Shortest Ban in History: Singapore Clears Mass Effect for Sale

It seems like just yesterday that GamePolitics reported that new Xbox 360 release Mass Effect had been banned in Singapore over a rather mild lesbian sex scene.

Actually, it was the day before yesterday.

But, as reported by Today Online, the game with the sexy, blue alien has now been green-lighted in Singapore:

After fanning the ire of the video gaming community with the ban of Mass Effect, the authorities have done a U-turn by rating the highly-anticipated futuristic space adventure by Microsoft and allowing its sale in Singapore.

In a statement on Friday, the Media Development Authority (MDA) said the game had been reviewed by the Board of Film Censors (BFC) and is now rated M18. The decision comes ahead of its planned implementation of a classification system for video games.

Singapore currently has no rating systed in place for games. Prior to its reversal of course, Singapore was also the only country in the world to have banned Mass Effect. Germaine Ong of Singapore-based gaming mag Gameaxis told Today Online:

The ratings system is a long time coming but any step now is a positive one…

This is significant because gamers would have obtained the game anyway, through parallel importers or illegal means. Now, gamers and parents are able to make a decision on which games are suitable rather than have the games prescribed to them by the authorities.

Ian Tan, a Southeast Asian Xbox 360 exec added:

We welcome the MDA’s decision to allow Mass Effect for sale in Singapore with an M18 rating. We will continue to work with the MDA to promote responsible gaming here.

USA Today has more.

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  1. 0
    Sean ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Pandralisk says,

    “That’s the exact problem with the ESRB/Retailer side censorship currently screwing over any implementation of adult content.”

    You of all people should know who’s really responsible for that. It’s the big 3’s fault, they’re the ones who made AO a ban, not the ESRB/retailers.

  2. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    can’t say I don’t agree with you, then again, the movie industry is deeper entrenched as is the comic and TV industries. I think it just needs time.

    And the reason we get on your case about religious bashing is, you are kind of an ass about it and tend to bring it up where it isn’t relevant. Just tone it down a bit as what most of us can ask I suppose.

  3. 0
    jkdjr25, formerly bayushisan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Another problem is that you’re assuming other nations have free speach laws. Unfortunately they don’t, as evidenced by some governments taking steps to ban games that they don’t like. I’m not saying that its right, that’s just the way it is and only the people of those countries can take steps to change things.

  4. 0
    Pandralisk says:


    That’s the exact problem with the ESRB/Retailer side censorship currently screwing over any implementation of adult content. I’m sorry, but in a 75+ hour RPG marketed around adults like Masseffect, it is absolutely absurd that there are not sexual and violent elements comprable to those we see in R movies.

    You can tell that most of the garbage on the market has been toned down. I don’t talk about religion here, because I am not sure about the motivating force behind the Singapore goverment.

  5. 0
    A cute lil' pyro says:

    Grats for the people in Singapore.
    Still doesn’t help the fact that Microsoft sent me back my 360, only to have it die again in under 24 hours.
    And i so looked forward to mass effect, too.

  6. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    And if it did have that, er, scene you mentioned, it’d likely have AO and not be out here either, however, that is where the AO rating is again, useful only as a banhammer

  7. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Here here dude.

    And hey, thanks for not attacking religion again, your comments are much more enjoyable to read with this kind of content.

  8. 0
    Pandralisk says:

    Also, remember shit like this is great danger to the artistic validity of gaming as a medium. When a company supposedly seeks to “work with” a handful of moralistic idiots, they are effectively persuading developers to “tone down” content [on a level that will not offend moralistic idiots] so their games can reach out to a broader market.

    There are some contexts where sex and extreme violence are tasteful and needed elements of game design.

  9. 0
    Pandralisk says:

    Reminds me of some shit from Borat:

    “In my home country of Khazakastan, they take the homosexuals to jail and finish them.”


    I do not care if the game had a hardcore lesbian bondage scene that lasts over three hours: no goverment, retailer, liscensing agreement, religious group, or parenting organization has the right to censor or ban it from adult consumers.

  10. 0
    Toxicity² ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “over a rather mild lesbian sex scene.”

    “rather mild” is an exaggeration. You don’t see shit. Just them getting close and then a hand.

    I’m still laughing that they actually banned it at all for this.

  11. 0
    Dustin1986 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So the decision to ban the game was based entirely on media hysteria, and then the decision was reversed after actually looking at the game? Imagine that.

  12. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Heh, sounds like Singapore’s MDA went:

    “Ah crap, this is really making us look bad, and probably isn’t going to do much anyways. Does anyone actually have a problem with the game?”

    “No, doesn’t sound like it’d be any worse than an M18 movie. The only problem is that we don’t have a rating system for games.”

    “Fine, then just run it past the film guys. Preferably before we become more of a laughing stock in the tech niche over this.”

    “We’ll get right on that.”

  13. 0
    Eville1 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    They were just jealous of hot alien on human action. They didn’t think of it first! (And there were no demons and little girls doing teh dirty.)

  14. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Now, gamers and parents are able to make a decision on which games are suitable rather than have the games prescribed to them by the authorities.”


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