In response to an uproar from parents and politicians, Ubisoft has decided to cancel the release of We Dare in the U.K.
The advertisement for Ubisoft's "sexy Wii minigame compilation" raised a few eyebrows when it first bubbled to the surface in February but things didn't really go off the rails until a few days later, when PEGI gave the game a 12+ rating. Despite Ubi's insistence that the game was hot and naughty stuff, PEGI said it wasn't really all that daring at all, but that wasn't enough to satisfy vocal parents and politicians who worried that the game would encourage kids to engage in underage sex.
But now we can stop thinking about the children, because Ubisoft has decided that it's just not worth the hassle. "Following the public reaction to the 12+ rating of We Dare, Ubisoft has made the decision not to sell the game in the United Kingdom," a company rep told The Telegraph.
PEGI, meanwhile, continued to stand its ground with a new statement defending the 12+ rating. "Conclusions by press and commenters have been based exclusively on the online commercial, whereas the conclusions of PEGI were based on the game experience," the agency said. "The content of the game and the interaction that the game itself implies do not warrant a higher rating. Marketing may have implied something else, but PEGI does not rate advertising, it rates game content."
I think there are two points worth making in all this. One, We Dare is unquestionably silly and the infamous YouTube ad makes it look flat-out ridiculous. Two, Ubisoft's decision to drop the game in the U.K. is extremely unfortunate; I don't live in the country so I don't know how strong the backlash actually is but it seems to me that a few Sun subscribers and Keith Vaz aren't worth getting terribly worked up over. If nothing else, it suggests a lack of validity on the part of PEGI, which made a decision and stood by it, and that makes the whole system look bad. I'm inclined to think that Ubisoft pulled the plug not because of the controversy but because the game was destined to bomb badly, and that's fair enough. It just would've been nice if it could have figured that out before things got to this point.