In Japan, GTA Chinatown Wars is First DS Game to Receive Adults Only Rating

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars has been tagged with a "Z" rating (adults only) for the Japanese market, reports Siliconera:

All of the Grand Theft Auto games have been rated CERO Z so this isn’t really a shocker. However, Chinatown Wars will be the first Nintendo DS game with the rating and the second CERO Z game on a Nintendo platform. Killer 7 from Capcom is the other CERO Z rated game on Nintendo hardware.

CERO is the Japanese equivalent of the ESRB.

Via: Kotaku

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  1. Kincyr says:

    because unlike what you heard, GTA actually has sex in it rather than just innuendo.

    incidentally, I wonder how the sitcom Full House got past the FCC, as it has far too much sexual innuendo for a family-friendly show

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  2. Father Time says:

    Ok how the hell did that child molesting DS game not get a Z rating but GTA did? Was it made before the ratings were designed?


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  3. Kincyr says:

    the CERO ratings aren’t initials for anything, they are simply A (everyone, like ESRB’s ‘E’), B (12+), C (15+), D (17+, like ESRB’s ‘M’, but completely restricted, no ID required), and Z (18+, like ESRB’s ‘AO’ rating, but government-regulated)

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  4. Conster says:

    Yes, I figured as much. But AO stands for Adults Only, so I assume Z is short for something too.

  5. Flamespeak says:

    They already allow it. The ESRB will not stop a game from being made with an AO rating, however most retailers will not carry it (the same way most retailers don’t carry porn or NC-17 movies).  Most developers wouldn’t touch a product with an AO rating because it is almost a guranteed flop due to the limited advertising that can be done on the product, the limited places it can be purchased and the limited audience that can actually buy the product.

  6. Cheater87 says:

    I hope they allow it soon. I find it quite sad that they allow adults to have games in every other country that has an adult rating but not in the US because the whole "think of the children" thing.

  7. Flamespeak says:

    Given the really poor success of CTW, the first option is likely.

    Given that they are still working massively on Monster Hunter Tri, the second one is likely too.

    We may never know, but it doesn’t really matter what Capcom’s reasons were. GTA doesn’t do that well in Japan anyway.

  8. mdo7 says:


    Here’s the intresting part.  GTA: Chinatown Wars is not published by Capcom, who are the publisher for a lot of GTA games in Japan.  It’s publish by a different company, look at the article on Kotaku, it’ll tell you the name (I forgot the name, and I can’t access Kotaku from my workplace).  Why Capcom didn’t publish this game??

    -A lot of people on Kotaku argued that Chinatown Wars may not do as well as in the US and Capcom does not want to run that risk and ruin their reputation.

    -Capcom could be busy with a lot of other thing and didn’t have time to publish the game.


    Whatever the reason, I hope this game could do OK in Japan.

  9. jedidethfreak says:

    It’s not necessarilly just the console manufacturers that restrict AO games.  I don’t know of a single retail store that will sell an AO game.  What good is making an AO game if nobody will sell it?

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  10. JustChris says:

    In practicality, though, it is only one year of an age difference. The reason why most sexual games get the AO rating is because the 18+ age limit falls in line with the state laws that require 18+ verification to view porn sites.


  11. eston says:

    Yes, and then there are other games such as Manhunt 2, which got an AO rating for violence and had to be toned down just so the company could sell it on consoles. I guess the real problem for AO is the console manufacturers’ flat policy of not releasing any AO titles regardless of why they got the rating in the first place, but I fully believe that the porn stigma is the reason that policy exists in the first place.

  12. E. Zachary Knight says:

    No. Because Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are hypocrits that way. They won’t allow AO games in the US but do allow Z rated games in Japan.

    But that is also due to Japan’s overall acceptance of Adult themed entertainment in all forms. The US as a whole still need to realize that adults like reading comics and playing games just as much as they love watching movies and reading books.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
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  13. Cheater87 says:

    i wish the ESRB would make a new rating that says this game is for adults but its not porn. Then games would not have to be censored anymore to get released as M. Do Z games in Japan have to censored???

  14. Erasmus Darwin says:

    "That whole "Adults Only" moniker carries too much of a stigma here, in that when most people think "Adults Only" the first thing that pops to mind is porn."

    Except that the vast majority of "Adults Only" games really are porn games — try going to the ESRB homepage and searching the AO listings.  So even if they started calling the rating, say, "Rupert", it’d still be a category largely populated by porn games.

  15. 1AgainstTheWorld says:

    Yeah, that’s the same reason the MPAA changed X to NC-17, since X drew too many comparisons with the porn industry’s exaggerated "XXX" designation.

  16. eston says:

    A Z rating? I guess I’m just unfamiliar with the Japanese rating system, but I think the U.S. should have a Z rating instead of AO. That whole "Adults Only" moniker carries too much of a stigma here, in that when most people think "Adults Only" the first thing that pops to mind is porn. As a result, we don’t get very many AO games.

  17. Nocturne says:

    The letter based rating system has only been in use since March 2006,

    Most the Resident Evil games were rated for ages 15+ or 17+, only Code Verionica which was on Gamecube got an 18+ but that was before the Z rating.

  18. feitclub says:

    Only the second ever Z-rated Nintendo game? That can’t be right. What about all those Resident Evil titles on Gamecube and Wii? There was also that Resident Evil 1 port for the DS, was that not rated Z? How about the Nintendo-published Eternal Darkness?

    Do Not Talk About Feitclub

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