JAPAN: Fallout 3 censored in Far East

Bethesda’s ongoing tussle with global censors has continued with news that the publisher’s upcoming Japanese release of Fallout 3 will see further edits made to the game.

Kotaku reports that there have been cuts to the side quest entitled The Power of the Atom, which in its uncut iteration sees players given the chance to detonate a nuclear bomb. Given Japan’s cultural sensitivity to the atomic weaponry, Bethesda has seen fit to make substantial changes to this element of the title.

Meanwhile, North American regulator the ESRB has been criticised by Gametrailers for forcing the site to remove certain trailers of the game owing to the level of violence depicted.

GamePolitics quotes Gametrailers’ editor-in-chief Shane Satterfield as stating: The week before that we had gotten an exclusive on a trailer, suddenly we get a call and the publisher is telling us to take it down because of the ESRB.

The ESRB can only regulate media that the publishers send us. Anything that we create in-house, as GameTrailers, they can’t touch. So, we’ll make our own violent-as-hell trailer that they can’t do anything about. So we did. We put it up, it was huge. Then we get a call from publisher X who said ‘the ESRB is putting pressure on us and we can’t work with you guys unless you do what the ESRB says’. They are like the frickin’ Mafia.”

It’s not the first time Fallout 3 has suffered at the hands of the editor’s scalpel. Though it was eventually granted a release in Australia, the removal of certain real-world drug references insisted upon by the Australian regulators was subsequently implemented in all SKUs across the globe.

Bethesda has previously spoken of the difficulties it has faced appeasing regulators in the increasingly diversifying markets video games are now selling to.

Despite these problems, Fallout 3 has been a colossal hit for the firm. Not only did it shoot straight to the top of the UK charts, but it also wowed critics, shipping a considerable 4.7 million units in its first week of sale.

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