New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle East

October 20, 2010 -

Media firm Rubicon Group Holding has partnered with Modern Electronics Co. Ltd., the sole distributor of Sony products in Saudi Arabia, in order to localize content appearing on various Sony platforms for Middle East users.

United Arab Emirates publication The National (thanks The Escapist) details the plans, which will include dubbing "certain games” into Arabic, adding Arabian characters and eliminating scenes that could run afoul of censors. Rubicon Executive Director Ghassan Ayoubi explained, “Those games that are extra-violent, or have sensitive issues for the region, will be edited for content.”

Ayoubi appeared wary of the “C” word, but used it anyway, stating, "It's not censoring … it's tailoring or customising it for the market.”

Rubicon will begin by altering existing (already completed) PlayStation 3 titles, but eventually plans to join the production cycle and brings its expertise to games still in development. The firm expects to work on two to four games per year, with FIFA Soccer 11 and the latest in the Uncharted series, being among the first to receive the Rubicon treatment.

Some titles are so far out from would be accepted in the Middle East that attempts to cleanse them will not even be undertaken. Ayoubi stated, that such games are “off the chart, because they would need reinventing.”

A release on the Rubicon website also indicates that the company would develop its own educational and entertaining games, “based on Arabic culture Storyboards.”

Recent games that never made their way into the UAE, for example, include Heavy Rain, Dante’s Inferno (which wasn’t even submitted to censors), Darksiders, God of War, Grand Theft Auto IV and Mafia II.


Comments

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

Localisation is an important part of selling any product; you tailor your product to the desires and laws of the target region to be able to sell there.

If another area wanted to sell games in the west, they'd have to use characters that the west could identify with. Final Fantasy springs to mind as an example.

If you want to say that only one version of the game should be made, to be used wherever the game is sold, you cut out a lot of areas you could be selling your game. Australia, for instance, has many sanitised games because of their Byzantine laws - they are criticised for it, and some companies choose not to change their games to sell there. But many companies do change their games to sell there, which is no different to this.

Companies want to sell their product, so they tailor their product to their target audience. With multiple audiences, multiple products.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

but you cant get a taste of other cultures if everything coming into yours gets tailored to yours and that works both ways.

its stupid and xenophobic.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

Rohin: It depends how far you go. Translating a language is the most obvious part of localization and so certain things have to be changed for context, like how the Phoenix Wright games had to refer to different pop culture instead of the ones mentioned in the original Japanese version. Yet then we had hostess clubs being removed from Yakuza 3 which some people were annoyed at - clearly certain gamers want to have the experience be as close to the original as possible and I agree. If the game is completely changed, what's the point?

I'm not sure it'll be as atrocious as people are imagining - just look at Mariah Carey's edited album covers in the Middle East, she simply had more clothes added to her to reduce the skin on show, rather than, as I'm sure a xenophobe would have you believe, a digital burkha added to her head.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

this is why they cant have nice things ... they're not allowed to have them.

not until the things are made less nice ... oh is it racist to say changing the races to Arab ones makes the games less nice?.

the politcally correct would say little to nothing about this but if a company was changing arab races to western ones it would be out right war.

double standards urgh ... I dont hate arab people I think they should get to play the games uncensored and NOT kept from them by their own government just because they dont agree with the content let "THE PEOPLE" themselves decide.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

Censorship is censorship.You can try to sugarcoat it however you like but in the end its still censoring content.

 

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

Kinda like how win and beer used to be refered to as juice in video games.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

heck, sugarcoating is a form of censorship

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

 
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Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
 

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