Japan has strict regulations when it comes to games rated CERO Z. These games cannot be sold to anyone under 18 and are usually kept behind the counter. The taboo about CERO Z games have declined since more companies are releasing them, even Japanese developers like Tecmo Koei with Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge and Killer is Dead from Kadokawa Games. However, the same restrictions applied to digital distribution and most CERO Z games are not sold online.
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan is taking a leap forward by opening an 18+ game section on PlayStation Network in Japan. This part of the PlayStation Store will carry CERO Z rated games like The Last of Us. The new section will go live on October 31 with the following titles:
The Last of Us
God of War: Ascension
Killer is Dead
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
The Last of Us and God of War: Ascension will be discounted from 5,145 yen to 3,980 yen until November 13 as a launch promotion. PlayStation Plus members will be able to purchase either title for 3,480 yen.
Future CERO Z games like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Retro City Rampage, Saints Row IV, and Onechanbara Z: Kagura with NoNoNo will be available in this shop.
Unfortunately, this won’t make importing Onechanbara Z any easier since you can only purchase CERO Z games with a master account and a credit card. Still this is a notable policy change that will increase distribution for CERO Z titles, many of which are developed in the West. Microsoft tried a similar strategy for Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, but did not push CERO Z digital distribution even though they held events specifically for CERO Z games in Japan.