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EA: German ratings are "censorship"

VP calls for the country to ditch current USK rating system and adopt PEGI system instead

EA executive VP and GM of international publishing Gerhard Florin has publicly demanded that Germany ditch its USK rating system and adopt PEGI instead - a system that would allow publishers to suggest ratings for games.

"What we're doing here is censorship," Florin, talking about the current system, told Spiegel Online, "And no one complains.

"When we talk about games here it's about violence or their alleged addictiveness, and not about their cultural status. The few good studios are asking themselves why they should stay here anyway."

However, USK head Marek Brunner disagrees, and told Eurogamer Germany there are "no plans" to move to a PEGI system.

"It's hard when half-truths are being used," said Brunner. "They say the USK does this wrong, the USK does that bad and why doesn't this get a rating?"

Brunner added that blaming the USK without acknowledging the role that the BPjM (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien - the government's Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons) has on game ratings - is wrong. There's interference from criminal law too - before USK even gets a look at the games.

Germany remains one of the stricter territories in Europe, enforcing a no-blood policy that has stopped many titles, such as Gears of War 2, from entering Germany's shops.

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Latest comments (1)

Chris Hunter-Brown IT / Games specialist, BBFC8 years ago
The USK from my experience are very pro-games and do a good job in difficult political circumstances in Germany. It is not a simple set up over there by any means. Brunner is quite right to point out that moving to a PEGI system would change nothing. The USK is there purely to give the games a rating, if they are unable to do so, it's only because they believe the BPjM would place it on "the index".

Changing to the PEGI system wouldn't make those issues go away. I'd be very surprised if Mr Florin doesn't appreciate this already. Whilst I'm sure the publishers are very keen to have only the one rating system to deal with in Europe, if he really wants to do something for German gamers he should be focusing on the bigger issues in play and the increasing momentum the anti-gaming lobby has garnered in recent months.
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