Oh, well this is awkward: ordinarily I revel in news that Australian authorities have decided to censor some video game. In fact in December last year when Australia forced Obsidian and the South Park creators to censor The Stick of Truth, we all pointed and tut-tutted at the decision.
Except it now turns out that the version of South Park: The Stick of Truth that we get in South Africa is going to be censored as well.
On the plus side, this isn’t our local government calling for censorship; the entire EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) territory’s version is being censored. News of this censorship was revealed via a review guideline released by Ubisoft to European press. The game is out next week so review copies are already circulating among the media. Sometimes we get documents alongside the game we’re reviewing, and those documents contain additional information on the game, including anything from background lore to last minute alterations. In this case, that review document revealed that scenes had been edited and censored for the EMEA territories.
In total, seven scenes have been censored and “replaced by an image background and a description text selected by Matt & Trey [South Park’s creators]”. It sounds similar to what they did to the Australian version.
As for the scenes themselves: two mini-games have been censored that featured a doctor performing an abortion on the player, and another abortion on Randy – Stan’s dad. Additionally, five scenes of anal probing have been censored – from the sounds of it, these were the scenes that were censored in Australia as well.
The United States version of South Park: The Stick of Truth will be released completely uncensored and as originally designed. Ubisoft UK is calling the censorship a “marketing” move.
Is this a deal-breaker for you, South Park fans? Let us know below.
UPDATE: as reader Nferno points out: this censoring will only affect the console versions. The PC version remains unaltered, which begs the question: why even censor at all?