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Microsoft decides against sex-ed game

XBLA version of Zombie Cow's STD education title Privates cancelled

The Xbox version of the Channel 4-funded sexual education game Privates has been cancelled, following word from Microsoft that the title would not pass its censors.

UK developer Zombie Cow Studios has elected to discontinue development on the in-progress Xbox Live version of its PC title, having been told by Microsoft representatives that its sexual references made it unsuitable for distribution.

While the leading console-makers traditionally permit high levels of violence and bad language in mature-rated titles, they remain very cautious of open sexual content.

"The guys at Xbox have been amazing," said Dan Marshall of Zombie Cow Studios. "They've been really supportive and helpful throughout, but ultimately have advised that the game wouldn't pass the Indie Games Peer Review process, purely due to its inherently sexual nature.

"It's a shame, but it's something we'd always pretty much assumed would happen."

Privates is a bawdy action-strategy game intended to promote safe sex amongst teenagers. In it, the player explores human internal organs, battling anthropomorphised sexually-transmitted diseases and encountering visual depictions of genitalia.

An updated and patched version of the original PC release remains available for free from Zombie Cow's site.

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Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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