Partnership Forms to Redo Games for Middle East Release

Partnership Forms to Redo Games for Middle East Release

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A new partnership has formed to edit violent games that might not make it to the Middle East otherwise.

Officially, life in the Middle East isn't easy for gamers. Games with certain types of content are often banned, but thanks to a new initiative this may not be the case for too much longer. Production company Rubicon Group Holding and distributor Modern Electronics Company have joined forces to significantly edit certain titles to ensure that they can be released in the Middle East without issue.

Titles that have been recently banned in the region include Dead Rising 2 and Mafia II, due to their inclusions of violence, gambling, alcohol use, etc. Grand Theft Auto in the Middle East? Forget about it.

In the initiative, Rubicon says it will both edit out scenes deemed unsuitable and add new region-specific content. "It's not purely dubbing in Arabic, but eliminating things that may be inappropriate for the region," Rubicon executive director Ghassan Ayoubi told the National. "[It's] introducing one or two elements that will be specifically for the region - maybe introducing a new character."

"It's not censoring ... it's tailoring or customising it for the market," Ayoubi added. The plan is to make certain games "entertaining, but not necessarily insulting." Rubicon hopes to work on 2-4 PlayStation 3 games per year, beginning with titles that have already been released and eventually moving on to games in development.

Ayoubi mentioned Fifa 11 and the as of yet unannounced Uncharted 3 as specific titles that Rubicon might edit for Middle East release. Though it sounds like Rubicon would have to make some heavy edits in certain cases, the company doesn't plan to work on every game. "There are titles that we wouldn't even choose to Arabize or localize, because they are off the chart, because they would need reinventing," Ayoubi said. Rubicon also plans to someday develop its own games for the region.

While I'd hate to see a game like Uncharted 2 replace its enemies with bears, or guns with fish that shoot rainbows, you can't say that'd totally be a bad thing if it means Middle Eastern gamers get to legally experience the rest of the title. Rather than get depressed about certain games that will never make it to the Middle East, gamers in the region can now look forward to more experiences, even if they're heavily edited. At the same time, are you really reading Catcher in the Rye if a few chapters are swapped out for new ones?

Source: National, via GI.biz

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Granted it's been awhile since I brushed up on what's acceptable in islamic nations and not, but just how in the hell will they censor games with women, who show even the slightest sign of cleavage or skin? Hell, chances are they'll still ban the games if certain women won't be cloaked in veils.

So really it isn't just a violence...what about treating women as characters that are actually on par with men? I have a very hard time imagining how a character like Ashley Williams from Mass Effect could make it past their censors. And if she doesn't...won't chopping off parts of her dialogue wreck the essence of what she is as a character?

There's more to it than just the violence I think...it's about their mindset being still stuck a few centuries in the past while the rest of the world has moved on when it comes to such social issues. And that'll be a whole lot wider a gap to bridge than just removing some gore effects.

Yes, it is censorship. No, it is not just editing. This kind of thinking led to the Comic Code Authority Tyranny of American Comic Books. Sigh.

Yes, let's give them censored material because their governments are utterly incompetent theocracies. I'd rather not have a puppy if the condition for owning it meant that it would have a leg cut off.

Loonerinoes:

There's more to it than just the violence I think...it's about their mindset being still stuck a few centuries in the past while the rest of the world has moved on when it comes to such social issues. And that'll be a whole lot wider a gap to bridge than some gore effects.

you know..........Islamic countries [a very good portion of the Middle East] follow laws based on Islam.

They are not stuck in past centuries, they are just following religious laws.

OT: Honestly, I can see them re-doing several casual games along with sport games, but I dont think they should really try to localize other hit games like Mass Effect or Uncharted.

Instead, why not pour your resources into developing your own games immediately while still 're-doing' games that wouldnt require that much work, it would save on time and create a fast source of income that would allow them to start developing full-time.

So glad I was born in a country that at least pretends to be free.

Kalezian:

Loonerinoes:

There's more to it than just the violence I think...it's about their mindset being still stuck a few centuries in the past while the rest of the world has moved on when it comes to such social issues. And that'll be a whole lot wider a gap to bridge than some gore effects.

Implying religious laws are not centuries old

Kalezian:

Loonerinoes:

There's more to it than just the violence I think...it's about their mindset being still stuck a few centuries in the past while the rest of the world has moved on when it comes to such social issues. And that'll be a whole lot wider a gap to bridge than some gore effects.

you know..........Islamic countries [a very good portion of the Middle East] follow laws based on Islam.

They are not stuck in past centuries, they are just following religious laws.

Yes...which are still using centuries' old reference texts (in this case the Quran - hope I spelled it correct) for their belief structures and hence forming a mindset that is stuck a few centuries in the past (at least on certain social issues, such as the status of women in society being very strictly defined ever since the dark ages). It's not hard to follow is it?

Kalezian:

you know..........Islamic countries [a very good portion of the Middle East] follow laws based on Islam.

They are not stuck in past centuries, they are just following religious laws.

Oh right, because religious laws are so contemporary to our modern culture... If anything, he should have said a few millennia in the past.

lol'd

it's not a problem, I lived there and got every banned game. They're just not sold at the "official" retailers that overcharge their fucking products to hell and back anyway. Any game store will have all of those titles.

Too violent... in countries that practice Sharia, oh lolz.

I am so going to come to hate this.

slippery slope....

Hate to break it to you, Mr. Ayoubi..But that is exactly censorship. Don't really expect anything different though, nor do I care.

Danish rage:
slippery slope....

You say this as though they've not already hit rock bottom.

"It's not censoring ... it's tailoring or customising it for the market," Ayoubi added.

Hilarious, but what do you expect from someone with money to make?

recently I was wondering about stuff like this. How do these people react to games like medal of honor. How do germans react to nazi featured games, or russians to modern warfare and all its spawn?

I am with the article. I hate when artists and such are restricted because some of their content. But either way, adapting and modifying it specifically to such counteries wouldn't hurt, there are potential consumers after all in such places.

Good luck with this one!

Tom Goldman:
Ayoubi mentioned Fifa 11 and the as of yet unannounced Uncharted 3 as specific titles that Rubicon might edit for Middle East release.

I can sort of understand Uncharted 3, but what on earth makes Fifa 11 unsuitabe for release in it's current form? Granted I don't actually own the game but still, why is football not allowed?

MorteSphere:

Kalezian:

Loonerinoes:

There's more to it than just the violence I think...it's about their mindset being still stuck a few centuries in the past while the rest of the world has moved on when it comes to such social issues. And that'll be a whole lot wider a gap to bridge than some gore effects.

Implying religious laws are not centuries old

Loonerinoes:

Kalezian:

Loonerinoes:

There's more to it than just the violence I think...it's about their mindset being still stuck a few centuries in the past while the rest of the world has moved on when it comes to such social issues. And that'll be a whole lot wider a gap to bridge than some gore effects.

you know..........Islamic countries [a very good portion of the Middle East] follow laws based on Islam.

They are not stuck in past centuries, they are just following religious laws.

Yes...which are still using centuries' old reference texts (in this case the Quran - hope I spelled it correct) for their belief structures and hence forming a mindset that is stuck a few centuries in the past (at least on certain social issues, such as the status of women in society being very strictly defined ever since the dark ages). It's not hard to follow is it?

Mr.Tea:

Kalezian:

you know..........Islamic countries [a very good portion of the Middle East] follow laws based on Islam.

They are not stuck in past centuries, they are just following religious laws.

Oh right, because religious laws are so contemporary to our modern culture... If anything, he should have said a few millennia in the past.

State of all of you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatwa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh

seriously, do try to attempt to do some research on your part before posting.

{see: please keep up with the class}

This has potential; these games should get a chance to show themselves in the Mideast.

Sends a dirty shudder down my spine. How about a 1984 where Winston lives happily ever after? A Bambi where the mother doesn't die?

If games are our art how can we not decry such defacement? But isn't this just an extreme example of our rating systems generally? Our "Taliban" players, Australian blanket bans on mature content and the toning down of imagery or gore for an region (Germany and China I'm looking at you). It is all of one is it not?

Kalezian:

MorteSphere:

Kalezian:

Loonerinoes:

There's more to it than just the violence I think...it's about their mindset being still stuck a few centuries in the past while the rest of the world has moved on when it comes to such social issues. And that'll be a whole lot wider a gap to bridge than some gore effects.

Implying religious laws are not centuries old

Loonerinoes:

Kalezian:

Loonerinoes:

There's more to it than just the violence I think...it's about their mindset being still stuck a few centuries in the past while the rest of the world has moved on when it comes to such social issues. And that'll be a whole lot wider a gap to bridge than some gore effects.

you know..........Islamic countries [a very good portion of the Middle East] follow laws based on Islam.

They are not stuck in past centuries, they are just following religious laws.

Yes...which are still using centuries' old reference texts (in this case the Quran - hope I spelled it correct) for their belief structures and hence forming a mindset that is stuck a few centuries in the past (at least on certain social issues, such as the status of women in society being very strictly defined ever since the dark ages). It's not hard to follow is it?

Mr.Tea:

Kalezian:

you know..........Islamic countries [a very good portion of the Middle East] follow laws based on Islam.

They are not stuck in past centuries, they are just following religious laws.

Oh right, because religious laws are so contemporary to our modern culture... If anything, he should have said a few millennia in the past.

State of all of you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatwa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiqh

seriously, do try to attempt to do some research on your part before posting.

{see: please keep up with the class}

>Yet again implying that those are not all centuries old religious laws that governments use as a part of their retarded, oppressive theocratic regimes

 

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