Striking Distance Studios announced that The Callisto Protocol won’t be released in Japan as they don’t want to compromise on the game’s age rating.
“The Callisto Protocol has decided to stop the release of the Japanese version. As of now, the CERO rating cannot be passed,” the game’s Japanese Twitter account explained. “We have decided that we would no longer be able to provide you with the experience you need. We hope everyone in Japan will understand. If you have already pre-ordered, we will refund you.”
— The Callisto Protocol (@CallistoGameJP) October 26, 2022
CERO is Japan’s video game rating board and it seems like they were unhappy with the level of gore and violence within The Callisto Protocol. It looks like Striking Distance Studios did not want to comply with toning those aspects of the game down, so the game will be canceled in Japan.
According to Japanese video game industry analyst Serkan Toto, CERO has censored other western games in Japan, including The Last of Us, The Witcher 3, and Grand Theft Auto V. He explains that sometimes, there are two versions of a Japanese game, the censored release and the “gory” one, the latter of which typically sells better. Toto says that the “gory” version usually has the CERO’s “Z” rating which is for ages 18+. However, even those are censored as well compared to the international and western versions.
Digital Trends recently went hands-on with a preview of The Callisto Protocol and praised the game’s grotesque horror: “I was unsettled but enthralled the entire time. Making players uncomfortable in a way that’s still engaging is tough to pull off.”
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