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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ZippyDSMleeWell it could be worse, like skyrim out of the box, a shame DAI dose not have that level of editing...05/25/2015 - 5:58pm
Zenpretty well without getting "nasty". Many people are disappointed in the decision and the about face on the status of the games development.05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
ZenEvery market has horrible people...but being like this towards all of them in a group is not a way to garner support and can make people more hostile towards you. Ironically his response was to someone that wanted to state a disagreement, but worded it05/25/2015 - 4:22pm
Goth_SkunkAs demonstrated by Ian's remarks, that 'market of possible fans' is apparently negligible.05/25/2015 - 4:18pm
Zeninformation while other versions had everything talked about openly.05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
ZenYeah, I've read through it and wanted to make sure I had it quoted correctly. I get there are issues, but this is horribly unprofessional and just burning a market of possible fans..many of which supported them and were waiting while getting little to no05/25/2015 - 4:15pm
Goth_SkunkOh wow. That's not even misquoted, he actually said that. Though for additional context in previous pages, he truly does not think highly of Nintendo console owners, and claims that in the industry, he's not alone.05/25/2015 - 4:12pm
ZenI also took a screenshot of the statement in case it is taken down (via my Twitter): https://twitter.com/zenspath/status/60293960536562483205/25/2015 - 4:05pm
ZenLink for my previous post - http://forum.projectcarsgame.com/showthread.php?27584-Project-Cars-Sales-figures&p=942776&viewfull=1#post94277605/25/2015 - 4:03pm
ZenProject Cars basically canceled for Wii U, Slightlymad Studios Head, Ian Bell, states "Yup, and if you need to pass this on, we really dislike Nintendo users" on Forum to Wii U players waiting for the game and disappointed in the news.05/25/2015 - 4:03pm
Goth_SkunkAnd now, a humorous gif. Oblivious Otter is Oblivious. http://i.imgur.com/zdUZOWo.gif05/25/2015 - 3:49pm
Goth_Skunka bonified game dev.05/25/2015 - 3:45pm
Goth_SkunkGranted, most of that feedback is going to be vicious, but if a novice dev knows full well not to expect their hastily strewn together game as the next Grand Theft Auto, such curmudgeonly feedback shouldn't deter them from their ultimate goal of becoming05/25/2015 - 3:45pm
Goth_SkunkAdditionally, Steam is a platform whereby these novice devs can showcase what they were able to put together and see what kind of feedback they can get from the community.05/25/2015 - 3:44pm
Goth_SkunkI don't think it's wrong for a novice dev to want to recover any losses from people willing to pay money for what they have produced, either. After all, every game dev had to start somewhere.05/25/2015 - 3:41pm
Goth_SkunkI disagree. I think that for novice developers, this tactic still at a fundamental level teaching someone the ins and outs of video game development.05/25/2015 - 3:41pm
PHX Corp@MW There are things that developers are doing that drive me up the Wall as a consumer, reused Unity assets is no Exception to said rule05/25/2015 - 2:17pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5svAoQ7D38k this is stupid, and the fact its allowed is stupid.05/25/2015 - 1:52pm
james_fudgeHappy Memorial Day to everyone05/25/2015 - 7:13am
Mattsworknamealso, in MGR, on higher levels, button mashing will get you reckt, you have to master parry to even have a prayer05/24/2015 - 8:52pm
 

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