some games come back T that we were sure would get an M and vice versa, and I honestly thought the content on that game wouldn’t be an issue, but we checked with them just to be safe, and that’s what they came back with. Which is why it’s hard for me to give IFI too much flak for this whole thing.

          • wyrdwad

            Well, the thing is, you checked with the ESRB before removing anything. From the sounds of it, IFI did not — they just assumed a few dozen pictures would be a problem and removed them. That’s a pretty big difference in approaches, if you ask me, and signifies that IFI’s concerns were more in regards to public image than ratings.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Welcome to the site and thanks for your input Phoenix.

          • Yggdr5

            Ok now I’m a little bit concerned since you’re still working on Danganronpa. Will the game be censored?

          • Phoenix

            No, the game I was referring to isn’t Danganronpa. That will be releasing here with no changes made to the content.

        • Landale

          My guess is, by the two statements about the ESRB rating, would be that they explained the content rather than giving a full submission, and more or less saying “M, right?” and the ESRB more or less saying “Sounds about right, go ahead.”
          In other words, they chose the rating themselves, but still had to run it by the ESRB for final confirmation.

          • wyrdwad

            That is, more or less, how it works for digital submissions, yes. It’s very similar to PEGI, in that you basically answer a series of detailed questions about the game’s content, and a tentative rating is assigned to you based on those answers.

            There’s more to it than that, of course, but that’s the general gist of how one begins the process of applying for a game rating in ESRB, PEGI, and probably every other ratings system out there as well.

          • Yggdr5

            Just for clarification: IFI censored Monster Monpiece and they gave themselves an even higher rating than required: http://www.siliconera.com/2014/01/22/monster-monpiece-rated-m-u-s-12-europe/

    • PoweredByHentai

      Hey Tom, while I appreciate your insider’s view on how things work at localization companies, could you consider separating your professional persona from your private persona? I kind of don’t want to see an Adam Orth situation happen with my favorite form of entertainment.

      I’m not amused by the censorship either but I understand why they have to do it and right now, I’d prefer to have games cross the pond with the least amount of resistance.

      • wyrdwad

        Sorry, but I have to stay true to my ideals. The whole reason I got into this industry is because I truly love video games and respect them as a viable art form, and I take an almost personal offense when other people treat them as if their content doesn’t matter — cut this, change that, who cares? It feels like an insult to the developers, and it’s something I simply can’t stand seeing. And if I can make a difference through sheer bullheadedness (one of my biggest talents!), then by golly, that’s what I’m gonna do. ;)

        I don’t think you need to worry, though, as I’m basically just a text monkey. I don’t have the final say on anything, and all I can really do is voice my opinion to my boss and… maybe be a little obnoxious about it from time to time (as one does!). While I’d rather see a game passed over for localization than censored, that’s not my decision to make — and honestly, that’s probably for the best!

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Guess it isn’t worth noting that as with MoeNovel, this is the developers themselves making their own changes to sell a product to a new market.

          • wyrdwad

            Well… kind of. Was this Idea Factory’s decision, or the localization team’s decision? Either way, I suppose it is “the developers themselves” as far as corporate entities go… but was it the ARTISTS themselves? I sincerely doubt that. In fact, I’m betting the original artists don’t even know these pieces were removed from the game, and they’d probably be horrified to find out (I know I would!).

            Now granted, this is all completely legal, since the artists (presumably) signed their work over to the company, in keeping with standard Japanese business practices. But I’m not talking about business here, I’m talking about ethics. And ethics often conflicts with good business.

            I feel, though, that when your business is art, you have an obligation to uphold the highest standards of ethics, even if it costs you money or creates hassle to do so.

            As an aside (copying/pasting from a discussion I had elsewhere): I work in the industry, and I’ve seen first-hand how casually people bring up the concept of censoring Japanese games. And not just from us with Senran Kagura, but from other companies we’ve spoken with as well — management types look at a game with risque elements, and I swear the first words out of their mouths are, “How can we censor this to make it more palatable to a larger audience?”

            When I’ve argued in favor of NOT censoring games with these types of people, their defense is usually, “Well, X game did it, so it’s not like there’s no precedent!” Upon suggesting we not remove the ages from Senran Kagura Burst, for example, I was immediately accosted with statements such as, “Well, Otomedius did it!” I even heard some people say things like, “Well, Mugen Souls had much worse censorship than that, so it’s not like we’re going too far or anything.”

            The more examples of this that the industry provides — the more options we give management types to use for filling the blanks in statements like, “Well, ____ did it!” or, “Well, ____ had worse censorship than that!” — the harder it will be to convince anyone to leave games intact in the future. No one wants to be the first person ever to censor a game in a specific manner, but if someone else has done it before, or if someone has done something even worse, the floodgates are open. And the more often people do it, the wider those floodgates get, until that form of censorship becomes so commonplace as to be expected. And once that happens, it could take years to undo the damage — if it can even be undone at all!

            That’s why I’m so passionate about this, arguably to the point of fanaticism. I love this industry, and I don’t want to see that happen to it. But I already AM seeing that happen… and it really scares me. It scares me for the future of video games as an art form.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            And we have talked, art can be as influenced by local tastes as what someone will eat from one state — and even one town to the other. Even the largest mega evil food conglomerates know this. And they are making nothing more artistic than beef stew or soda pop.

            I edit my own creations all the damn time — things which were more ero are made less so, or the connection I was hoping to achieve with an audience just wasn’t there. I know I would not appreciate you determining what changes I can or cannot make in my own work. I would be surprised if the companies you rail about would feel differently.

          • wyrdwad

            And based on what I’ve seen, I’d be surprised if they didn’t, so… I guess that’s the primary divide between our points of view here.

            I don’t know why it frustrates me as much as it does, to be honest. But it really, truly does! I want to make a difference — I want to affect change in the way things are done — but I just don’t know where to begin.

            Just once, I wish a developer would come down hard on a publisher and say something like, “The artist got wind that his work was censored, and is demanding a de-censor patch be applied to the game immediately or you’ll lose your license and have to pull it.”

            I would feel so incredibly vindicated if something like that were to happen. You have NO IDEA. ;)

          • M’iau M’iaut

            But that line of thought requires that the artist, the original script writer, or the dude in the corner writing the code is of the opinion that his work is sacrosanct. Or that he/she/it is unable to understand that what pays in the bills in Tokyo may not in Los Angeles.

            We are are magically somehow different beasts, but that does not mean we can not get enjoyment out of similar things. It may just be in slightly different ways.

          • wyrdwad

            That’s the thing, though. If you believe video games are art, as I do, then you should also recognize that art is, by nature, regional. Japanese gold leaf art, for example, isn’t redrawn on canvas to be displayed in the west because that’s what the west is more familiar with — no, it’s displayed in its original gold leaf.

            If video games are art, then the cultural differences should be a part of that art. Gamers, on the whole, are smart enough to know that things are different in Japan, and that a game FROM Japan may contain cultural elements that feel foreign to them. Some will object, but most won’t, and most (I believe) will appreciate the work for what it is.

            Think about other artistic mediums — paintings, novels, films. When these things are brought over from Japan, are any of them censored? I’m sure there are a few outlying examples of books or movies receiving censorship, sure, but as a rule, all three of these mediums are allowed to be presented to the public at large as-is.

            Why, then, are games censored? Why do the same rules not apply?

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Not everything comes over for one, and anime has been rife with broadcast versions, uncensored versions, international versions, 4kids TV versions, etc. Manga too changes between the original magazine versions and those seen in tanks. And then sometime later, they are changed again.

            And it isn’t just Japan. St. George and the Dragon, Beowulf and Grendel, any folk or fairy tale. There are enough versions of these to fill a grand library among themselves. Jazz artists were infamous for never playing the same song the exact same way twice.

            Things change — always have always will. I am sorry if we can’t agree, but imo; change is not required to be a bad thing.

          • mirumu

            Change has certainly always happened and always will. Using works as a foundation for greater works has also been very beneficial to society in general, even for the purest forms of art.

            It seems to me that’s all a bit of a tangental argument though. Censorship isn’t really about change. It’s about a reluctance to change, a fear of new or radical thought. Now something like Monster Monpiece doesn’t really seem deserving of defence when measured this way, and I think that’s really the root of much of the disagreement in discussion about the game.

            Where I think opinions diverge most is to whether or not making an exception for something as culturally irrelevant as this game matters or not. My purely personal feeling is that it does. If I could be sure censoring this one game would have no flow on effects I’d be okay with it, but everything I’ve seen of the world in my years makes that an impossible concept for me to accept. I can understand others coming to the opposite conclusion, but that just gets us where we are now. I think this impasse in viewpoints will always exist.

          • Bacon_n_Lettuce

            Just as an aside, films in particular (especially Chinese films) have been receiving quite a bit of censorship and even alternate versions made for western markets. Shaolin Soccer (to site a better known example) received cuts of about 25 minutes off of the original run time, and most recently The Grandmaster had a completely reworked narrative constructed purely for the US release.

            I honestly think that in comparison to the kind of things that publishers could get away with in the past, the games industry has come a long way with how censorship is handled, especially when compared to other mediums. All in all though, while I may think this particular case of censorship isn’t that bad, I completely agree with the sentiment of not condoning censorship in any way, shape, or form, less the games industry become more like the way the film industry is constructed.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Just once, I wish a developer would come down hard on a publisher and say something like, “The artist got wind that his work was censored, and is demanding a de-censor patch be applied to the game immediately or you’ll lose your license and have to pull it.”

            This would only happen if the artist actually felt their work was worthy of being displayed in all its uncensored glory for the world to see. In this particular scenario, I doubt that was the case.

            In this case, a bunch of dudes got paid a fee to draw 12-year-olds in bikinis. I doubt they had any sort of statement to make, and I doubt they’re naive enough to think their work is making some sort of artistic statement in general. (And if they are, God help them.)

            As I said, it’s a question of picking your battles. Why not raise a red flag when there’s an actual need for it? When story content gets cut? When a sensitive political reference is swept under the rug? When the actual vision is being compromised?

          • wyrdwad

            “This would only happen if the artist actually felt their work was worthy
            of being displayed in all its uncensored glory for the world to see. In
            this particular scenario, I doubt that was the case.”

            You doubt. But you don’t know. You’re making an uninformed judgment based on your own moral standards and opinions. If I’d drawn those girls in bikinis, though? I’d be PISSED to have them removed from the game. I would absolutely demand that they be reinserted, in no uncertain terms.

            “As I said, it’s a question of picking your battles. Why not raise a red
            flag when there’s an actual need for it? When story content gets cut?
            When a sensitive political reference is swept under the rug? When the
            actual vision is being compromised?”

            Oh, I do, of course! But that’s the whole point I’m trying to make here: how do you know 12-year-olds in bikinis isn’t part of an artist’s “actual vision” with this game? Just because you find it distasteful doesn’t mean the person who drew it agrees with you. And I don’t like the idea of assigning special importance to one form of cut content, while completely ignoring another because it doesn’t seem as important to me. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a show of utter disrespect to the artist who drew those images. It’s basically saying, “I can’t believe they cut that scene from the game! Oh, what, your art got cut too? Well, that’s not important. But that line about the democratic party being removed? Blasphemy!”

            No content is more important than any other. If we’re going to defend one thing, we need to defend everything.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            “You doubt. But you don’t know. You’re making an uninformed judgment based on your own moral standards and opinions.”

            Hold there, Tom. For the sake of the conversation not descending into a black hole, I would like you to look back at one thing you said just a short while ago:

            “Either way, I suppose it is “the developers themselves” as far as corporate entities go… but was it the ARTISTS themselves? I sincerely doubt that. In fact, I’m betting the original artists don’t even know these pieces were removed from the game, and they’d probably be horrified to find out (I know I would!).”

            You didn’t provide any reason for your beliefs and doubts in that either, yet I don’t think Ishaan pointed that finger at you.

            Edit:

            And no, I’m not interested in participating in the conversation. I’m just requesting that neither side lose the perspectives here, all right?

          • wyrdwad

            I’m basing my opinions here on professional observation and past experience. Not foolproof by any means, but I do tend to trust that which I see and hear. I don’t think this conflicts with what I said to Ishaan, but to be clear, I’m also not trying to “point the finger” at him. I’m merely noting something he said which I felt was crucial to the point I’m trying to make.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            I’m basing my opinions here on professional observation and past experience. Not foolproof by any means, but I do tend to trust that which I see and hear.

            And he has those in his own way; again: perspectives. I’m merely taking precautions to prevent the conversation from turning into a contest of professionalism and experience.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            But that’s the whole point I’m trying to make here: how do you know 12-year-olds in bikinis isn’t part of an artist’s “actual vision” with this game?

            All right, I’m done here. You’re trying to convince me that there’s a possibility that half-naked 12-year-olds in a game where you make masturbatory motions to strip them of their clothes is some sort of grand artistic statement.

            When basic common sense is abandoned in favour of misguided passion, there’s little one can do.

          • wyrdwad

            That’s a rather judgmental thing to say. Art comes in all forms. I don’t think it shows a lack of common sense to claim that this art is, in fact, drawn with a clear vision. It may be a PERVERTED vision… but bear in mind, I consider porn to be a valid form of art as well. So, yeah.

            The take-away, I suppose, is that one really shouldn’t judge something as “not artistically relevant” simply because one finds it distasteful or offensive. All art is relevant, and all art is worthy of defense.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I don’t disagree that porn is a form of art. In fact, I’ve always believed hentai is a form of art. I grew up playing oldschool visual novels. That said, I think there are certain times when art isn’t a good influence and has nothing to contribute, and I feel this is one of those times.

          • Boku

            And that simply makes it okay to cut out? People can and should make their own, informed decisions on a game prior to purchasing it. Ratings aside, theres no need or reason to police that further by directly removing content from a game. There are a lot of paintings or photos taken over the years that are downright horrifying and raise a lot of questions but I think if you told anyone it should simply be removed from existence because you dont agree with it they would probably be mortified — especially if that person was the author. That is merely your own judgement, by attempting to remove even the opportunity for others to form their own opinion is simple bigotry.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I think calling it “bigotry” when you’re against a game clearly encouraging sexualization of underaged women is going a tad too far. This is turning into another argument of semantics and nitpicking, unfortunately, so I don’t think there’s much else to be said here.

          • Boku

            You, like so many others in favour of this censorship, are confusing reality with fantasy. These “underaged” characters are fictitious even within the world of the game. By believing such imagery encourages real paedophilia only opens up a wealth of similar viewpoints like GTA encourages car theft or shootings, Manhunt to murder or Pokemon to animal abuse. Correlation and causation are two different things. Many people, most of all the people who are “into” loli imagery, understand that it is just fantasy. Its kinda the point of the medium. Hell, the images in question arent even attempting to go for realism. That may be cause for concern, but this? Entirely unwarranted.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I’ve addressed this same point several times in reply to other posters, too, so let me copy/paste my reply here with a few modifications to reflect your thoughts:

            Fictional violence isn’t considered to be as harmful as something like this because violence in real life is harder to pull off. Just because millions of people play Call of Duty doesn’t mean that they’re all going to grab guns and begin shooting people in the street.

            However, sexualization is different. Sexual urges are far more susceptible to being influenced by external factors. People develop new fetishes all the time. And this, in my opinion, is the concern. That, if one continues to promote underage sexualization, society is eventually going to begin to accept it until it reaches a point where something that was completely inappropriate is suddenly considered okay.

            Porn impacts people’s sexual tastes. Hentai manga and anime do it, too. Virtually everything that you’re exposed to has a bearing on what you like and don’t like in your day-to-day life, and sexual preferences are no exception to this rule.

            Yes, people aren’t going to play Monster Monpiece and then suddenly turn into pedophiles. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m saying that, over time, if one allows content of this nature to become commonplace, it will begin to warp the perception of society at large, over a period of several years.

            That’s the concern. That’s why people are more careful about sex. It isn’t about people being prudes, it isn’t about the western media sensationalizing it. It simply grosses people out, and they don’t want it to eventually be considered “okay”. I think a lot of the educated modern world is happy enough to admit that they like having sex.

            Also, I think people do recognize that discussing sex and its consequences, even in entertainment, can be beneficial. Look at this report for reference: http://www.theguardian.com/com

            It’s not simply a matter of people being prudes. There are valid concerns as to how entertainment can shape society. Kids learn from entertainment more than they learn from anything else. Just as an example, I’ve heard a lot of people say they grew up to be good, generous people because comic books taught them that it was cool to be good.

            Then there’s the subject of Japan and its standing in the games industry. The more of this stuff that Japan puts out, the less people will take their games seriously. It’s been a long, hard road for Japanese developers this past generation, and if it weren’t for the efforts of companies like Atlus and Nintendo and From Software and PlatinumGames and Capcom, Japanese games would not be looked upon as kindly as they are today.

            Those devs/pubs have made some very big significant advances in helping Japanese games climb back up the ladder of relevance in the west, and that’s only good for everyone else. Even smaller publishers like Idea Factory. Because it creates a larger awareness and a larger potential audience to tap into.

            And so, n the context of just videogames, I feel that companies like Idea Factory and Compile Heart have an equal responsibility to be careful with what they put out in the west during this period of recovery for Japanese developers, so that they don’t undo all the good that their Japanese brethren have done in recent years.

          • Shippoyasha

            I can’t really agree here considering it has never become commonplace and in the grand scheme of things, it will always be something niche as it has been for decades on end. And I think it’s just highly accusatory to look at Idea Factory and Compile Heart and say they are doing something extremely risky. The kind of ‘underage’ stuff in the most ‘risky’ Japanese game is maybe a panty shot and maybe a bikini material. Anything purely sexual is already self censored by the gaming (and heck, even the anime/manga ) industry already. The only difference is that more games are on hand for localization. People will always hold extreme biases against Japanese gaming and I don’t understand what the ‘image issue’ that they have to contend with. Pretty much the vast majority of Japanese media tends to be overtly vilified whenever they are sexual in any nature. Not to mention a huge majority of Japanese games are not very sexual in any quantifiable measure. And yet when a niche game with mild sexual content comes up, and it’s attacked and asked to not exist. It’s just over the top.

            What people need to start understanding is that gaming can have niches. And sexual games are one. Japanese entertainment to me has always been on a rather advanced plane considering they know not all entertainment has to be everything for everyone. While there are a lot of content that is for a wide audience, there’s a lot of specialized content for those who like certain topics (sports, tanks/military, sexual stories, non sexual stories, stories catering to boys, stories more appealing to girls, etc) and that not all of them are supposed to stand trial for the rest of the industry. This is where I am seriously at odds with this idea that one risque game is supposed to stand up for the image of everything else. It’d be ridiculous to tout some pure comedic movie or some dark movie that is not going to appeal to everyone and ask why it’s not appealing to everyone as much as some superhero movie or an Oscar contender.

            Not to mention otaku gaming and otaku culture and anime/manga stuff in general has been under constant attack and overt vilification. I don’t stand by the fandom cowering and capitulating like it’s for the ‘good of the rest of gaming’. Rest assured, the otaku fanbase is not some attack on the rest of gaming. I just don’t understand why people militarize and outright vilify otaku gaming like this. I thought Siliconera would be one of the few havens nowadays considering most gaming journalism is going on full, unabated attack on Japanese gaming, especially of the otaku-centric type. I can write paragraphs upon paragraphs of good, evenheaded discussions about why otaku entertainment is nowhere near as bad as everyone makes it out to be. But it’s often waste of effort and exasperation. Otaku games and gamers don’t even get a due benefit of the doubt. Instead, broad attacks against it is considered not only normal, but MORALLY right. That is just an abhorrent attitude to me I’m sorry to say. The big irony in all these discussions is that it’s become way too commonplace for even otaku-news covering sites to have people who broadly attack otaku content without properly framing exactly how people enjoy such content and why.

            “the Porn impacts people’s sexual tastes. Hentai
            manga and anime do it, too. Virtually everything that you’re exposed to has a bearing on what you like and don’t like in your day-to-day life, and sexual preferences are no exception to this rule.”

            I just really don’t get this part. For one, something like fetishes tends to be something people are predisposed to regardless of stimuli and secondly, having a fetish is not wrong. Thirdly, acting them out is just out of the question for pretty much everyone. People keep bringing it up, but it’s true. People can watch the most gruesome horror movies or the most violent games and I don’t think such things impact their ‘day to day’ life either as much as sexual material does. This is just dangerously going into policing peoples’ minds at this rate. It’s just overreaching the entire point of escapism.

          • 40

            You must not play many jp games or don’t know about Criminal Girls where you basically have sex with the girls. Or own a vita where so many ecchi games have been magnified. It’s like ecchi paradise…

          • Crazy_O

            So in this case, why not look at Japan since there there are many of those games and even more explicit doujinshis which are almost normal to see and buy on events.

            I think most countries would be proud having the same statistics like Japan does. This, if it even is a factor, is either incredibly small, working the other way in preventing the sexualisation of real children or doesn’t have an effect at all. What we shouldn’t do is drag the japanese down to our level of sexual violence or point fingers until we get our shit together.

          • Boku

            “Fictional violence isn’t considered to be as harmful as something like this because violence in real life is harder to pull off.”

            Absolute trollop. Emulating any sort of behaviour presented in a fictional medium is as easy as any other. The repercussions are the only thing that prevents most people from doing so (and will not occur to those who cannot differentiate from reality), hence why easy, harmless play like impersonating a character in dress sense or other quirk happens far more often than directly copying a brutal violence scene. That and effort/logistics which are just as big a concern with sexual desires.

            “Sexual urges are far more susceptible to being influenced by external factors.”

            And, again, are still unlikely to be something enacted outside of a safe environment, if leaving the realm of fantasy at all. The porn industry has been churning out material based on rape or incest for years now. We can even take someone like Little Lupe who was famed as a pornstar because she looked completely underage. Its still impossible to attribute someones taste in these things to them carrying them out:

            Correlation =! Causation.

            “The more of this stuff that Japan puts out, the less people will take their games seriously.”

            Then maybe people SHOULD take games less seriously. I dont want all games from all regions to become some horribly homogenised mess. I dont expect a gritty, brown and bloom, cinematic ironsights simulator from Japan any more than I expect a cute, bubbly, turn-based RPG with heavy emphasis on characterisation from the West. The Japanese market of games was and still is good simply because they do break the norm as they do. That one country pushes out more games to satisfy a number of niches is not a bad thing at any level.

            It IS a simple case of prudishness. “Think of the children!!” is a damn shallow and knee-jerk reaction to this sort of thing. Tastes, mannerisms, societal acceptance and general protocol are ever changing and evolving. Am I advocating for (future) acceptance of paedophilia? Of course not, but the idea that we need to censor, restrict or ban something that has no bearing on reality because theres a slim chance – if any – that it could result in untoward events is a severe case of hypochondria if not pure paranoia.

          • 40

            I usually disagree with your opinions(not openly) but this time, I have to agree for the most part. I think this discussion got really watered down and dragged on but change takes time. The west isn’t ready…

          • Audie Bakerson

            And who determines what’s worthy?

            Standards change ALL THE TIME and art is a major part of it. Stuff that falls outside of what is traditionally acceptable is often seen as the HIGHEST form of art: If an artist sticks entirely to the norm, just how creative is he really?

            Look at the Hayes code, which was in effect until the 1950s and had actually codified things that would be, at the very best, mocked today (you couldn’t have a gay character unless they died). You know what one of the biggest factors in its death was? Radical foreign products that did not care about the “code” and were willing to prominently include things it prohibited.

          • mirumu

            Would the situation ever reach that level? If the development studio felt that strongly about censorship (and as I understand many do) I’d have thought they’d have written it into the agreement from the start.

            I know from first hand experience it’s gutting to see your work mangled by someone else, so I’d have thought developers would be very picky in this regard.

          • wyrdwad

            Sadly, most are more concerned with the bottom line than with the artistic integrity of the work they produce. If the foreign publisher says it’ll help sales to remove some pieces of art, then pfft, go ahead! …Says a person in a suit who doesn’t even know what the piece of art in question looks like.

          • mirumu

            They can’t be companies that felt especially strongly about it I imagine. As a business owner myself I can understand prioritizing cash-flow when you have bills to pay, kids to feed, etc, but I agree it’s a sad state of affairs.

          • mirumu

            It’s a topic with many subtleties and complications, but I do think the intent of the artist matters. Of course their intent may have been as mundane as to get paid for a job. We’ve no way of knowing.

        • PoweredByHentai

          I love video games as well. The issue here is that any number of political groups would take issue with your statements and have a field day with it. And frankly, I don’t think we’re at a point where the public can be informed and mature about it to have a sensible discussion.

          Changing public perception takes a lot of time and effort and a lot of that effort is in being non-confrontational. This is really just one of those things that you have to cultivate slowly and carefully so that the circumstances become favorable to your side of the argument.

          I’m not saying that we stick with the status quo. I’m saying that we should push the envelope as far as we can without getting the industry in trouble and that means laying low enough to have a party without attracting the attention of the cops or the neighbors.

          • wyrdwad

            Nuts to that! I say make some noise and take it to court. ;)

          • PoweredByHentai

            Thing is, I took my speeding ticket to court and lost.

            I’m not about to have that happen with my favorite pastime.

            Sometimes, the best course of action is to lay low and hit harder where they are weak.

            In my case, I will be responding to police donation phone calls with “Oh, I’m sorry, but because of the speeding ticket I had the other day, I’m afraid that I don’t have any money that I can donate to your fine establishment.”

          • wyrdwad

            Oh, you wouldn’t have to. That would be all me, man. And I’d be glad to do it!

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          And if I can make a difference through sheer bullheadedness (one of my biggest talents!), then by golly, that’s what I’m gonna do. ;)

          Except, you aren’t actually making a difference. All you’re doing is complaining about it on forums and websites like ours. :)

          Passion without any sort of practical direction or game plan is pointless, in my opinion. If your idea of “making a difference” is to boycott something (or claim that you’ll boycott it), you’re achieving nothing even remotely productive.

          Publishers aren’t going to say, “Oh man, 20 people said they’ll boycott our game. Quick, put all the scantily-clad underaged women back in!” They’ll either think the audience is too much trouble to bother with, or they’ll carry on the way they were.

          You can tell yourself that you’re being true to your ideals, and if that satisfies you, that’s great. But ultimately, what you’re doing isn’t actually helping anyone.

          • wyrdwad

            It’s spreading the word, though. My goal is merely to bring up the issue and get people thinking about it. To create that spark that makes someone say… you know what, he’s right!

            Once I’ve seeded a few people with my sexy, sexy way of thinking, maybe we can all get together and start a revolution or something. ;)

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            That’s nice, but I don’t think you’re actually achieving anything productive with the way you’re going about it.

            What you’re effectively doing is asking people to boycott games they are interested in and encouraging people not to support publishers that are trying to create a market in the west for niche games. And all in the name of… what, exactly?

            Censorship in games isn’t at a point where there’s a call-to-arms needed every single time someone’s buttcrack gets covered up or half-naked 12-year-old is omitted from the western release. There are worthier causes to fight for, and I would argue that all you’re doing is causing a ruckus when there isn’t need for one.

            The effect that this is eventually going to have is that when there is a cause worth fighting for, no one will take you seriously because they’re so used to the idea of you being the boy who cried wolf.

          • wyrdwad

            I strongly disagree that this is not a cause worth fighting for. As far as I’m concerned, this is THE biggest problem the video game industry is facing right now. It may not seem like much yet, but it’s poised to turn gaming into a pitiful shell of what it could be. And if we don’t put a stop to it now, it could get to be such a big a problem that we no longer CAN stop it.

            Maybe you don’t think it’s a big problem. And that’s fine. You don’t have to. But please don’t insult me by likening this to a “boy who cried wolf” situation. The problem I’ve been describing does exist. I’ve seen it first hand. I’ve unwittingly been a PART of it. It’s not a fuss I’m making for no reason, but a fuss I’m making because THERE IS AN ACTUAL WOLF PRESENT. And that wolf is not going away.

            Agree to disagree if you must, but don’t try to convince me that this isn’t a cause worth fighting for. I believe, to my core, that it is, and I believe that someone needs to say the things I’m saying.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            All I’m saying is, you’re going about it the wrong way. You sound like one of those people that’s okay with causing collateral damage all in the name of the “greater good”.

          • wyrdwad

            …Yeah, I pretty much am. That’s why I should probably never be put in charge of anything. (Well, why OTHER PEOPLE probably wouldn’t want me in charge of anything — personally, I’d love the power trip!)

            Always been fond of fighting to the death for the greater good, though. Much respect to those who do it. ;)

          • Audie Bakerson

            “isn’t at a point” where it matters? That’s long been accepted as the WORST reason not to support a cause! Doing so only makes it much harder, if not impossible, to stop. It’s not even something that requires any specialized knowledge when phrases like “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” or “give them and inch and they’ll take a mile” are firmly ingrained in the English language.

            Any why can we only support a single cause? In-fact, supporting THIS cause actually helps other causes because I will have more money to support whatever cause I support.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            Passion without any sort of practical direction or game plan is pointless, in my opinion.”

            Ooh, I gotta write that down in my quotebook. That’s definitely something I should keep in mind. ^⩊^

          • M’iau M’iaut

            I am far fuller of pithy sayings which mean so much.

          • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

            Yes, yes, Oyaji… I believe you. XD

        • mirumu

          I respect where you’re coming from, I don’t approve of what’s going on either. Self-censorship pains me intensely. MM is probably not a game I’d have bought anyway as card games aren’t my thing, but I could not in good conscience support the practise either way. Seems like we’re on the same page.

          Whether you actually have any say or not however isn’t going to matter to someone who twists your words and runs with them. I’d hate to see you become a casualty because someone mistook your comments for an official company position. If that happened you’d just be giving the pro-censorship side more ammo which would be a huge loss for us all, most of all you. Just some thoughts anyway. Whatever you do though thanks for the insight into how this really works, it’s appreciated.

          • wyrdwad

            I learned long ago that people will quote me out of context whenever and wherever I least suspect it, and ever since then, I’ve taken to always choosing my words carefully so that if that DOES happen, it (hopefully) works in my favor.

            I’m sure I’m going to fail miserably at that one day, but… well, que sera sera! I’ll take my licks as they come. ;)

    • buddyluv324

      Nicely put, Tom. Its refreshing to hear a more professional insider’s point of view. Seeing games like Killer is Dead and Dragon’s Crown sticking with their guns without having to bend over for those who might be sensitive to such imagery is more of what the gaming industry needs t help add variety.

      The biggest issue ive seen in gaming as of late is this sickening trend of hyper-over sensitivity that’s been running rabid like the plague. Thats bad enough on its own, but its even worse when there’s people like Kat Bailey from USGamer saying Lords of Shadows 2 is making rape fun or Chris Rooke from ONM going on a diatribe on how Senran Kagura Burst is damaging to the gaming industry is a disservice to gaming as a whole. Not only just that but its also holds back game developers/publishers for releasing anything new to the table and its insulting to gamers as a whole.

      I’m not knocking people for being offended by certain content in games. That alone is fine. But its they way these people have been ranting on to gamers as if we’re too fucking stupid to separate reality from fantasy. At the end of the day, gaming is just another form of entertainment. Its not fucking real and we don’t endorse any sort of hyper violence, murder, sex, rape, etc. to be a high standard into everyday life just because we see it in a video game.

      • Cody

        Dragon’s Crown wasn’t about little girls

        • buddyluv324

          I never said DC was in anyway in the same merit as Monster Monpiece, but even then there was still a vocal minority either bitching over the size of the Sorceress’s breasts ( who is clearly of adult age btw) or try to lable the game as sexist, mysogynist, etc. because of a couple of harmless ( but suggestive) female NPCs which ironically is closely comparable to something out of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit magazine.

    • Cody

      Less purchases means less chance of you getting this creepy shit in the future, so good on ya.

  • Audie Bakerson

    I still don’t get how they could censored Mau Shibau.

    FAILURE AS A HUMAN! FAILURE AS A HUMAN!

    • GH56734

      nude loli with nipples.

      That said they shouldn’t have released the title at all in English, since the Japanese copy is the only way to play it unaltered (no cultural differences and stuff like that)
      The idea of trying to avoid controversy while releasing such a controversial-to-the-core game highly amuses me.

  • Kornelious

    It doesn’t matter what excuse you make. People ALWAYS hate censoring, no matter how little or for what reason!

  • otakumike

    I’ll be buying this day 1

    • TheExile285

      Oh god. I look forward to kicking your ass online ^_^

  • Herok♞

    They still left the rubbing mechanic in the game, so I don’t see censoring the images they did as a problem. Since that might have been pushing it, but it really doesn’t matter how long people argue the game is censored, they did it for reasons that are reasonable. The draw of the game is the gameplay system and not the images so its whatever at this point everyone is either ok with it or not. It didn’t get a physical run so the sales drop shouldn’t be as big of a deal as it would be otherwise

  • NegativeZero

    17 characters censored (they gave a list) but ~40 images, which can only mean that either the list was a subset of what they’re hitting, or *all* the evolutions of those cards are censored, not just the final ones. Each has 3 levels so 2 censored images per card = 34, except one of the characters mentioned has 3 extra steps, so actually 37, close enough to the ‘around 40′ statement. If this is the case it’s pretty crazy, because while in a lot of cases the final artwork for those was pretty borderline, even the level 2 ones generally aren’t any worse than the ones left alone.

  • Demeanor

    I’m perfectly cool with this, since:
    A) they’re reaching out to fans in a timely and transparent manner, regretting the idea of censoring anything (CH games, tho not the best in the world, have always gone the extra mile to please fans with dual VA, CEs and whatnot) and declaring that they only did it because they had no choice.
    B) they’re emphasizing – and rightly so – that the game suffers from no real consequences from these removals, so people can think twice before jumping on the angry bandwagon.

    I am generally totally against removing content from games (kinda like removing a character from a painting), but I can’t really blame their stance, given how western modern society sees certain things. It would have been very cool to have alternate, safer images in place of the removed ones, but, oh well, I guess that would have driven costs up.
    To all the people pissed by this, I can only say that it’s only a tiny part of the whole game, and you can always, I dunno, cover your room’s walls with huge illustrations of the censored pics if you wanna take a good long look at them XD. I wouldn’t want to miss out on a good game just for this (kinda like the Ayesha and Mugen Souls cases).
    (btw, is the game good? I’ve always been too distracted by the rubbing part in all the articles about MonMon XD never heard anything about the rest)

    • mockturtle

      I may regret asking but… I know about Mugen Souls, but what was censored in Atelier Ayesha? O_o I’ve never heard anything about that.

      • dark-kyon

        ayesha do not got censored,the game have cut the japanese voice track what every atelier game in ps3 have before.

        • Sigfried Silverblade

          Funny thing is that I’m playing Atelier Ayesha right now.
          And the english dub is good.
          People complaining about the lack of dual audio seemed excessive to me.

          • Boku

            Subjective impressions of good or bad aside, people simply wanted the original dub. Its something that the long-term fans of the series have become accustomed to and expect from the games. Tecmo removed it for seemingly no reason and that didnt sit right with them. I believe they learnt their lesson and promised the next Atelier title would have both dubs available (and I think they said they’d put both into the inevitable Ayesha+ PSV port).

          • sakiu

            For me the problem with Ayesha is not the lack of JP voice track, but really limited English track, many subevents are not voiced in English :(

  • Andar

    There’s a lot to comment on when it comes to this game and the issues surrounding it.

    Censorship is one of those things that’s really hard to work with, for not only consumers, but for the companies that produce and distribute creative works as well. Ideally, anyone would be able to make a creative work and market as they please to the intended audience, but what really gets in the way here are the regional values of society. While I am a staunch defender of creative works being kept as close to the creator’s intended form as possible, I see no reasonable claim for someone to fault Idea Factory International for their decision to censor the game in Western markets. While many people are upset by the decision to censor, it would ultimately cause much bigger problems without it.

    What I am personally disappointed by, however, is the move to replace the removed images with other pre-existing ones. I understand the logic behind the decision: a fairly sizable amount of cards were censored (a bit over 11% of them), and it would take a fair amount of resources (money and time) to have them edited or redrawn. From a design standpoint, though, it’s ultimately a decrease in quality after the localization. It’s like having a version of Pokemon where a number of the pokemon in the game don’t change appearance after evolving. I’m not saying that this means the localization is ‘lazy’ or anything, since I understand that new art assets cost money, but the current situation leaves a game which has assets fully removed rather than altered or replaced, which I can only count as a loss.

    Finally, I’m also disappointed to hear that the game will be download only, but in this case it has nothing to do with the game itself, actually; digital titles on Vita are difficult to manage for many people because of Sony’s proprietary memory cards. Cards with a lot of storage are outside of a reasonable price range for many of us (compared to almost any other form of small media storage cards), leaving us with very limited memory space to work with. Generally speaking, I can only have a single Vita game on my card at a time, much to my frustration.

  • Renaldi Saputra

    it’s hard indeed to make a decision for more than 1 year

  • VJ

    Really smart. Make a game that only people interested in the “risque” art would even consider buying, then take that art out.

    There is no way the sales are not going to be terrible for them now. Who would buy this for the gameplay? No one, that’s who.

    • Lynx

      -Who would buy this for the gameplay? No one, that’s who.

      I hear the actual card game’s actually pretty fun and the story’s relatively decent. I was actually considering getting it just for that given that there haven’t been many new card games come out that I’d personally enjoy nor does there seem to be in the pipeline.

  • Raw

    40 images out of 350. So a LOT of the highest level images were censored.

  • Aesma

    ,,,actually… while many complain about the censored art, I’m interested in the gameplay. Anyone have a manual or a guide for the card games?

  • http://epiclyamazing.wordpress.com/ AzureNova

    They keep explaining, but my disappointment still remains. -_-

    Happy to be getting the game, but that feeling still remains.

  • LastationLover5000

    Ehhh…I’m disappointed, they should have left it all be, but I don’t see any real solution to it, so…s’not like i’m not gonna get it, but damn it, Idea Factory

  • mockturtle

    I still want to know why Kraken is one of the censored cards. Try as I might, I don’t see it as sexual unless I go into ultra-perv mode.

    • LastationLover5000

      She “appears to be younger than a socially acceptable age”

    • Hikari Langley

      Too cute to be outside of Japan… I’d hug her.

  • Hyli

    Okay seriously?
    40 out of 350 isn’t even a lot?
    I don’t get why everyone is SOO disappointed that they covered up some stuff.

    • Hikari Langley

      The matter of the issue that they taken things out. There wasn’t any need to do that at all. It’s a shame that IF thinks it’s needed, censorship just pissed me off.

      • Hyli

        If there were some things that wouldn’t be approved by the ESRB or whatever (I have barely been looking at this stuff) then sure, I imagine they would take it out.
        From what I’ve seen it’s all big boobs and little girls with their legs spread so I figured some censorship would be in order.

        • Hikari Langley

          Problem is the ESRB doesn’t have a problem with this kind of content. They might complain, but they won’t stop the game from being released.

    • Boku

      Its over 10% and, for a game that has one of its main draws be its [lewd] artwork, thats a pretty substantial blow. You pay for the game, put your time and effort into it and, expecting the same reward as the original market received, you dont. Nobody would be happy with this if it were in any other aspect but its somehow okay because its only an aesthetic thing?

      Its a bold and dangerous statement to say that youre “happy with the censorship”. Youre telling businessmen that youre not only perfectly fine but actually pleased with receiving a sub-par or less-than-complete product. Rather than encouraging them to stand by their integrity to MAKE such a product in the first place, youre letting them know that they can and should be taking stuff away in order to play it safe because of cultural differences.

      These types of small levels of censorship are actually a little more annoying than full-blown smear projects. Skimming just the tip of the problem isnt going to prevent people who still see everything else as obscene from complaining and by giving your fans — the ones who asked for the product as they saw it — this change its only going to annoy them. Its a complete bust for everyone: IFI have not only gone and scared off a number of guaranteed sales but alienated those same people which is going to make them question any of their future projects.

      • Hyli

        I guess as a person who wasn’t really planning to buy the game in the first place, I find it difficult to care.
        But from a business standpoint, I suppose IF could have handled this differently at least.

        • Boku

          To be perfectly honest I was on the fence about it when it first leaked. Its an interesting thing, the Vita is somewhat starved for titles (that I am interested in) and I would like to support IFI in their endeavours. Although I had no plans to get it day one, full schbang and whatever, the unveiling of this censorship has removed it entirely from purchasing at all.

          They knew (and still do know) that the fans wanted this game and if they end up out of pocket because of this decision then they have nobody but themselves to blame. They could have stood to learn from NISAs mistake(s) that censorship is going to both earn you criticism and lose you sales. Nobody who doesnt already want this game was worried about the imagery and anyone else who was going to rag on the game for its lolicon imagery or whatever-pandering still has 310 other cards to go for. What fanbase they do (or did) have is now divided over this.

  • Varnes

    I am just happy were getting a Vita Card game especially by compile heart, ya the censorship sucks but least the cards are still in there

  • http://amc9988.deviantart.com/ amc99

    Wow IF really are awesome to go their way and explain about the censorship. Most company that censored their game never do this to this extent.

  • ivanchu77

    I don´t blame them, i rather blame the west mentality where a anime character in a bikini is “too much” while the games with weapons, gore, realistic models, sex scenes and torture are ok and even get awards

    Getting this day 1 and proud, I hope it´s profitable for idea factory, making them able to localize more games

  • Landale

    I look at this update, and I smile. I look at a lot of the posts about this, and I cringe. I’m pretty sure that even if they had gone so far into detail as to explain each individual card’s censoring people would still be wishing for this to ruin them. They probably could very well have gotten away with an uncensored US release, and just not put it out in Europe, but neglecting Europe runs in complete opposition of why this particular branch of the company even exists.
    “Idea Factory International, Inc. intends to focus on providing general
    and overall information regarding such Idea Factory properties to North
    American and European fans, as well as strengthen the Idea Factory brand
    around the globe.”

    • sakiu

      You know that the game got M in US and 12+ in EU? :D I am pretty sure that it could get past PEGI with less censorship as it has now.

      • Landale

        Except the majority of what was censored wasn’t because of PEGI, it was because of various laws in Europe that lump the pictures removed in with actual child porn.

  • AkiraScare

    (TT_TT) still getting it (TT_TT)

  • Warboss Aohd

    wow, you guys ar still arguing about this?

    this is almost as much butthurt as the ME3 ending fiasco.

    and that was JUSTIFIED in that they advertised the ending would not do EXACTLY what happened in said ending, which counts as false advertisement.

  • notforsale

    Geez, if people REALLY want to rub young girls then they should just import the Japanese version -_-”…

  • http://www.segalization.com/ Kuronoa

    That’s more than I thought it was.
    I’m fine with minor censoring Nintendo does because it is just 1-3 items but having 40 images “dummied out” is disappointing. I actually wish they kept it quiet, I want to play the game but not having this information sunk in the back of my head and feeling guilty I supported this major censorship job.

    They should have picked up Fairy Fencer F or something else. The game is about touching the girls to power themselves up, you cannot go halfway with this concept.

  • ZetaSiren

    I’m still bummed out but we have to remember that at least they did their outmost best at leaving it intact and for even bringing the game overseas. And for that, I congratulate them!

    • LastationLover5000

      That kind of reasoning is just a cop out

  • LastationLover5000

    The majority of the people who want this are more than likely here for the ecchi things anyway; they’re pretty much screwing the target audience out of what they want

  • kthanxyousuck

    *Insert multiple comments about how IF should say screw their business and do what their fans want*

    They’re a business and they have to protect themselves. Fans don’t have to like it but support alone doesn’t keep a company afloat. There’s plenty of factors that include keeping people in higher places happy. It’s like that in every business. Will they be criticized anyway? Sure they will. But it’s the lesser of two evils. They could be criticized for their “touchy” gameplay AND depicting drawing that resemble half naked children or they could just be criticized for the gameplay.

    People can argue that other games show more, but I don’t remember any other game where you actually interact with the nude character. Maybe that’s the big difference here? Watching a nude chick in a cutscene versus rubbing the almost naked body of a potentially underaged girl.

    • Crazy_O

      You still will have to touch the girls, only with one piece of clothing more. This won’t keep any -ists away from making a fuss about it.

      They will. And on the top of that your potential fanbase.
      I’m not supporting censorship in the slightest. Don’t release it at all or add english text in the original japanese version. Better than this mess.

  • Vash bane

    @_@’

    time to google lol

  • Learii

    Dear Idea Factory don’t worry not like kids going to buy the game so don’t replace the images we like more skin to exposed ;)

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    I’ll never be ok with the fact that they have to do it because of morals and not actual legalities but I’ll buy it cause vita is dry as a desert right now

  • Landale

    So, I’ve been digging around a bit more and it seems US law, in addition to UK laws and other similar European laws, are to blame. The UK law basically equates the majority of the removed pictures to child porn. US law ruled that that particular reasoning is unconstitutional, however the PROTECT Act of 2003 went ahead and made this shit pretty murky. If the image, either of a real or fictional child, is almost indistinguishable from reality it can qualify as child porn. As for ones that are not realistic, as is the case with these images, they can still qualify for child obscenity, which carries pretty much all the same penalties as child porn. The check for obscenity is vague as hell; It’s based on “community standards”, interpretation of possible state laws, and whether anyone feels that the work has “serious” value. So basically by US law you’re essentially playing Russian Roulette state by state with the uncensored version of the game, but with being labeled a sex offender instead of bullet to the head.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1978/37/body
    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-108s151enr/pdf/BILLS-108s151enr.pdf
    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2003/April/03_ag_266.htm

    • Landale

      With obscenity laws in mind, a few more of the images begin to make sense where the lack of childlike appearance didn’t quite add up.
      Rafflesia’s blood-like fluids on the breasts and crotch for one. A
      few of the images also have them with their weapons between their legs, in one case actually outright placed up against the crotch, carrying possible masturbation implications which would possibly qualify as obscene.

      • Boku

        I dont think youve really said anything there that would qualify as news but, at the end of the day, IFI is still the one “to blame”. They voluntarily took it upon themselves to remove what they deemed to be the “worst offending” cards and took on a higher content rating than they may have gotten (in the US). Terribly grandiose of them to do and even admit to it, but that was still all their doing.

        We know exactly why they did it, but that does not mean we have to like or support it.

        Some of their choices just make no sense either: Kraken and Brownie are pretty innocent and Tengu is no more explicit than many other cards of a lower level. It looks so arbitrary, forced and confusing. Particularly when Neptunia alone has gotten away with just as much imagery plus associated innuendo and gotten but a 16 (Mk2) and 12 (1 / V) rating in the UK.

        • Landale

          “They’re to blame for complying with the laws of the countries they’re localizing the game in.”
          “We don’t have to support them complying with the laws of countries they’re localizing the game in.”
          Really?
          If you can’t see why some of the cards were removed, fine, but blaming them for your inability to understand is insane. For the most part I didn’t understand the removal of cards, I didn’t go out of my way to start shit talking the company though; I went out of my way to find out why they might have done that. There are still cards I don’t understand being removed, but I don’t know the laws of absolutely every country. I honestly wouldn’t even know where to begin.
          And honestly, I’ve not seen Neptunia get away with anything even close to some of these images, nor have I seen it’s localizations for countries other than the US.

    • KANADE2

      Most if not all of theses laws are garbage,and don’t really work that well if you look at the amount of people who have actually been jailed,or fined under them. Companies like Funimation,Mangagamer,and JAST are still in business even after releasing products that had loli content that could be considered obscene. On top of that there are many easily accessible websites out there that host 18+ lolicon,shotacon,and Toddlercon content,and there are not many cases where the site was shut down by court order. There is also the fact that you can import the Japanese version of theses games without having the FBI,NSA,CIA,or customs showing up at your door step to arrest you.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        Enough. Sorry you are late to the party, but this fight was done well enough yesterday. JAST has pulled at least 2 titles they picked up from other companies due to apparent ages, MG has one game with extensive lolis, and I am not sure where you are coming up with Funimation. They have never released anything remotely adult.

        A lot of Japanese adult websites block Western IPs, whether or not means can be found to overcome such things is immaterial. One company made some business decisions, based not only upon US law but UK and I am sure German as well. Even without those laws, a company is able to make whatever business decisions they choose to make.

        • KANADE2

          Funimation,after being pressured by consumers,uncensored Dance In the Vampre Bund which gave the underaged vampire female character visible tits. Keep in mind I never specified that the content was adult as I only said “releasing products that had loli content that could be considered obscene “.

          What titles did JAST pull? Sorry for being lazy,but I’m not going to look at all of theses post to find it XD.

          Even with JAST pulling titles,and MG only having one release with extensive lolis my point still stands that none of the staff from theses companies were arrested,or fined due to theses laws.

          I’m aware that there are Japanese adult sites that block IPs,but at the same time there are plenty of non Japanese based sites that offer said content,and don’t block IPs. Some of them don’t even require you to sign up for a account to access the content.
          The point i’m trying to get across is theses laws haven’t even managed to drive the content underground in many regions of the world to the point where it’s very difficult to access.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Yet mature content on some random site is not the legitimate release of a product though a US console storefront. Jewel Knights Crusaders was pulled and similarly Sumaga has disappeared from the Nitro+ games which were to come over.

          • KANADE2

            It’s true they are not the same thing,but the laws that were listed in Landale’s post apply to both,and hold the same weight. It’s not like those laws were only made to cover retail products.

          • Landale

            I don’t know if what you’re talking about gets distributed by the same company across multiple countries, nor if even if it does if it’s the same exact version across those releases.
            Everything so far seems to point to this being the localization being the same version for all the places getting it. UK law outright bans some of the content, US law makes some of the content a gamble. There’s still plenty of countries who’s laws I’ve not looked into.
            I’m merely trying to provide information relevant to the decision as many people are simply jumping to conclusions that the company is cowardly or lazy, when there are in fact perfectly reasonable possibilities for the censorship.

          • KANADE2

            Not all the products I talked about gets released in multiple countries,but it still does distributed in at least one country that could potentially ban it under the laws that they have. I know Dance In The Vampire Bund was uncensored in UK (15+ rating by the rating board) without any concerns/issues in regards to the nudity of a certain loli ,and eventually in the US after consumer pressure.

          • seiya19

            According to JAST last update status, Sumaga is being translated:

            http://www.jastusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=7341

            Also, doesn’t Demonbane have loli content ? (Besides the fact that Monster Monpiece can’t be compared to eroge anyway…)

          • KANADE2

            I’m sure not everyone will agree,but Demonbane does have a loli.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Al Azif is as close as things have come to a loli not being a loli. In fact, the best ending depends upon Kurou NOT simply seeing her as a book to have mad loli sex with.

            Trust me, I can dance the eroge dance as I must — and Demonbane is as good as eroge has gotten in terms of legit US releases. It is just indeed in fact that IF is NOT doing an eroge release with this game — and that we all must be sharp enough to understand all that such entails.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            My point would be is look at the changed images and look at the defeated girls in say Raidy. They are pretty much the same darn thing. I’d seen the reports that Sumaga was still being developed, but after waiting for things back to Little My Maid and even before — I don’t trust a JAST release existing until I have it on my PC :P.

          • seiya19

            But, how do you know it’s just the simple nude CGs that puts Raidy in AO territory and not the explicit sex ? I would think the latter is the one that crosses the barrier… (Although, for the record, I haven’t played it yet)

            In any case, the main point here is that if these obscenity laws didn’t allow the kind of content that Monpiece has, none of those other examples mentioned could’ve been released before. Whether the ESRB/others would’ve given it an M rating/equivalent uncensored is still unknown, but looking at the facts, I remain convinced that Idea Factory didn’t even try.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            There is a big difference between a Vita game requiring both an ESRB rating AND a Sony license and a game released unrated to an adult market. We really are talking two very different things. indeed.

          • seiya19

            I’ve acknowledge the difference myself in my posts… I’m honestly not sure what your point is.

            If you’re refering to the financial costs, I understand that, but the thing is, they should’ve been well aware of that before making the decision, so it’s not a valid excuse to me.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Not everyone has in the course of this discussion. Sorry for any confusision.

          • seiya19

            Oh, no problem. ^_^

  • Stranger On The Road

    Which is why I’m still of the opinion that Japanese developer should consider releasing an English Language patch for their Japanese releases; and let those who want to play the game to import it.

    Might not generate the extra sells that they are hopping for by licensing, localizing and releasing the game in the west. But when the contents of the game is questionable, this might be better than censoring the Western release.

  • buddyluv324

    I’m just gonna leave a link to a YouTube video which in someway deal with this particular topic to give some perspective on the whole mess. Enjoy.- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4-PKNdVhP8&list=UUWB0dvorHvkQlgfGGJR2yxQ&feature=c4-overview

    • Landale

      While that does have a point, it’s not entirely relevant. The primary difference being history and presentation. The Dracula example is sticking with the primary mythology of the creature, the issues raised about it are completely groundless. The stuff to this game is actually sexual in nature and doesn’t have much precedence in the materials it draws from, and for the most part they’re not backing off on what they’ve made.
      The only things Idea Factory are backing off on are things that do actually have legal vulnerabilities. You’re not going to find much community support on child like figures with these sorts of depictions, and these arguably don’t really contribute anything. That’s already 2 of 3 checks on obscenity charges, all that remains is someone finding just the right law to tie in. That’s just the US, there are European countries where the stuff depicted is just outright illegal, no need to find just the right location with just the right tangential law and general opinion to try to make the content a crime.

      • buddyluv324

        There’s still the case of releasing something half-assed knowing full well of the content of MM and their view of the market. Its as if Idea Factory isnt fully convident on the product nor the market they’re targeting towards. Yes we all know child porngraphy is illegal and just downright disgusting.We also know that there’s a huge different between that and fictional 2-d loli characters. As gamers we dont need to wear a pair of fucking kid gloves to know that there’s a different. My point on this and the video I posted in my previous comment is to either let the market decide on what games should be “acceptable” in the States, or not release the game at all instead of going about it half-assed.

        It doesnt take much to see that there’s a huge double standard on this sort of subject matter in games. Gamers will be quick to come out and defend violence in games has no connection to violence in real life, but when there’s a nearly or full nude female character in a game ( weather the character be adult or underage) there’s gamers that are quick into having their feeling hurt. I know im repeating myself here, but examples like this bring up the bigger question on weather gaming is still looked upon as just a “kid’s toy.”

        • Landale

          I’m not jumping to defend anything, simply trying to understand it.

          A rational person realizes the difference. The way laws are worded though, there’s not much difference. The fact that “prove it’s real” gets used as a defense in terms of real child porn is part why the PROTECT Act I mentioned below exists, which basically applies rules that should and do exist for reality to fiction as well just under a different name.

          • buddyluv324

            As regards to the law on this subject matter in the States, it clearly differentiates between fictional characters and real life children. However it is illegal to have cartoon images that depict actual minors. Its just what ive gathered from it thus far so I could be missing out on some details.

            In regards to MM, There isnt any foul play going on with the characters in suggestive situations. I could see where Idea Factory is coming from and how people would find this sort of content offensive. I just wish publishers would stop trying to babysit the gaming market and let us gamers decide on what sorts of games should be released in the states that try to get away from the usual “norm” of hyper-violence.

          • Landale

            “However it is illegal to have cartoon images that depict actual minors.”

            Doesn’t need to be depictions of actual minors. Not since 2003.
            http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2003/April/03_ag_266.htm
            That bit of info is detailed at Problem #3. Basically because people were using “you can’t prove it” as a defense, the law added in a bit where if they can’t prove it’s child porn they can still aim for obscenity charges based around child like images that carry penalties higher than standard obscenity charges.

          • buddyluv324

            I still see to fail how this applies to MM. If that was the case, then this game and other like it with similar content should have never been localized in the States in the first place. For some reason though there’s still some loop holes somewhere that still having these games released here.

          • Landale

            The nature of obscenity charges.
            While the law’s primary purpose is to get rid of that sort of defense, the wording does leave it able to attempt application beyond that. It’s just a matter of obscenity being much more vague and subjective.
            Essentially someone could in theory utilize the law not necessarily expecting to succeed in the obscenity charges, but to drain out the funding of whoever needs to defend themselves. A small company could not likely survive that.
            So basically it’s a loophole that leaves this a possibility, not a loophole that allows what has gone through to go through.

  • Arrngrim

    Long story short….”Hope this game is import friendly!” Hahahaha…

  • http://myanimelist.net/profile/chibuki chibuki

    Can they bring those 40 uncensored cards as paid DLC add-on contents?

    • Landale

      Given the most plausible reasoning behind their removal in the first place, no.

  • DarkLight

    I think I’ll pass on this game because of this stupid censorship.

  • groundsquirrelsb

    Alright, so now I’m a bit annoyed after seeing the missing cards
    themselves. Only a few of these cars are total lolis. I mean look at
    Phantom, Rafflesia and Pegasus. What loli has a chest and rear like
    that?

    http://imageshack.com/a/img856/6803/0wbg.png

    • Landale

      UK “Loli law”, as some have put it, covers a good number of them outright with pretty much no defense.
      Rafflesia, Pegasus, Kobold, & Cockatrice run risk of being subjected to US Obscenity laws. It’s fully possible that they could put it out with them present, but given that this is a new branch to an already small company, risking legal action isn’t a wise business move.
      As it stands, the only images I do not understand being censored are Fia, Tengu, and Phantom. But then, I haven’t gone digging through laws in absolutely every country getting this yet.

      • groundsquirrelsb

        Rafflesia and Pegasus arent even close to the us standards of obscenity which requires images of sexual activity (perthe 9th district court) and/or per images of sexual organs. That being said, these characters fall under a clear ESRB M rating:

        Mature (M): Ages 17 and older. May contain “intense violence,” “sexual content,” “blood and gore” as well as “strong language.”

        Adults Only (AO): Ages 18 and older. May contain “intense violence” and “graphic sexual content.”

        I feel IF did this as a preemptive strike against possible negative scrutiny and backlash without actually running the images past the ESRB beforehand.

        • Landale

          Bloodlike fluids on the breast and crotch. Object suggestively pressed up against the crotch.
          It’s not likely enough to win such a case, especially when the criteria varies wildly by nature, but it’s enough to present it which could easily kill the branch to the company.

          • groundsquirrelsb

            Agreed but why couldnt they just remove the fluids? Oh and have you seen Agarest War’s game images with its girls eating chocolate bananas, bread, etc? How is that any different?

          • Landale

            Possibly due to the contracts with the artists? Not sure if they’d have the right to edit it, nor how much it would cost to get them to make an alternate.
            As for the Agarest eating thing; It’s suggestive sure, but in a completely different manner than the poses presented among the censored cards.

      • seiya19

        These laws apply to more than just videogames, and the likes of Strike Witches, Queen’s Blade, and Dance in the Vampire Bund were released uncensored on DVD/Blu-Ray in the US. In fact, this latter one was also released in the UK, despite including loli nudity…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_in_the_Vampire_Bund#Anime

        Then, there’s also all the eroge that gets published by JAST in the US…

        The risk of running into legal action and the financial cost of it is a valid point, but with that mindset, they shouldn’t have tried to localize this in the first place. It was always their decision, so it’s their responsibility.

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