The European video game ratings board PEGI, says that it did not in any way force publisher Ubisoft to cut the content it did from the European version of its new South Park RPG, South Park: Stick of Truth. In fact the ratings body said that it judged the uncut version of the game and gave it an appropriate rating.
"The game was assessed by us and deemed acceptable for a Pegi 18 rating," a spokesperson explained to The Guardian. "For some games released in the UK, we are obliged to consider UK legislation as the Video Recordings Act 2010 currently affects video games. This consideration applies to games that are likely to attain a Pegi 12, 16 or 18 rating and which may contain potentially harmful or illegal material. As there was no such issue with the game, it was duly given its Pegi 18 uncut."
The PEGI rep. goes on to say that the decision to cut the game was entirely Ubisoft's:
"Let me emphasize that we did not censor or edit the game in any shape or form," the rep. said. "Some time later, the publisher made a decision to make alterations to the game which meant it had to be re-submitted to us as a different version. We are not privy to reasons why the game was edited and cannot, therefore, give you any other details. This version was subsequently rated 18 uncut also."
Ubisoft said that it cut two minutes of content due to "marketing reasons," but never precisely explained why the scenes were removed. It's an odd thing when a publisher self censors for no apparent reason. The censorship for Germany (the removal of swastikas) was likely spurred by government requests.
We'll have more on this story as it develops.
Source: The Guardian