South Park: The satirical animated TV Show by creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker has been banned or censored occasionally.
The show, intended for mature audiences, over its seventeen year and seventeen season period has aroused much controversy over handling of sensitive issues like religion and the satire of real life people.
Now it seems that even the game is not free of being attacked by censors!
South Park: The Stick of Truth will be censored in Europe – which, given the glee South Park and its fans have always found in the offense of others, is about as close to perfect promo as Ubisoft could ask for.
Thing is: European ratings body PEGI didn’t need to waggle any threatening ban-hammers to prompt the edits. Rather, Ubisoft’s European division made the decision to expunge The Stick of Truth of some of its more extreme cutscenes themselves.
In their place, they’d like us to watch carefully-crafted stills at selected points during the course of the game. Here’s one of them:
It’s an oddly personalized image: an downtrodden avatar of European culture and history, weeping in front of an EU flag with a rather edgy textual description underneath.
The descriptive tone lends the screen a distinctive text adventure vibe missing from most of South Park’s AAA contemporaries – so that’s a…plus point? I think?
For the German version of the game, Ubisoft purged all the swastikas within the game – in accordance with Germany’s laws on Nazi iconography. Across Europe, however, they’ve also removed scenes featuring anal probing and abortion.
“The game was assessed by us and deemed acceptable for a PEGI 18 rating,” said a PEGI ratings board rep the other day.
“As far as Ubisoft is concerned, all we know is that at some point a decision was made to change the game content for their own marketing reasons. Those reasons are not something that we are privy too, so we are not able to give you any further details.”
The real question is, is this just a ploy by the creators to be the center of attention? Or will this controversy actually backfire on Ubisoft and the dynamic duo? A boost of sales? Or a diminishing?
Excited about the game? Love it? Hate it? Talk about it in the comments below: