Square-Enix Founds Label for Edgy, Extreme Games

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Square-Enix Founds Label for Edgy, Extreme Games

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Square-Enix has founded an extremely edgy new label to handle the publishing of games otherwise too violent for its native Japan.

There's been a concerted effort over at Japanese games giant Square-Enix to broaden its horizons to the West lately: Not only has head honcho Yoichi Wada publicly called his countrymen out regarding their anti-Western game bias, the company acquired embattled Tomb Raider publisher Eidos last year. Square-Enix has also teamed up with Activision to publish its titles over in Japan, most notably Modern Warfare 2.

The problem, though, is that many of its new Western titles are a bit much for Japan as far as violence is concerned. Gears of War (a title not published by Square-Enix) may have only earned itself an "M" rating over here in the States, but in Japan it was slapped with CERO Z - the equivalent to the ESRB's dreaded "Adults Only" rating.

This week in Famitsu, big boss Wada announced the formation of the Square-Enix Extreme Edges brand, a label whose sole jobs will be to publish blood-soaked Western titles in Japan, and to have a name that journalists can make fun of. Extreme Edges will be in charge of putting out all of Square-Enix's CERO D (17+) and CERO Z games from here on out, like Activision's upcoming Blur and Singularity.

It seems that this change is made with the intent of letting parents know at a glance whether a game is suitable for their children or not - if you see the "Extreme Edges" logo on the box, best not buy it for little Takeshi. Nintendo recently did something similar in changing the color of boxes for Wii games aimed at teens and up to black.

Thus far, Square-Enix has never published a CERO Z game. Thanks to Eidos and the Extreme Edges brand, that might soon change.

Shh, nobody tell Tim Langdell.

(Via Siliconera)

Permalink

DAMMIT, Ninja'd by the staff! I wanted to make a Tim Langdell joke... You've upset me now, John :(. No more cookies for you...

The country that made RapeLay thinks Gears of War is a bit much?!

Well......I guess that's Logical.
If you think about it, Labeling a Game AO for sex, while labeling a game less than that for Ripping apart someone's intestines with a Chainsaw to seem a bit Stupid Right?
But hey, It's Japan. Let them do what they want.

I really don't understand the Japanese rating system at all. That said, my suspicion is that there is, unsurprisingly, probably some ethnocentrism at work in it.

My guess is that if a pointy nosed, huge eyed and spike haired character chops someone into pieces (little pieces) then it probably receives a teen rating. But if Marcus Phoenix does it...

Sweet, Gears of War got the highest rating in Japan for being too violant. Sweet, I revel in it and I praise Europe for not starting up anti-gaming bullshit. Well, in Netherlands, things are going dandy~.

Well, they are making an effoert....and I can see why they are using a different studio for it.

Have to see what they will come up with now

What I've always been so confused about, is why Japan, despite all it's intensive gory and sometimes messed up Anime, and even some of their OWN games are gory, they're so hesitant about Western games. Sounds to me it's more about against Western games in itself so as to bolster sales of their own stuff then anything having to do with actual content.

Langdell to sue SE in 3...2...1...

Wait a moment. Games where you can systematically rape, impregnate then rape again a woman is A-OK, but violent video games like MW2 and GTA4 are somehow abhorrant?

Double standards, methinks.

John Funk:
Extreme Edges will be in charge of putting out all of Square-Enix's CERO D (17+) and CERO Z games from here on out, like Activision's upcoming Blur and Singularity.

Blur? As in the racing game? I might be getting mixed up here but how does Blur warrant a 17+ rating?

EXTREME EDGES!!! GRAAAAAAH MANLINESS!!!

This brand name is a pretty clear, if overblown, indication. Something called "Extremely Edgy" is definetly not for kids. It's for overcompensating teens instead.

Spaceman_Spiff:
The country that made RapeLay thinks Gears of War is a bit much?!

Mackheath:
Wait a moment. Games where you can systematically rape, impregnate then rape again a woman is A-OK, but violent video games like MW2 and GTA4 are somehow abhorrant?

Double standards, methinks.

Survival mantra: Americans like enemy blood fountain in the face, Japanese like... *ahem*

Definetly a double standard - or two different ones, to be precise.

Spaceman_Spiff:
The country that made RapeLay thinks Gears of War is a bit much?!

Well, Americans get off to chopping things in half with chainsaws, Japanese people get off to rape. Quite frankly, they're still closer to normal than we are, lol.

I think it is very interesting how here in the states the mass population is overly concerned about sex and nudity, while in Japan they seem more concerned about ultra-violence.

"The problem, though, is that many of its new Western titles are a bit much for Japan as far as violence is concerned."

Doesn't Japan have video games where you rape women?

Spaceman_Spiff:
The country that made RapeLay thinks Gears of War is a bit much?!

Not at all. It is more like:
"The country that made RapeLay thinks Gears of War should also be considered an adult only title?!"

Which isn't that unreasonable when you think about it.

Has Japan not seen Fist of the North Star?

That would make Britain the best country eve right? Sex while killing people. It's all good!

It's ironic really. Both are terrible, one trivializes violence while other trivializes sex
Talk about culture clash. At least it's better than where I am from, a nation (India) ruled by 1000 year old conservative & uneducated farmers save a few

Fun Fact: Our previous president was essentially a SUPERVILLAIN, the guy was instrumental in nuclear research but then thought it wasn't evil enough so he became a politician.

Seriously though, he was a real nice guy.

EDIT:

RapeLay is Japan's answer to every fetish porn video made in the States.

Good for Square Enix. This keeps the main brand from being damaged by scandal from a more violent game. I hope, hopefully people recognize the brand difference...

isn't Blur a racing game why would it be 17+

I'm frankly appalled at the amount of generalising of the Japanese people in this thread. Yes, a Japanese company made RapeLay. Doesn't mean that every single Japanese person plays it and finds it morally acceptable.

Or of course people could rely on the parents/store to check whether the game they're buying has the right rating, but I guess we can't trust consumers.

Spaceman_Spiff:
The country that made RapeLay thinks Gears of War is a bit much?!

I was thinking the same thing!

scnj:
I'm frankly appalled at the amount of generalising of the Japanese people in this thread. Yes, a Japanese company made RapeLay. Doesn't mean that every single Japanese person plays it and finds it morally acceptable.

I don't think that people are generalising the Japanese asuch, more so just commenting on the unusual standards it has when it comes to rating games. Well, and a little bit of generalising :)

scnj:
I'm frankly appalled at the amount of generalising of the Japanese people in this thread. Yes, a Japanese company made RapeLay. Doesn't mean that every single Japanese person plays it and finds it morally acceptable.

Actually, my shock regarding this news does not come from that, but the fact that Japanese games and other media have plenty of violence as well. Games like Killer 7 and Demon's Souls have plenty of violence in them. Anime shows also tend to have a lot of violence and gore (along with many sexual references), which often either "forces" western dubbers to heavily censor a lot of the content or never introduce them outside Japan to begin with. Do not even get me started on the level of violence in manga...

Infact, the more I think about it, the more I think this issue has less to do with violence and more to do with the Japanese goverment trying to protect their companies from foreign competition. While there are obviously exceptions, a great majority of gaming companies in Japan produce exclusively for the Japanese market. If foreign companies were to gain a foothold, it could seriously jeopardise them. So I can easily imagine that they would want to inflate the general bias against non-Japanese titles and proclaim them as "too violent".

There seems to be this mentality in eastern Asia in general that globalisation is fine as long as it's effects are limited to increased export. But once it has potential effects on their own society, they get quite touchy, especially since Asian societies tend to be closed and weary of anything foreign. Racism became a huge problem in Korea precisely for this reason, since Koreans seem to have a very hard time accepting non-Koreans in their country (especially if they have darker skin).

Tom Phoenix:

Actually, my shock regarding this news does not come from that, but the fact that Japanese games and other media have plenty of violence as well. Games like Killer 7 and Demon's Souls have plenty of violence in them. Anime shows also tend to have a lot of violence and gore (along with many sexual references), which often either "forces" western dubbers to heavily censor a lot of the content or never introduce them outside Japan to begin with. Do not even get me started on the level of violence in manga...

I agree with this statement. You have an interesting theory on -why- this is (foreign competition), but I was pretty much just shocked about -what- this is. Japan feeling touchy about a game like Gears?... And the anime/manga-bit was an especially good touch as well. I always knew that Japan wasn't as stringent on sexuality, but never thought the same mentality 'supposedly' wouldn't also apply to violence. My experience with anime/manga, for the most part is, "There's absolutely no way this would be allowed on US daytime television", and I'm not just talking ecchi, but violence as well.

John Funk:
Wii games aimed at teens and up to black.

All 3 of them? OH SNAP!

John Funk:
Shh, nobody tell Tim Langdell.

You know, I'd love to see him try. Last I heard, his attempt to bully EA over Mirror's Edge was a massive failure... Would love to see him try Square Enix, in Japan.

Kollega:

EXTREME EDGES!!! GRAAAAAAH MANLINESS!!!

It IS manly - don't you think it sounds like a brand name for razorblades? Like "Gillette Extreme Edges, for the perfect, smooth shave you've been looking for..."

I have to admit I love SQUEEE as an acronym...

Wait, why would blur get 17+? It's a racing game.

I betcha fuckface from Edge games sues them relatively soon...

So Square follows Disney in the logical move department. Set up a separate studio for, dare I say, edgier content while the original can continue making friendlier stuff it has been known for.
This is definitely a slap in the face to Langdell as well. This may be the final lid in his coffin as far as his stupid Edge trademark. He may not even bother since right now his beloved trademark is in audit right now, and may very well get thrown out.

Spaceman_Spiff:
The country that made RapeLay thinks Gears of War is a bit much?!

I think that's completely sensible actually. It makes more sence to give an Adult-only rating to games when you chop people in half rather than games where you show a bit too much skin for the politically correct.

Note: This does not mean I like that they've given that rating to gears of war, I just understand how they think.

Isn't this mostly because Square Enix has built itself as a family friendly game company? Well maybe not family friendly but you know what I mean. The company probably wants to keep its name a few steps away from stuff too violent, but still realizes that shooters are a good way to make money.

hey...iknowyou:

scnj:
I'm frankly appalled at the amount of generalising of the Japanese people in this thread. Yes, a Japanese company made RapeLay. Doesn't mean that every single Japanese person plays it and finds it morally acceptable.

I don't think that people are generalising the Japanese asuch, more so just commenting on the unusual standards it has when it comes to rating games. Well, and a little bit of generalising :)

Exactly what unusual standards are those? Rapelay is AO.. so GoW will be too, why is it unusual to say "Rape is for adults only, so is killing lots of people violently".. seems to make sense to me :S

So we have a country where I can buy tentacle porn but not play gears of war... odd

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