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China bans Codemasters' Project IGI2

Authorities in China authorities have reportedly banned Codemasters' PC military action title Project IGI2: Covert Strike on the grounds that it "hurt China's national dignity and interests."

The game, which was created by Norwegian developer Innerloop Studios, has apparently caused offence because it features a section set in China where the player infiltrates a base guarded by the Chinese army.

Chinese state media outlet Xinhuanet reported that "the State Press and Publication Administration said the game has violated China's gaming regulations that prohibit introduction and publication of games that hurt China's national dignity and interests," with IGI2 apparently accused of "intentionally blackening China and the Chinese army's image."

All of this would probably be something of a blow to Codemasters, were it not for the small fact that Project IGI2 has never actually been published in any official form in China. "We don't publish or distribute the game in China," a spokesperson for the company told technology news site The Register last week.

Of course, what Codemasters must really be wondering right now, given China's lucrative and well organised pirate software industry, is just who has been distributing Project IGI2 in the country...

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.