July 27th, 2006

Capcom's Dead Rising - Banned or Not?

Zombies need love, too - at least according to some officials of the German government.

Recent reports indicate that Capcom's upcoming zombie slaughter-fest, Dead Rising has been banned in Germany. But is that really the case?

1up.com went straight to the source and asked the game's developer, who said, "The game has not been banned in Germany. It is scheduled for release on September 8th."

So what's going on? Is Dead Rising banned or isn't it?

The answer is not as black and white as you might think. German blogger Boris Schneider-Johne explains that the USK, an organization similar to the ESRB, refused to give the game an age rating. This means that the BPjM (Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons) will later have the ability to "ban" the game by disallowing any advertising or promotion of the game, including in-store displays. The lack of an age rating already means that Dead Rising may not be sold to minors.

However - and this is where it gets really silly - Microsoft does not license companies to publish unrated games on the Xbox 360. So, while the game can be legally sold to adults in Germany, it can't be published, which pretty much has the same affect as a government ban.

Just to complicate matters further, the lack of an age rating renders the 360's parental controls useless. Doh!

AE: Capcom should just play it safe and provide Germany with a family friendly, undead cooking game and call it Bread Rising.

-Reporting from San Diego, GP Correspondent Andrew Eisen loves awful puns