The Last Of Us Multiplayer Censored in Europe, Naughty Dog Confirms

The Last Of Us Multiplayer Censored in Europe, Naughty Dog Confirms

The Last Of Us screen

The Last Of Us Creative Director Neil Druckmann says there's nothing Naughty Dog can do about cuts to the multiplayer component of the game in Europe.

Back in late June, a sharp-eyed member of the Naughty Dog forums by the name of "Ramify" took note of the fact that The Last Of Us multiplayer is far less bloody in Europe than it is in the U.S. He posted still images and animated GIFs of the two versions illustrating the differences and it seemed pretty clear that something was up. He acknowledged that it didn't really have an impact on the gameplay but said, "I can't shake the feeling I did not buy the game in its entirety, and not how the developers intended this work of art to be played."

Plenty of others seemed to share his feeling - the forum thread is currently up to 48 pages - but even so, it took until the end of July before Naughty Dog responded to the inquiry. "The gore and violence ratings are subject to local regulatory boards in various countries, so the game must be slightly changed in order to accommodate those choices," a Naughty Dog rep wrote. "To be honest, I'm not sure what version Australia is getting. If you import the North/South American version, it will not be censored, but EU/UK will be."

A few days later, Druckmann put the kibosh on any thoughts of a "toggle" that would allow players who wanted it to ramp up the blood and guts. "The censorship came from standards in Europe," he wrote during an August 1 AMA on Reddit. "Nothing we can do about it. Sorry."

The single-player version of The Last Of Us, rather oddly, is uncensored in all regions.

Source: Naughty Dog forums

Permalink

Why are the Euro/Auzzie nations always pulling this crap?

If you import the North/South American version, it will not be censored, but EU/UK will be."

For all you people who supported PEGI...Thank you, on the behalf of the people who don't give a shit about censorship in the UK.

Andy Chalk:
The single-player version of The Last Of Us, rather oddly, is uncensored in all regions.

I can easily see a ratings board making the decision based on "Killing NPCs can be more violent because they aren't real people."

Hell the single-player could practically be a PSA: you spend so much time killing mushroom heads.

Tanis:
Why are the Euro/Auzzie nations always pulling this crap?

sometimes its the other way. The Witcher was censored in the US for example.

we get the T and A, you get the gore basically...

mad825:

If you import the North/South American version, it will not be censored, but EU/UK will be."

For all you people who supported PEGI...Thank you, on the behalf of the people who don't give a shit about censorship in the UK.

because ofc the ESRB/BBFC never censored anything...

Sleekit:

Tanis:
Why are the Euro/Auzzie nations always pulling this crap?

sometimes its the other way. The Witcher was censored in the US for example.

we get the T and A, you get the gore basically...

Yes it worries me that some people think violence is more acceptable than sex.

Sleekit:

because ofc the ESRB/BBFC never censored anything...

pffft.

Most of their decisions related to computer games were based off the reaction of the public not the content per se. The BBFC has a legal and moral duty to perform. ESRB? wtf? They have no UK legal obligation

All of Europe got it censored? Strange, it's usually just Germany.

P.S. Thanks

flarty:
Yes it worries me that some people think violence is more acceptable than sex.

Don't even think to mention naughty words, which are a whole other level of sick and twisted.

Is the language in TLOU blue, or is it cleaned up/bleeped?

I keep forgetting The Last of Us has multiplayer, and keep getting surprised when I'm reminded it has it.

The multiplayer censorship would be substantially less bothersome if they had informed people about it BEFORE they released the game. Despite really liking the game during my first 1-3 playthroughs, I still feel somewhat bitter about Sony/Naughty Dog not being upfront about this, and in fact even stating (or at least strongly hinting) that it was fully uncut. And that despite the recent and almost identical issue with God of War: Ascension in singleplayer (although the changes were admittedly minor).

It would really like to continue buying Sony-published games Day 1, but lately it seems wiser to wait for at least a month until everything is cleared up as to what might be missing. Or to just import everything from the US that doesn't feature anything explicitly sexual.

So many other publishers tend to be honest about regional cuts, like EA who went above and beyond the call of duty to explain what they changed about Dead Space 2's multiplayer in Germany (no friendly fire in multiplayer), or Rockstar with Max Payne 3's changes in Germany (civilians can not be killed anymore). Both companies could have easily tried to get away with not telling people about it, since the changes were minor enough for the average player not to notice them, but they decided to be honest about it and allow people that did care about these things to import the games from elsewhere instead.

Covarr:
All of Europe got it censored? Strange, it's usually just Germany.

P.S. Thanks

This appears to be a new trend. Lately people here (in Germany) have apparently become more aware of the fact that quite a few games are censored, and boxes now all advertise with stuff like "100% Uncut" etc.. When all European versions are cut they occasionally advertise it as uncut, with the fine print saying "when compared to other European versions". Which was also the case with TLOU, although not on the box directly in this case. The whole European versions comparison is based on the fact that in the past UK versions where usually uncensored while German versions where often censored -> So "identical to other EU versions" should mean fully uncut, right? - Well apparently not anymore.
So in order to advertise stuff as uncut here, it is apparently being cut for the entire EU-region, just to be able to use this advertisement loophole. Although I hope I am wrong about this. People got enough reason to hate this country and its incredibly outdated rating system already.

Edit: Clarified second part.

mad825:

Sleekit:

because ofc the ESRB/BBFC never censored anything...

pffft.

Most of their decisions related to computer games were based off the reaction of the public not the content per se. ESRB? wtf? They have no UK legal obligation

the BBFC (as with PEGI afaik) censors on the basis strictly on the basis of the content.

it has a list of what can and cannot be in a given bracket and media and what's more it should be possible to find out exactly why this multiplayer wasn't approved if that is indeed the case as i would assume PEGI has a similar level of transparency to the BBFC when it comes to its decision making.

these organisations don't operate on the basis of "opinion".

the only people who actually ever banned anything on the basis of "opinion" when it came to films and the like in the UK were the local councils.

i collect kung fu movies and the like and as such i'm more than familiar with how the BBFC operates as a result >:(

the ERSB is a self-regulatory body and self censored many games prior to submission for given rating from the various ratings boards.

Teoes:

flarty:
Yes it worries me that some people think violence is more acceptable than sex.

Don't even think to mention naughty words, which are a whole other level of sick and twisted.

Is the language in TLOU blue, or is it cleaned up/bleeped?

No theres a lot of strong even from the Ellie if memory serves.

Getting real tired of being treated like a child by those in power. Seems to be a world wide thing too as people have mentioned, knee jerk reactions to sexual things in America, and now Germany's rules starting to seep into Europe on gore and violence.

Perhaps if they maybe put in a law that games of certain ratings can't be sold to anyone with the intent of giving it to a minor, we wouldn't have a problem, then y'know, parents would have accountability, rather than having to treat everyone like god damn children instead.

Sleekit:
the BBFC as with PEGI censors on the basis strictly on the basis of content.

I'm sorry, but do you know anything about the BBFC? Do you even live in the UK? Decisions have been overturned because of negative publicity. The only two known games to be banned in the UK were Manhunt 2 and carmageddon both of which received nationwide media outcry...Again, these games still got releases with cuts

The PEGI system have no UK relations with the public, they do not understand "us".

Elate:
now Germany's rules starting to seep into Europe on gore and violence.

Germanys anti war toys sensibilities...aren't exactly wholly their own...

mad825:

Sleekit:
the BBFC as with PEGI censors on the basis strictly on the basis of content.

I'm sorry, but do you know anything about the BBFC? Do you even live in the UK? Decisions have been overturned because of negative publicity. The only two known games to be banned in the UK were Manhunt 2 and carmageddon both of which received nationwide media outcry...Again, these games still got releases with cuts

The PEGI system have no UK relations with the public, they do not understand "us".

oh well done you read wikipedia.

simplistically the list the BBFC are given to work from is ultimately controlled by the government.

they can be told to "look again"...and when they do the list can *mysteriously* have changed...

if anything PEGI is probably more robust.

but hey vote UKIP or something right ? pfffffft. whatever.

i can do without talking to someone who starts a post like that. i've been collecting films (including kung fu movies and banned horror movies) for at least 25 years. yes i know something about how the the BBFC operates. and yes i live in the UK...for the moment...and i've done so for 42 god forsaken years.

Sleekit:
oh well don't you read wikipedia.

simplistically the list the BBFC are given to work from is ultimately controlled by the government.

they can be told to "look again"...and when they do the list can *mysteriously* have changed...

What? They don't just change.

As said on the BBFC website

Examiners look at issues such as discrimination, drugs, horror, imitable behaviour, language, nudity, sex, sexual violence, theme and violence when making decisions. They also consider context, the tone and impact of a work (how it makes the audience feel) and even the release format (for example, as DVDs, Blu-rays and videos for download are watched in the home, there is a higher risk of under-age viewing).

There is also a subjective issue at hand which was also responsible for the re-classification of films from the 80s. The BBFC is by people, for the people.

if anything PEGI is probably more robust.

ha, robust. You're probably right.

flarty:

Sleekit:

Tanis:
Why are the Euro/Auzzie nations always pulling this crap?

sometimes its the other way. The Witcher was censored in the US for example.

we get the T and A, you get the gore basically...

Yes it worries me that some people think violence is more acceptable than sex.

In AMERCICA! violence is pretty much what the country was founded on.

Oh, you lived here first, here, take all these blankets that are totally not infected with Small Pox.

... That didn't kill you, well then.... GUN!

Oh, you want to end slavery? well...... VIOLENCE!

Equal rights? FIRE HOSE!

Kill 5 people? WE WILL MURDER YOU TO DEATH!

Oh, but show a boob on TV and people will start flipping shit about protecting children when they can see as much violence as they want on television with nothing more than a small box on the corner with convoluted age restrictions that honestly no one actually knows what they mean.

But..... then again.... The internet is a wonderful place, especially if you are a PC gamer, and can get mods that add what was removed back in.

Covarr:
All of Europe got it censored? Strange, it's usually just Germany.

P.S. Thanks

That was my first thought about it, yes.

But hey it's a gore censor thing. We don't really get off on that over here so we'll be fine.

Sleekit:

Elate:
now Germany's rules starting to seep into Europe on gore and violence.

Germanys anti war toys sensibilities...aren't exactly wholly their own...

Yeah you're probably right on that, they just seem to be the country that kicks up the biggest fuss about it. (Along with Aus.)

mad825:

Sleekit:
oh well don't you read wikipedia.

simplistically the list the BBFC are given to work from is ultimately controlled by the government.

they can be told to "look again"...and when they do the list can *mysteriously* have changed...

What? They don't just change.

As said on the BBFC website

Examiners look at issues such as discrimination, drugs, horror, imitable behaviour, language, nudity, sex, sexual violence, theme and violence when making decisions. They also consider context, the tone and impact of a work (how it makes the audience feel) and even the release format (for example, as DVDs, Blu-rays and videos for download are watched in the home, there is a higher risk of under-age viewing).

There is also a subjective issue at hand which was also responsible for the re-classification of films from the 80s. The BBFC is by people, for the people.

if anything PEGI is probably more robust.

ha, robust. You're probably right.

the BBFCs work is underpinned by parliamentary legislation. that's why i'm still buying dvds with horse falls cut in them based on an The Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937.

want more ? http://www.bbfc.co.uk/what-classification/guidelines/legal-considerations

and yes there are subjective interpretations in some of the laws too which is how government leans on the BBFC when it feels the heat of public opinion and "the list" "changes".

Ok, I seriously have to ask, is losing some exploding heads from multiplayer really that bad? If it really 'ruins' the game for you by the multiplayer not being as gory as it could be, the problem is not the gore or lack of it.

Windknight:
Ok, I seriously have to ask, is losing some exploding heads from multiplayer really that bad? If it really 'ruins' the game for you by the multiplayer not being as gory as it could be, the problem is not the gore or lack of it.

From what I can tell, it's just the feeling that you are missing a piece of a game that other people are enjoying without being told alterations were made before the purchase.

The same old lies.

Nearly all cases of video game censorship in my country were cases of self-censorship perpetrated by the publishers because they wanted to avoid a more mature rating for their games.

Of course they then lie about it because they want gamers to buy their censored products.

And in the current digital age of video games the addition of damn dirty geoblocking ensures that adult customers are denied any convenient opportunities to bypass this censorship.

For once I'd like to see a publisher do the right thing: release the original versions of their games worldwide and use their bloated legal department to challenge anyone who thinks that grown-up citizens should be treated like children.

(It's not gonna happen...)

:-|

Honestly this is juvenile. There are laws on stuff like this and developers have to adhere to them, complaining won't do any good and if anybody cared that much then they'd be writing their MPs telling them we need to change the censorship laws on gore in games.

It's a stupid law, especially considering the single player isn't censored, but saying "I can't shake the feeling I did not buy the game in its entirety, and not how the developers intended this work of art to be played" is melodramatic, it's not a big deal.

Covarr:
All of Europe got it censored? Strange, it's usually just Germany.

P.S. Thanks

Actually, for whatever reason, more games lately are starting to be censored in all of Europe because of Germany. Recent example being Fire Emblem: Awakening, which didn't even have any blood or sexual content at all, but still had a CG and conversation censored for whatever reason.

Norwegian here. While I do understand that censoring content is somewhat problematic, I will just say that I did earlier today smash another guy's face in with a rifle stock. If this is censored, well, I'd say it's the weakest censoring I've seen. Honestly, I'd take the standard EU censor over the "OMG NUDITY, M18+, BAN SALE" shit that happens in the US.

You have no idea how annoyed we are about Hollywood going for PG-13. Seriously, Man of Steel? NOT A SINGLE DROP OF BLOOD! It's just stupid.

Tanis:
Why are the Euro/Auzzie nations always pulling this crap?

Why is America always censoring sex/nudity? Each country/region has something their picky about, in the US it's sex (because the most basic right of life is evil and must be hidden), Germany (and thus alot of Europe cops it) it's blood/violance, and Australia it's illegal drugs. Frankly out of those 3 I think the US is the worse, the other's have some valid complaints but censoring the human body is a weird way to go.

Tanis:
Why are the Euro/Auzzie nations always pulling this crap?

Not Europe, just Germany. Kinda ruins it for the rest of us on occasion, you should check out GEMA as well.

Kalezian:

In AMERCICA! violence is pretty much what the country was founded on.

That's silly, it's the same for most, if not all European countries, and we've seen far much more blood than America has.

OT: Germany stop throwing hissy fits and ruining it for the rest of us.

dang at the QQ'ing in here over who's country has it "better/worse", jeesh, none of it should be censored, stop pointing the finger at other countries for stupid regulations.

OT: I have no idea why the multi is different from the single player in this regard, but hopefully a patch or something can come out to fix this in the future. and yeah it should've been made clear on the box what you were NOT getting.

 

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