Numerous sites have reported that the German government has effectively banned Crackdown, an upcoming cops-and-robbers shooter published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360. Crackdown thus joins Gears of War and Dead Rising as 360 games unwelcome in Germany.
Perhaps not coincidentally, German politicians are currently debating a crackdown of another sort. Proposed legislation would make creators, distributors and even players of violent games subject to legal penalties which could include jail time.
As detailed by GameSpot, the USK, Germany’s ratings board, has refused classification of Crackdown, which means that it cannot be sold to minors or via online orders. In addition, it cannot be displayed in stores or advertised.
Of the German government’s decision, Microsoft told GameSpot:
Microsoft respects the decision of the German ratings board – the USK – not to provide the title with a rating. While Microsoft will continue to follow its policy of not publishing unrated titles, we remain committed to delivering Crackdown and other top-quality entertainment experiences to age-appropriate audiences around the world.
Set for a late February launch in North America, Crackdown will carry an M-rating from the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, and Use of Drugs.