Yesterday we mentioned a Destructoid report which said that EA's upcoming space-horror-survival title Dead Space had been banned in Germany, Japan and China. Destructoid sourced the info to Dead Space community manager Andrew Green.
Right away, the story didn't pass our smell test:
- Germany, perhaps. They've been tough on game violence of late. But Japan? The home of Resident Evil?
- Does EA even distribute console games in China (due to piracy concerns)?
- No announcements from the individual censorship bodies of the three nations?
- All three bans come in simultaneously?
- Also of note, Australia's notoriously censorious OFLC cleared Dead Space with MA15+
- And the BBFC, which banned Manhunt 2 in the U.K., cleared Dead Space with 18
- No official press release from EA on the alleged bans?
GP immediately contacted EA, with distinctly unsatisfactory results. The top PR dog didn't respond to our e-mail. Later in the day we tracked down the EA guy who is handling Dead Space PR, and put the question to him in two e-mails and a live phone call. Never got an answer one way or the other. EA doesn't know if one of their high profile titles managed to get banned in three countries? Sorry, not buying that. Or, they know but aren't saying? Unacceptable.
GamePolitics reader Afirejar posted a comment to yesterday's story which argued that the supposed German ban was bogus:
I can confirm for a fact that Dead Space has not been banned in Germany. Under German law it's not possible to ban products before they are actually available. The game isn't out yet, so it can't be banned, it's that simple. It's just not possible under German law.
This seems to be nothing more than a marketing stunt, German gaming paper GameStar even has official word from EA, that it's a hoax. The USK ratings process isn't even finished yet. (Sorry, German only)
Later, Videogaming247 cited a German language story by Eurogamer.de, which negates the report of a Dead Space ban in Germany:
Eurogamer.de’s scotched a report that said Dead Space had already been banned in Germany. Basically, it hasn’t.
The site’s spoken to EA Germany, and the game is still with the USK [ratings body], apparently, so no one knows yet if there are going to be any restrictions on the horror’s launch.
GP: It's time for EA to put an end to this nonsense. If there is a multi-country ban, gamers deserve to know about it. If there's not, gamers deserve to stop having their chains yanked...
UPDATE: Hey, I want to point out that I'm not faulting Destructoid here. They were not the only outlet reporting this, just the first. If the info is wrong, it seems that it somehow originated with the community managers of Dead Space.