The Stick of Truth's Censorship Disabled by PC Mod - Update

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Aaaand its gone.

image

I was hoping something like this would happen, and I was not disappointed.

I did find the replacement message amusing, but on the whole, I prefer to have the game unaltered, if only for the principle of the matter.

Wasn't the PC version supposed to be uncensored anyway? I've not been keeping up with this but the news i initially saw said the PC release would still carry this content for this exact reason; that it would simply be modded in later. I am slightly confused by this news.

Can anyone help me out here?

Funny thing is, if you watched what was deleted its laughable that they were deleted in the first place. An those scenes being cut didnt make any difference at all really as they added nothing to the game. Which is a shame. You would think the mission with Mr Slave would be more ban worthy.....try explaining that to kids. lol

Modders did a good job though the PC version wasnt censored? Im guessing the mods there to allow the crazy Germans to see Nazi Cows and probes. :-)

TwiZtah:
I bet it was Germany that made the European version censored, it is always the Germans.

It was Ubisoft that did it actually to try to get a lower rating not PEGI.

Scrumpmonkey:
Wasn't the PC version supposed to be uncensored anyway? I've not been keeping up with this but the news i initially saw said the PC release would still carry this content for this exact reason; that it would simply be modded in later. I am slightly confused by this news.

Can anyone help me out here?

Some versions were uncensored on the PC like the UK while others were still censored like in Australia.

Zipa:

Scrumpmonkey:
Wasn't the PC version supposed to be uncensored anyway? I've not been keeping up with this but the news i initially saw said the PC release would still carry this content for this exact reason; that it would simply be modded in later. I am slightly confused by this news.

Can anyone help me out here?

Some versions were uncensored on the PC like the UK while others were still censored like in Australia.

Ohhhhh... derp. I should have realized that. Do we have a list of what is censored where? This all situation is a bit of a mess and i can see why Tray and Matt would be so frustrated by all of this. It's kind of dumb.

I don't see why valve would punish their customers for what is essentially modding a singleplayer game.

Haha! This is great!

I wasn't going to buy this game because of the absolutely ridiculous censorship laws in Germany(where I am). And of course "ze Germans" have their own PEGI folks, because ya know, reasons. That's called the USK (Unterhaltungssoftware SelbstKontrolle -> entertainment software self checking group).

So thanks to whoever put that patch together. The game is back on my to-buy list. May the people without the will to have a sense of humor fail to prevent those who do from excercizing one.

Scrumpmonkey:

Zipa:

Scrumpmonkey:
Wasn't the PC version supposed to be uncensored anyway? I've not been keeping up with this but the news i initially saw said the PC release would still carry this content for this exact reason; that it would simply be modded in later. I am slightly confused by this news.

Can anyone help me out here?

Some versions were uncensored on the PC like the UK while others were still censored like in Australia.

Ohhhhh... derp. I should have realized that. Do we have a list of what is censored where? This all situation is a bit of a mess and i can see why Tray and Matt would be so frustrated by all of this. It's kind of dumb.

For PC the list of censored countries is Germany, Austria, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong & Taiwan. For the consoles it is the EU (including the UK),the Middle east and Africa regions.

I'm very tempted to make a Nazi joke but I don't want to Godwin this thread.

I don't know or the game was censored in the Netherlands, but considering how we often get versions from other European countries It would not surprise me.

Either way censorship is stupid and mostly pointless in a post internet world.

Given how quickly that happened, I'm with the people who think that the developers purposely made this easy to do. They can still be in compliance with the need for the censorship, but they made it piss easy to get around so that no one actually gets bothered by it. Well, no one other than console gamers.

Glory to the pc mustard rice!

It was only a matter of time after all, many thanks to the modders who brought us this.
Now everyone can enjoy abortion and anal probing, yay!

Hmm, do you think we can have a mod like that for Portal? That's censored in Germany too.

I'm not joking.

Which addresses another point: Gabe Newell isn't about to face down the censors on South Park's behalf if he won't do it for his own game.

Looking into VAC bans? Are you fucking shitting me, Ubisoft? Someone modding a single player game on their machine should not be treated like hackers in online games. The game is completely single player, there is no actual reason Ubisoft should do anything about this. Fucking with PC games has been around since there were PC games. When I was a kid I remember messing with Grand Theft Auto (the 1st one) and adding in like making cars go faster and shit like that.

I bet there's a skyrim mod that turns every character into futanari's and no one cares or gets a VAC ban because of it.

Weaver:
Looking into VAC bans? Are you fucking shitting me, Ubisoft? Someone modding a single player game on their machine should not be treated like hackers in online games. The game is completely single player, there is no actual reason Ubisoft should do anything about this. Fucking with PC games has been around since there were PC games. When I was a kid I remember messing with Grand Theft Auto (the 1st one) and adding in like making cars go faster and shit like that.

I bet there's a skyrim mod that turns every character into futanari's and no one cares or gets a VAC ban because of it.

yupp, this is utter bullshit if they think that is justified.

I really hope there is a south park episode or clip with captain hindsight on this exact predicament, would be hilarious.

That or south park makes one of the themes of an episode exactly about this situation, a good jab to video game censoring.

Stu35:

What I think really grips me in this instance, is that the UK censorship of this game isn't actually being enforced by any UK agency, but a European one (unless I've misunderstood this? In which case can someone correct me?), and I have a very typically British mistrust of the EU and their attempts to control how things are done in Britain.

EU fearmongering is nonsense.

Fromw hat I understood Ubisoft did it themselves after the EU and UK agencies both just slapped an 18 rating on it (to try get a 16 I guess, and they got an 18 anyway).

No as for Germany's agency I couldn't tell you but they're cunts anyway.

Therumancer:
Once content has been declared illegal it's different. Most "user made content" has not been made illegal, and typically every piece of material to be "banned" must be reviewed individually. Thus, since your typical flash game is not likely to show up on the radar, as it will never get enough attention/complaints to get the government involved it's not a big deal. On the other hand "South Park" already got government attention, and this content was considered to be obscene, and banned in this areas. The user made patch allows access to this content, and is thus by definition illegal in a very real way because it's being used to spread obscene/banned material.

That's the big issue in this case, the ruling has already been made, like it or not.

You do realize that the censorship (in EMEA territory at least) was imposed by Ubisoft and not PEGI, right? PEGI gave it an 18+ rating with the cut content in it, but before it could be released an Ubisoft bigwig or two came to Parker & Stone and told them to axe the parts that got cut in Australia for the EMEA release, for "reasons". There's nothing in it declared illegal or unsuited to be shown to the citizenry.

And even if there was, PEGI doesn't have any legal standing, as far as I know. It's an industry-agreed set of self-imposed standards, not a government bureau. There's absolutely no reason to think that something PEGI sees as "too obscene" to rate would be illegal.

Steven Bogos:
Update: An Ubisoft representative has responded to our email, stating that a team is "looking into" the matter, and offered a very vague "With regards to any penalty for players that are doing this, we do not have any information about what may happen to those players."

If they take any actions against those players then I hope their offices burn to the ground. There is no acceptable reason for them to take action against people.

Ordinarily, modding a PC game is a perfectly accepted practice, and something that is often encouraged by the developers, but since this mod bypasses censorship, it is a bit of a gray area.

There is no grey area here. Absolutely none. Aside from Ubisoft implying that action may be taken against the players anyway. That's pretty grey. And if it moves into actually taking action then it will have crossed over to being firmly in the black side of a black and white issue. Punishing people for modding their own copy of a game when it doesn't affect anyone else is absolutely absurd and there is no acceptable reason to do it.

Ever.

Agayek:

Therumancer:
Once content has been declared illegal it's different. Most "user made content" has not been made illegal, and typically every piece of material to be "banned" must be reviewed individually. Thus, since your typical flash game is not likely to show up on the radar, as it will never get enough attention/complaints to get the government involved it's not a big deal. On the other hand "South Park" already got government attention, and this content was considered to be obscene, and banned in this areas. The user made patch allows access to this content, and is thus by definition illegal in a very real way because it's being used to spread obscene/banned material.

That's the big issue in this case, the ruling has already been made, like it or not.

You do realize that the censorship (in EMEA territory at least) was imposed by Ubisoft and not PEGI, right? PEGI gave it an 18+ rating with the cut content in it, but before it could be released an Ubisoft bigwig or two came to Parker & Stone and told them to axe the parts that got cut in Australia for the EMEA release, for "reasons". There's nothing in it declared illegal or unsuited to be shown to the citizenry.

And even if there was, PEGI doesn't have any legal standing, as far as I know. It's an industry-agreed set of self-imposed standards, not a government bureau. There's absolutely no reason to think that something PEGI sees as "too obscene" to rate would be illegal.

It's a valid point depending on where you are talking about, however as I understand things in Australia the line has already been blurred as it was a major political matter just to get an 18+ label approved, and in the end it did very little. It seems the functional like between what's a private rating and a governmental rating have become incredibly blurred at least when it comes to imports (which this is), which is probably why Ubisoft decided to voluntarily submit to this censorship.

That said it's not just going to be a ratings issue, the bottom line is when Ubisoft brought this content onto the market they said "this content is not there" in getting it approved for Australian sales. That content is apparently there one way or another, whether it's in the games and able to be unlocked with a simple code modification/patch OR being smuggled into the country by being included in the patch. It becomes an import issue and goes beyond private regulation due to the understanding of the product being sold, especially when it was clearly stated that this content isn't in the game.

It's sort of like how if I ran a company that makes replicas of firearms for collectors, and get permission to sell my replicas in your country, your private consultants tell you based on what I show/tell them that it's okay. When my product shows up on the market it turns out I'm selling real guns, oh sure maybe I removed the firing pins or something, but the firing pins are easily obtainable by sending a SASE to a given address. The products I showed your reps which were incapable of being fired under any circumstances were not accurate to the product I'm actually selling.

Now granted, South Park isn't a gun, but it is the same kind of situation from an import perspective. If the content was simply locked out, instead of removed, and all someone needed was a quick patch to unlock it, that's far different than this information not being there at all. What's more if someone else is providing a way to get something that isn't approved, that becomes an issue.

Now you ARE correct that this probably wouldn't be as big a deal if this was say a product created within a given PEGI territory, it's not crossing any borders (electronically or otherwise) or being approved for general release within a market. Countries do not just allow any and all products to just enter their markets, and that represents the legal aspect of things, with information being presented for the approval coming from private consultants.

Again it's sort of the difference between someone's FLASH game and a product like this. If some kid decides to make a concentration camp simulator that glorifies Nazi atrocities through Germany nobody is likely to notice especially if he's not selling it. If he creates something similarly offensive (but not outright illegal) and decides to try and sell it, then the ratings bureaus refuse to give it a classification because it's so obscene, the only real pressure comes from what a business/political alliance can put on anyone who decides to carry that product. On the other hand when your coming across the border, you need permission to sell your goods in a way a citizen within a country does not, and thus the pretenses under which those goods are sold become a big deal, as does the understanding of the boards presumably advising the government in giving a rating.

I'm being long and rambling, but the bottom line is this still amounts to censorship. In the given areas South Park is only approved for distribution in a specific form, with certain content being omitted. Those who are finding ways if including that content are arguably involving in something akin to smuggling.

Not to mention that again, we're generally only hearing about what specific private groups said, I don't believe we've ever seen anything (at this point) about the import angle of things and what the understandings were when the product was allowed to be sold in these markets. For example I wouldn't be surprised if Ubisoft was told flat out by the government they wouldn't be allowed to "import" their product officially if they couldn't get the ratings down below a certain level.

loa:
I don't see why valve would punish their customers for what is essentially modding a singleplayer game.

It sounds like a case of public image suicide if they seek to punish people for modding a single player game.

Or are they also going to punish people for downloading porn? I mean, what's the difference here?

If you can download the (incredibly many) nude mods for most games out there, then there should absolutely be no problem here, accessing what was the creator's original intent to begin with.

Censorship happens in order to get a certain rating. This means the mod is essentially just an unrated version, which all mods and user-made content are anyway.

Weaver:
I bet there's a skyrim mod that turns every character into futanari's and no one cares or gets a VAC ban because of it.

Lots of fully animated sex mods as well.

Weaver:
Looking into VAC bans? Are you fucking shitting me, Ubisoft?

Read back to me the part where they said they were doing that, because I must have missed it. The writer of the article is just trying to stir up the hive, as usual, because it means more hits and more people having to click past ads disguised as captchas to post.

Valve has never issued VAC bans for single-player mods before, and frankly I don't think it's even possible. Even playing a multiplayer game with known "hax" on it won't register if you never log into a VAC-secured multiplayer server.

durante's got some competition now, is there really more room for another saviour of PC ports?

If it's a simple config flag, any idiot could bypass the censor wit 1 or 2 lines of code.It'd be easier, and safer, to just point to the file, say which line to change, and copy/paste, presto, uncensored game! It's funny how backward this seems. The US used to be the puritan anti-sex censor crowd. I played Kabuto as well, and simply couldn't go back once I freed the brunette Smurfette.

This is weird to me. I know games like Tiger Woods Golf and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas lost their ESRB rating because of things not accessible during normal game play after they were release. Granted that was in the US and the ESRB, but wouldn't Ubisoft afraid it could loose like the PEGI rating and the Aussie government rating if they didn't actually remove them from the code?

if it exists on PC someone somewhere will mod it, and its stupid to do regional censorship its just unfair
and doing it to a franchise already known for being offensive is just stupid

NuclearKangaroo:
*snip*

damn it kangaroo I can not stop reading your posts in mabel's voice which is making this thread both silly and slightly disturbing

chickenhound:
if it exists on PC someone somewhere will mod it, and its stupid to do regional censorship its just unfair
and doing it to a franchise already known for being offensive is just stupid

NuclearKangaroo:
*snip*

damn it kangaroo I can not stop reading your posts in mabel's voice which is making this thread both silly and slightly disturbing

you can always read em in Mabel's voice while shes doing other voices

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Cf8thWiZzs

Entirely expected to happen. Even though I'm in America and therefore get no censore, I feel other people who also don't want stuff censored are entitled to the choice, so goodski.

Dudes, this whole shtick about "WILL I GET BANNED BY VAC?!!?!" is stupid. For one, VAC-protected games show that they are protected on the store page. For two, IT'S A SINGLEPLAYER GAME. VAC IS THERE TO PREVENT CHEATING IN MULTIPLAYER.

Good. Fuck Ubisoft for doing this in the first place.

VAC requires there to be a server-sided component as well as the local part of it, so it wouldn't even work.

Why would they want to look into it anyway? Surely they have been in PC gaming long enough to know that if people want to modify your game, they will.

It doesn't matter if they even want to punish you for doing this (not sure they do anyway), they simply can't. All you have to do is be smart about it, yank out your ethernet cable while playing or just block Steam in your firewall and use offline mode to play, TAHDAA Valve/Ubisoft/whoever can't do shit.

Re: Update 2

HAH!

On PC at any rate the censorship issue was only ever going to be skin deep to appease the authorities that demanded it. Particularly with a single player game like this there was never going to be a true divide.

I do feel bad for those on consoles though - they don't have a choice. Not that the censored scenes were (by Southpark standards) anything amazingly special but it would still suck to know you're getting less for the money than other people in the world.

Man, this makes me feel like a kid again, I had to do this all the time when I was like twelve. You know, applying de-censor patches to games like Half-Life, Fallout and...Baldur's Gate...

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