Ubisoft has censored the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of 18-rated comedy role-playing game South Park: The Stick of Truth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The PC version remains unaffected.
BT.com reported on a note sent to press alongside copies of the game that revealed the changes, which amount to seven scenes of about 20 seconds each.
According to the document, which Eurogamer has verified, the censored scenes include:
- A mini-game in which the doctor is performing an abortion on the player.
- A mini-game in which the player is performing an abortion on the character Randy.
- Five anal probing scenes involving someone actively being probed. The scenes play out as normal before and after the active probing sequences.
Each censored scene is replaced by an image background and a description text selected by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Ubisoft said.
When asked about the censorship, a Ubisoft spokesperson told Eurogamer: "this was a market decision."
That's a vague explanation, but it may have something to do with Ubisoft hoping to secure release in Germany, which employs stricter guidelines on video game content than other European countries.
South Park: The Stick of Truth's 18-rating was granted by PEGI, the pan-European game ratings organisation that covers video games released in the UK. It does not censor games, rather, it rates games based on the content submitted to it by publishers alongside an age rating the publisher expects the game to receive.
PEGI does not have any say over games released in Germany, whose USK acts independently.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is also censored in Australia.