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for again completely free. The end of the year is right around the corner
and, with that, today we’ll be taking a look back at the video game regional differences
in 2019. First up we go to China, which has had a very
eventful year. Firstly the Nintendo Switch finally went on
sale in the region this month, marking the first time for a Nintendo console to launch
in region following the 10 year long ban on consoles being lifted in 2014. The Switch is being brought to China through
a deal with tech giant Tencent and the deal will see Tencent handling a lot of the operational
side of things in the country, including localizing games into Chinese and navigating the government’s
long approval process that games have to go through to be released in the country. Due to this strict approval process the system
currently only has one game available for it, this being New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. However, many more titles are planned to be
released in the near future including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey and Legend
of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Speaking of China’s approval process, the
year has also saw stricter rules that approvals must follow, after a 2 month long freeze on
all approvals back in February. The 2 month freeze this year was said to be
due to the massive backlogs that had amassed, following a nearly year long freeze last year
to reorganize the approval system. The country now hopes to counteract this with
their further restructured system, which further clamps down on adult content and also limits
the amount of new approvals per year to around 5000 titles. As for the game content differences in the
region, one notable case is PlayerUnknown Battleground’s, which was pulled from sale
in the country and redesigned so that it would pass the Chinese approval system. Renamed “Game For Peace” the Chinese version
now has players fighting in a friendly competition where nobody gets hurt, and defeated players
simply sit down, put their weapons on the floor and wave. The Chinese version also contains various
Chinese political messages and themes, which is something that the Chinese regulators like
to see in games released in the country. And then, whilst not entirely a regional difference,
the hit horror game Devotion made headlines earlier in the year when it was pulled from
Steam indefinitely due to writing insulting the Chinese leader being accidently left on
some graphic textures. Despite removing these textures, which were
said to be from Google Images and used as a placeholder, the game would ultimately be
taken down worldwide. The Taiwan developers are likely concerned
of repercussions from the Chinese government and, despite removing the game, the Chinese
publishers had their business license revoked, with this being very likely to be due to Devotion. Moving on from that though and to Japan, which,
as is pretty typical in the region, ran into some violence-related trouble with some of
the bigger Western titles released this year. For instance, the Japanese localization of
Wolfenstein: Youngblood tones down the damage textures to darken wounds and the Japanese
version of Rage 2 reduces enemy dismemberment. Also, like Resident Evil 7, the Japanese version
of Resident Evil 2 has also faced various edits even in the higher rated Z version,
which is for ages 18 years and over. As shown in these comparisons from the Z version,
these edits have reduced instances of dismemberment and also some other instances of large open
wounds. Furthermore, zombie damage textures are darkened
and head dismemberment is no longer possible. These and other changes made to Z rated games
are due to the various rules of the Japanese rating system CERO, which forbid certain types
of content even with the max rating. These rules don’t just affect violence though
but also nudity, with explicit nudity being outlawed by the rating system. Due to this, games like Metro Exodus had to
have changes in Japan to remove any instances of explicit topless nudity, which is a change
that has been seen in many other games such as The Witcher 3 and Grand Theft Auto V.
And then finally, not a regional difference but a *lack* off regional differences in the
upcoming Tokyo Mirage Sessions port for Nintendo Switch that adds a range of new features. When Tokyo Mirage Sessions was originally
released for Wii U, the Western versions featured a fairly large amount of changes, with a few
examples being various costumes getting altered, the absence of a hot spring DLC and a number
of story points and graphics being changed to remove references to gravure modelling
and replacing this with fully-clothed modelling. Nintendo explained that any changes made to
in-game content were due to “varying requirements and regulations in the many different territories
Nintendo distributes its products.” This time around however, Nintendo has announced
that the the new updated Switch version will be based on the Western version worldwide
– including in Japan. Next up we’ll be taking a look at the US
and Europe, which this year has seen a number of Japanese titles altered due to either trouble
with Western rating systems or the new content policy introduced by Sony, which takes a tougher
stance on adult content but hasn’t been explicitly outlined in-depth and so developers
have described as feeling left out of the loop about what’s ok or not. Western publisher Spike Chunsoft has been
particularly affected by this, with a total of 4 of their games having suggestive content
reduced – these being Conception PLUS, Crystar, Yu-No and Zanki Zero: Last Beginning. Furthermore, XSEED’s SENRAN KAGURA Burst
Re:Newal had to be delayed to remove a feature called “Intimacy Mode” from the Western
PS4 version but not the Steam release. This year has seen some good news for Yakuza
fans however, with the Yakuza 3 Remaster being released with the same content as over in
Japan. What makes this so noteworthy is that when
the game was originally released back in 2010, an unusually large amount of content was cut
from the western release with this being attributed to time-restraints. Future games would be much more faithful to
the Japanese releases, and this trend has now come full circle with the re-release of
the remastered version, which restores 4 cut mini games, 21 side missions, the hostess
club segments and more. The translation has also been entirely re-done
from scratch, for not just Yakuza 3, but the remasters of 4 and 5 as well and this brings
them more in line with how the modern Yakuza entries are handled. Next to move things over to Germany, which
has had some big news in relation to its rules regarding the depiction of unconstitutional
symbols in games. Last year it was announced that the use of
these symbols in games would no longer be automatically be rejected by the German USK
rating system, due to a change in attitude in the country which will see games having
their artistic value taken more into account. This has then paved the wave to see Wolfenstein
Youngblood becoming the first ever game in the Wolfenstein series to be released 100%
uncut in Germany. Furthermore, the game that originally kicked
all of this off Wolfenstein 3D which was banned in 1998 due to the use of unconstitutional
symbols, has now finally had its ban lifted by the German courts. All of this is huge news for the country,
which up until now has had any depiction of unconstitutional symbols removed from every
game released in the country for over 20 years. But then finally to move things to Australia,
which the hit survival game DayZ had a run in with in August over “drug-use related
to incentives or rewards”. Over in Australia, there are a few areas of
fiction that are treated fairly strictly, with one of these being the use of drugs where
there are seen as offering some kind of incentive or reward for their use, such as granting
beneficial effects to the player. Despite not actually being in the game, DayZ
was banned in Australia due to a cannabis item being found in the game’s files planned
for a future update and that was said to be used for restoring player’s health. This is also despite the game already being
available in Australia for over 5 years through early access and also being rated only MA15+
in Australia through the automatic questionnaire-based classification method IARC. Furthermore, this is also despite other drugs
such as morphine being in the game and, unlike the cannabis, actually implemented and usable. Responding to the Australian decision, the
devs announced that they would be removing the offending code from the game for all regions
around the world and this then allowed the title to be approved for a release in Australia
with a MA15+ rating. What do you think about how this year has
went and what are your hopes for 2020? As always, please let us know you thoughts
in the comments below and a big thanks to NordVPN again for sponsoring today’s video. There will be a link in the description if
you want to go check their big discount out and, until next time, thank you for watching.