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Zombie Cow game too sexy for Live?

Privates probably won't get MS approval.

Microsoft has warned it's unlikely to approve the Xbox Live release of Privates, the new offering from British developer Zombie Cow.

As described on the studio's website, Privates "is a platform twin-stick shooter in which you lead a teeny-tiny gang of condom-hatted marines as they delve into peoples' vaginas and bottoms and blast away at all manner of oozy, shouty monsters".

The idea behind the game is to provide a bit of sex education as well as some laughs. It's being funded by Channel 4 and designed to fit in with the Personal, Social and Health Education guidelines of the National Curriculum.

Microsoft's not convinced, however. Speaking to Seattle PI, spokesperson David Dennis said the game hasn't been submitted for review yet - but doesn't sound like his company's cup of tea.

"We have guidelines in place that closely track requirements of content ratings boards worldwide and, among other things, prohibit the publication of strong sexual content," he said.

"While we haven't seen this game, we can confirm that if it is consistent with the description we have seen on the Internet, this game would not pass peer review and would not be permitted to be distributed on Xbox Live."

In response, Zombie Cow's Dan Marshall said Privates is designed to promote the safe sex message to teenage boys in an "entertaining, funny way".

"There was always going to be a risk it won't pass Peer Review, but obviously we'll do whatever we can to get the Xbox version out," he said. "It'd be a shame if a huge number of teenagers missed out on some quality gaming and vital education because of some abstract, cellular-level innards and pubic hairs."

Whatever Microsoft decides, a free version of Privates will be released for PC.

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Ellie Gibson


Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.