The Little Big Planet launch won’t go off next week as originally scheduled.
As reported by Joystiq, Sony is delaying LBP worldwide due to concerns about Qur’an references in a single song file. SCEE issued a statement on the situation:
During the review process prior to the release of LittleBigPlanet, it has been brought to our attention that one of the background music tracks licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur’an. We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence that this may have caused. We will confirm the new launch date shortly.
Joystiq reports that the tune in question is Tapha Niang by Grammy winner Toumani Diabaté. From Joystiq’s report:
From the brief research we’ve done (um … Wikipedia), we have yet to find evidence to suggest "Tapha Niang" (or any Toumani Diabaté production for that matter) has been criticized for possible religious offenses prior to today’s development. In fact, a profile published by Taipei Times describes Toumani Diabaté as "a devout Muslim, with his own prayer room next to his office."
GP: SCEE, still smarting from the Resistance / Manchester Cathedral controversy, is likely being extra-cautious here in an effort not to step on anyone’s religious toes.
Thanks to: GP reader Josh Thompson for the tip!
UPDATE: Just got this e-mail with reviewer info from Sony:
Please be sure to check out the latest PlayStation blog post regarding LittleBigPlanet for the PS3. Feel free to move forward with publishing reviews and features, but note that SCEA will begin shipping LittleBigPlanet to retail in North America the week of October 27th.
UPDATE 2: Kotaku has a translation of the offending passages:
Every soul shall have the taste of death… All that is on earth will perish…
UPDATE 3: Here’s the official PlayStation blog announcement. Doesn’t add much, although some of the commenters are outraged.