South Park: The Stick of Truth Will be Censored in Australia

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South Park: The Stick of Truth Will be Censored in Australia

South Park: The Stick of Truth screen

Despite earning the nation's new R 18+ rating, the game will still suffer from some censorship.

Ubisoft have confirmed to Player Attack that its upcoming South Park RPG: South Park: The Stick of Truth will be censored for its release in Australia next March, despite receiving an R 18+ rating. At this stage, we are not entirely sure what has been cut, but the Ubisoft spokesperson said that it will only be a "slightly modified version".

When Australian politicians finally, kicking and screaming, admitted that adults play videogames and introduced an R 18+ rating, people thought that the days of games being banned and censored from the country were over. But this turned out to be far from the case, as you may remember from that whole Saints Row IV fiasco earlier in the year.

Saints Row IV eventually made it through with some slight modifications, but it now looks like publishers aren't even bothering to take chances, submitting censored versions of controversial games right from the get-go.

The Australian Classification Board has actually rated South Park: The Stick of Truth twice. Three weeks ago, the Board rated another Ubisoft title, "Codename", which, as it had the same "High impact crude humour, sex scenes and references to sexual violence" as The Stick of Truth, we can only assume was the super subtle codename for the game.

We have reached out to Ubisoft to ask what, specifically, has been cut from the Australian version, and will update this post if more information becomes available.

Source: Player Attack

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Color me shocked. I'm keeping national pride/issues out of this as much as possible, but the Australian Classification Board is not exactly open-minded towards leaving video games uncensored. And if Saint's Row IV had issues, what are the chances a South Park game is going to get through fine and dandy?

...I don't understand. Why do we have a R18+ rating if we're still gonna keep censoring shit like this!?!

Drummodino:
...I don't understand. Why do we have a R18+ rating if we're still gonna keep censoring shit like this!?!

Because our politicians are a bunch of children. And we elected the biggest child of all.

This is gonna get a digital sale too right? I wonder if they'll keep overcharging Australia, even for a partially censored product.

Drummodino:
...I don't understand. Why do we have a R18+ rating if we're still gonna keep censoring shit like this!?!

R18+ does not open the doors to anything coming in, they are in line with movies which is what it was always about. I guess your unaware of how many movies and music get adjusted or just refused classification? And just like them you can always get a copy imported since its the sales of the origonal version not ownership that's been banned, it's not like their treating it like drugs. Just import a copy, heck changes are your buying one from overseas anyway. For that matter, we don't even know what has been changed.

CpT_x_Killsteal:

Drummodino:
...I don't understand. Why do we have a R18+ rating if we're still gonna keep censoring shit like this!?!

Because our politicians are a bunch of children. And we elected the biggest child of all.

This is gonna get a digital sale too right? I wonder if they'll keep overcharging Australia, even for a partially censored product.

yes they do. just like germany for heavily cut version. even for movies. and they still rate it 18+ or in some cases 16. i know it because i used to live in switzerland and every shop was selling german versions.

good thing i moved away from australia. at least in hong kong i get uncensored versions and they dont scream around that its bad for people.

Drummodino:
...I don't understand. Why do we have a R18+ rating if we're still gonna keep censoring shit like this!?!

For the same reason that the US has an Adults Only rating that is essentially a death sentence for games? I really don't understand what the point of even having these ratings, not the system, but these specific end-of-scale, forbidden/useless ratings.

This sounds like a great opprotunity for them to release a "Australian Edition" of the game to make fun of the whole situation. To bad that would most probably be far too much work for not that much payoff. Maybe as DLC.

Silver Patriot:
This sounds like a great opprotunity for them to release a "Australian Edition" of the game to make fun of the whole situation. To bad that would most probably be far too much work for not that much payoff. Maybe as DLC.

yeah that would be epic! they could take everything out of all the levels so all you could do is walk around them as your "grey blob" character so that nobody gets concerned about race , and if they did do it as dlc to give it the "authentic" Australian feel they could make the dlc %300 more than its worth then add gst make it allways online so it drops out all the time and to top it off charge you a $6 bus fare to get home.

not that its all bad here at least i dont have to deal with AT&T....

I just don't get the need to police content like this... I feel like we're in an era where old and modern opinions contrast. And it mostly seems the old is sitting at the top.

They keep treating us like children instead of adults.

I don't usually agree with censorship, and I don't know why this has been censored. but before everyone starts accussing all the politicains of being old fashioned (which many are), try to remember this is south park were talking about. so it wouldn't shock me if they where partially justified for some of the censorship. Perhaps it's just me but from what little I have seen there jokes can be a bit too crude.

I always find funny how after a while, every time I read "Australia" and "game" in the same sentence, the first thing that comes to mind is "what are they censoring now".

Australia censors another game?...

It goes without saying, but if you're going to have an adult rating - at least stick with it for even the slightest sense of consistency.

This news isn't surprising. Australia has always had political issues relating to internet and content.

Oh FFS, How much for a one way ticket to Canada?
I've had it up to here with this fucking nanny state bullshit.

legendp:
I don't usually agree with censorship, and I don't know why this has been censored. but before everyone starts accussing all the politicains of being old fashioned (which many are), try to remember this is south park were talking about. so it wouldn't shock me if they where partially justified for some of the censorship. Perhaps it's just me but from what little I have seen there jokes can be a bit too crude.

Unless it was literally Child Porn no it's not justified. Distasteful maybe but not justified.

legendp:
I don't usually agree with censorship, and I don't know why this has been censored. but before everyone starts accussing all the politicains of being old fashioned (which many are), try to remember this is south park were talking about. so it wouldn't shock me if they where partially justified for some of the censorship. Perhaps it's just me but from what little I have seen there jokes can be a bit too crude.

That's not for the government to decide.

Whadaya know.

Australians and ze Germans now have something in comon. At least their lawmakers do.

They both shit their pants at funny, absurd and intense video games. And the industry preemptively censors itself because of it. Did you know they never even released Dead Rising 3 in Germany ?

shirkbot:

Drummodino:
...I don't understand. Why do we have a R18+ rating if we're still gonna keep censoring shit like this!?!

For the same reason that the US has an Adults Only rating that is essentially a death sentence for games? I really don't understand what the point of even having these ratings, not the system, but these specific end-of-scale, forbidden/useless ratings.

There's a huge difference between the ESRB's AO rating and the Australian Classification Boards R18+ rating. From what I've heard, retailers will simply just not stock (or at the very least, not display) AO rated titles. That is not true in the slightest for R18+ releases in Australia.

In a nation with some of the most deadly wildlife and forest fires, giving its residents the most justified reasons to swear, you're going to ban games from containing profanity?

$10 says that they only censor as much as it would be required to get a South Park episode rebroadcasted in the US, minus language (effectively an occasional censor pane to cover up the worst/most outright offensive stuff).

1. Go to Ozgameshop, Amazon or a half dozen other online retailers outside of steam.

2. Buy UK/USA edition and ignore whatever bs overpriced copy Aus retailers are selling.

3. ?

4. Profit.

Honestly, in the world of digital sales, the only people these pointless bans affect are the general public who still buy their games from the likes of EB and JB Hi-Fi. The same people that are likely to not even be aware their copy is censored.

This is just silly. For reference, the television show, with presumably very similar content gets an M to MA rating. Thought the R rating would have been a good thing for Australia and something I myself promoted. Turns out I was wrong.

It seems unclear to me, according to the way the article was worded, which version was submitted for review. it says despite being rated R18+, which suggests to me that the uncut version was passed, but Ubisoft is doing this to avoid potential controversy off of their own backs rather than a requirement by the board to get the game rated and sold in Australia.

At this point wouldn't it be news if something wasn't censored over there?

not really a big deal.
I'll wait till release and then decide whether its worth importing a copy (it usually is). With Australia's fucked up prices it allows me to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

I haven't the faintest idea why some people in this thread are surprised. It's only a matter of time before Australia censors the next Mario game at this rate.

legendp:
I don't usually agree with censorship, and I don't know why this has been censored. but before everyone starts accussing all the politicains of being old fashioned (which many are), try to remember this is south park were talking about. so it wouldn't shock me if they where partially justified for some of the censorship. Perhaps it's just me but from what little I have seen there jokes can be a bit too crude.

Censorship on a government level is never justified. It should be up to an individual adult to decide what they do and do not consume, media-wise. Making truly, morally reprehensible content illegal is one thing, banning a game because of a probably implied sexual joke or something is not.

I was always gonna buy this from the U.S PSN Store anyway so whatever. Also, it should be remembered that this isn't the fault of Australia this time. This is Ubisoft being pedantic idiots.

I really don't get it.

The Saints Row 4 banning was infuriating specifically because a) GTA5 had a store that sold drugs, and this was seemingly fine. Which hey, I guess it doesn't count as a reward. I've yet to play GTA5 but as far as I know there is no inherent benefit to doing the drugs in game. Meanwhile we have b) In Saints Row 2, which is readily available to the point they usually flat out just give it away in Xbox 360 bundles has you regain health via smoking, and drinking. As in readily rewarding you for the act.

So, what exactly did South Park do that was so bad?

Considering how often I see South Park re-runs all over free to air, I'm gonna assume Australia doesn't have an issue with the program, and the subject matter. I can't see there being a huge subplot with the kids doing meth to get super powers. Hell the "magic spell" is a fart in a hand, so I would see it more likely to use a bean burrito to power it up.

So what, Australian government? What has Matt Stone and Trey Parker done that was censor worthy?

I've lived in Australia for a couple of years now, and don't get me wrong. I love it hear. However, when all you hear from other countries is how much inferior America is, and how they're so oppressed compared to other countries only for you to move and hear about a new thing being censored or banned every couple of months it begins to get a little ridiculous. I have no clue what the point of R18+ even is if nothing has changed because of it.

I'm 30 years old. I think I've got a good idea of what I can, and cannot handle in my video games. Somehow I'm pretty sure a stuttering kid dressed as an elf isn't going to be what puts me over the edge.

shirkbot:

For the same reason that the US has an Adults Only rating that is essentially a death sentence for games? I really don't understand what the point of even having these ratings, not the system, but these specific end-of-scale, forbidden/useless ratings.

*ahem*

RicoADF:

R18+ does not open the doors to anything coming in, they are in line with movies which is what it was always about. I guess your unaware of how many movies and music get adjusted or just refused classification? And just like them you can always get a copy imported since its the sales of the origonal version not ownership that's been banned, it's not like their treating it like drugs. Just import a copy, heck changes are your buying one from overseas anyway. For that matter, we don't even know what has been changed.

What he said. It's not a useless rating, and it's not comparable nor supposed to be comparable to an AO rating. One is a death sentence for commercial games (as you said). The other is not.

JustinDP:
In Saints Row 2, which is readily available to the point they usually flat out just give it away in Xbox 360 bundles has you regain health via smoking, and drinking. As in readily rewarding you for the act.

I thought smoking, like pot, only made you sick in the game.

So, what exactly did South Park do that was so bad?

Saints Row IV eventually made it through with some slight modifications, but it now looks like publishers aren't even bothering to take chances, submitting censored versions of controversial games right from the get-go.

Sounds like they just didn't want to take the risk.

SL33TBL1ND:
There's a huge difference between the ESRB's AO rating and the Australian Classification Boards R18+ rating. From what I've heard, retailers will simply just not stock (or at the very least, not display) AO rated titles. That is not true in the slightest for R18+ releases in Australia.

Zachary Amaranth:

RicoADF:

R18+ does not open the doors to anything coming in, they are in line with movies which is what it was always about. I guess your unaware of how many movies and music get adjusted or just refused classification? And just like them you can always get a copy imported since its the sales of the origonal version not ownership that's been banned, it's not like their treating it like drugs. Just import a copy, heck changes are your buying one from overseas anyway. For that matter, we don't even know what has been changed.

What he said. It's not a useless rating, and it's not comparable nor supposed to be comparable to an AO rating. One is a death sentence for commercial games (as you said). The other is not.

But they both have that question of why they exist. The AO is completely pointless because nobody will sell it. The R18+ is a step forward, but it still demands the cutting/editing of content that is explicitly for adults. They're adults, consenting, legal adults, they even have a rating to let people know it's just for them, but they still force people to edit? To what end?
I know you can import the originals, but that's kind of beside the point. Why can't you just buy the original domestically, unedited?

shirkbot:

But they both have that question of why they exist.

Not really. For all the complaints that games are still getting censored, even lighter versions of games were still getting denied classification and sale. Unless you're telling me R18+ is ALSO not stocked by retailers, there's no comparison. M18+ has a reason for existing: to allows certification and sale of more games to a more adult audience. Saying there's a question as to why it exists is ridiculous. There may be a question as to whether the level of certification is adequate, but that is not the same thing.

AO might as well not be certified. Games are getting R18+ certification that would have otherwise not been allowed for sale. Just because not every game fails to get through does not mean the certification is useless.

Zachary Amaranth:

shirkbot:

But they both have that question of why they exist.

Not really. For all the complaints that games are still getting censored, even lighter versions of games were still getting denied classification and sale. Unless you're telling me R18+ is ALSO not stocked by retailers, there's no comparison. M18+ has a reason for existing: to allows certification and sale of more games to a more adult audience. Saying there's a question as to why it exists is ridiculous. There may be a question as to whether the level of certification is adequate, but that is not the same thing.

AO might as well not be certified. Games are getting R18+ certification that would have otherwise not been allowed for sale. Just because not every game fails to get through does not mean the certification is useless.

My apologies. I forgot that my viewpoint is skewed by news. I don't actually live in Australia, so it was sounding like this was more the norm, rather than the exception. But if they are getting certified then I'll just be happy to hear it. Sorry again for my ignorance.

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