Hello again, Ranters. News came today from publishing giant Square Enix that the Japanese release of Call of Duty: Black Ops is going to be a censored release in Japan. Since the release of Modern Warfare, every game in the franchise has earned itself an M-Rating in North America so it should come as no surprise that the Japanese versions of the game would earn similar ratings. What is surprising, however, is that Black Ops was assigned a CERO-Z rating in Japan. What this means for those of us not familiar with CERO ratings is that the game is rated the equivalent of an Adults Only rating, leading to Square Enix’s censorship of the title.
On their Japanese website, Square Enix cites brutal or grotesque portrayal of dismemberment in the new Call of Duty game, which is what will be edited. Once gamers hit their brick and mortar stores to pick up Black Ops, they’ll have a choice as to which version to get: dubbed or subtitled. Content in both games will be the exact same otherwise. No word yet on whether or not Japan will be getting Hardened or Prestige editions as well.
Precedent has been set for this sort of censorship in the past, as there have been several other titles to come out in Japan that have been edited for ratings and “un-edited” in North America. A major title that sticks out in my mind is Suda’s No More Heroes for the Nintendo Wii, in which black clouds and blood emerge from sliced enemies as opposed to the ridiculous amounts of blood found in the American release.
Known for it’s ridiculously popular online experience, Black Ops promises to be another great entry in the Call of Duty franchise. Featuring new multiplayer game modes recently revealed, such as Sticks and Stones and wager matches, the Treyarch developed game will surely be keeping the Game Rant staff and readership sleep deprived for the foreseeable future.
Which region are you in, Ranters? Will you, or have you ever bought a game that was censored yet not in other parts of the world? Should Square Enix allow the game to keep the CERO-Z rating despite the impact it will have in sales? Hit us up with your opinions in the comments below.
Call of Duty Black Ops will release on the PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Nintendo DS on November 9th 2010 in North America and the UK, November 18th 2010 in Japan.