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South Park creator: "We weren't willing to change the content"

South Park creator: "We weren't willing to change the content"

Fri 07 Mar 2014 10:38am GMT / 5:38am EST / 2:38am PST
Development

Matt Stone on censorship in South Park: The Stick Of Truth

South Park creator Matt Stone has given his verdict on the censorship of South Park: Stick Of Truth, and suggested that the content would have passed without problems in the television show.

"I was told that Australia has different standards. They have their own ratings system, as does Europe, so I was told that we had to submit it for ratings and they come back and tell you this will pass, this won't," he told The Guardian.

"Ultimately, the full version of the game is in North America, so at least that version is out there, but anywhere it's censored [in the other version], we just put in little black cards explaining what has happened. It's not that big a deal. It doesn't change things that much, but we weren't going to change the game downwards somewhere and just not tell anybody. You'll see how ridiculous that is."

1

He said it felt a like a bit of a double standard, but didn't have a huge impact on the quality of the game. But he also added that if the content had been in the television show, it could have been shown.

"There is an interactiveness that makes it different. In movies and television you can do stuff that's morally grey very easily, because you get to show consequences, you get to show reward, but in a video game there's a reason why everything is a Nazi, zombie, or alien - these are pretty clear moral choices," he explained.

"There are things that make people more uncomfortable in an interactive world, definitely. But that said, what we had in the game, we could have shown that on TV pretty easily, especially now."

The game is released in the UK today, but the game's release in Germany and Austria has been delayed due to inclusion of a swastika in one scene.

10 Comments

Sergiu Badau Wittenberger
QA Tester

26 32 1.2
Popular Comment
The thing is that PEGI rated the game "18"(Mature) without the censorship and 18 with the censorship. They allowed the scenes to come to europe... why didn't they come? Well that's the publisher's fault.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Sergiu Badau Wittenberger on 7th March 2014 2:25pm

Posted:5 months ago

#1

Gareth Donaghey
Customer Support Agent

34 44 1.3
They should have put the clips up online somewhere and added 'or watch what you missed here!'

Posted:5 months ago

#2

Darren Adams
Managing Director

230 407 1.8
Popular Comment
Censorship in any form sucks when you are talking about adult entertainment.

I mean who really has the right to tell adults what they can or can't watch/play if it doesn't directly hurt anyone? Sure, anal probing is not high on my list of 'must see' things, but why the censorship??? Do they think the game is going to turn people into gay aliens or something?

Oh that's right, they still think games are only for kids..... jeez, step into the 21st century you uneducated morons.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 7th March 2014 8:59pm

Posted:5 months ago

#3

Andrew Jakobs
Lead Programmer

230 89 0.4
PEGI and all those rating board are just a bunch of hypocrite goats, yes it's perfectly ok to bash someone's head in with a meatcleaver or blow someone brains out, but ohhh an anal probe up some cartoon characters sphincter is not ok...
I don't mind if a game has an age indication, but censoring stuff for adults is really just stupid.. Hell even the censoring of the swastika in germany is just going overboard IMHO, hello it's almost more than 70 freaking years ago the war was over, get over it (except glorifying it, but that's not how the sign is used in games or south park cartoons) (and even with that, people will never really learn from history and will repeat it anyway in some form)..

Posted:5 months ago

#4

Oliver Jones
Software Developer

21 21 1.0
IGN already has a video up of the censored parts. In the age of the Internet censorship really is rather stupid.

Posted:5 months ago

#5

Steve Wetz
Reviewer/Assistant Editor

196 499 2.5
I think that sign is a fantastic idea. If more games did this, the respective populaces would be more inclined to vote for measures which would liberate them from this kind of censorship.

Hearing about your game being censored is one thing - having that censorship openly displayed is another, and could really spur change if widely adopted.

Posted:5 months ago

#6

Dan Tubb
Investment manager

23 112 4.9
I find it extraordinary presumption from the bureaucrats that makes them believe their own moral judgment is superior to everyone elses and they get to dictate what the right choice is for everyone else. It is terribly infantilizing that a government thinks it has this power over its people. It should worry the industry because people will want to play the best version of the game, and many gamers in places like Australia will be tempted to simply download a pirate version of the uncensored game instead.

It is also a shame because that particular scene was hilarious. UK version was uncensored. In fact the whole game is utterly brilliant and if you are a fan of both Video Games and South Park I cannot recommend this game highly enough.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Dan Tubb on 10th March 2014 9:45am

Posted:5 months ago

#7

Neil Young
Programmer

280 325 1.2
This is nothing to do with PEGI - the decision has been confirmed to have come from ubisoft : http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/south-park-co-creator-stick-of-truth-censorship-is-ridiculous-and-stupid/0129228

The PC version is uncensored, and received the same PEGI 18 cert. PEGI rates games, rather than censoring, them anyway - I'm pretty certain they lack the power to ban a game, that's something that happens at a national level.

Posted:5 months ago

#8

Christian Keichel
Journalist

634 866 1.4
To me it was a weak publicity stunt from Ubisoft to release a cut console version of game to create the impression that authorities in europe "censored" the game. As others noted the PC version is also Pegi rated (and in germany, the country with europe's strictest rating system - the USK - too), so there was no need to ship a cut console version in europe. But then South Park isn't as big in europe, as it is in the US and with their publicity stunt Ubisoft send a message to their amercan customers:
Look, this game is so bad, it got censored in europe. At the same time, they gave the american players the feeling to be on the right side of the fence, the side of "freedom and free speech" and not the side of censorship and suppression by anonymous supranational authorities which many americans seem to associate with the european culture.

Posted:5 months ago

#9

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