GamesIndustry.biz has learned that Sony is to conduct an internal inquiry after hitting the headlines for displaying a decapitated goat at a press event for God of War 2.
"It has come to our attention that at The God of War 2 launch showcase held in Athens, Greece, on 1st March 2007, an element of the event was of an unsuitable nature," a spokesperson said.
"Whilst we pride ourselves on creating engaging experiences we are committed to making sure these are appropriate in nature and do not cause offence to either attendees or our consumers in general.
"We are conducting an internal inquiry into aspects of the event in order to learn from the occurrence and put into place measures to ensure that this does not happen again."
As reported by yesterday's Mail on Sunday, pictures of the God of War 2 party showing the headless goat were published in the latest edition of Official PlayStation Magazine.
Some copies have already been sent out to subscribers but the pages in question will be removed from the remaining 80,000 issues.
The Mail on Sunday article alleged that guests at the God of War 2 event "were invited to reach inside the goat's still-warm carcass to eat offal from its stomach" - a report dismissed by Sony as "categorically untrue".
Speaking to GI.biz the spokesperson explained, "In keeping with the theatrical nature of the event, the attendant media were invited to eat a bowl of food that purported to be from the animal - but in fact was a cooked traditional Greek dish."
The spokesperson added that the goat was not slaughtered specifically for the event; the organisers, a Greek production company, purchased the carcass from a butcher.
He observed that Computer Entertainment UK did not play any role in the organisation of the event, and there were no members of the British media were in attendance - including the author of the OPM report.
"The writer of this article did not attend the event and has portrayed the theatre as a literal occurrence," the spokesperson said.
"This is not a true representation of the event, but nevertheless we realise the imagery and the inaccurate description of the event would cause offence and have thus taken action to stop it from circulating."
The spokesperson went on to state that the company was "shocked" to see the article appear in OPM, and immediately contacted Future Publishing to address the issue - not only after being contacted by the Mail on Sunday, as the newspaper implied.
"Sony Computer Entertainment Europe does not in any way, shape or form condone cruelty or mistreatment of animals," he confirmed.
"Sony Computer Entertainment Europe takes the sensitivities of the general public and issues of animal welfare very seriously and is sorry for any offence or distress the event or perception of this event may have caused."