Japanese gamers are aghast at the decision to rob upcoming shooter Homefront of all its references to North Korea in the name of kowtowing to censors and North Korea’s substantial fifth column within Japan.
“Homefront” depicts the America of 2027, finally invaded by the evil yellow races – in this case the faintly ridiculous scenario of North Korea invading Japan and its other Asian neighbours and then occupying a moribund USA.
The enemy was originally supposed to be China, but the American publisher apparently proved rather yellow themselves – they changed it to North Korea out of fear of China throwing another fit.
Surprisingly, the game was announced as having a Japanese language release, which greatly excited many Japanese Internet denizens, for whom hatred of all things Korean is an even more major pastime than rubbishing China.
However, some time after the release was announced, translator Spike conceded that they would remove all references to Korea from the game and instead adopt the pathetic ruse of having all the dialogue refer to “A Certain Northern Country.”
The game’s references to Korean dictator Kim Jong-il have also been deleted from the game and are replaced with “The Leader of the North” and his homeland’s name with “a country in the north.”
Needless to say, the response to these changes from the game’s primary audience has been caustic – Spike has been derided for ruining yet another Japanese localisation (such games are frequently butchered), and for displaying unusually pronounced cowardice even for a Japanese company, as well as for removing the game’s only selling point.
Spike claims the reason is that Japan’s “voluntary” CERO game censorship regime’s regulations on “prohibited expression” forbid the use of existing countries and peoples – CERO regulations do in fact seem to presume even adult gamers must be protected like small children, and ban games from featuring any edgy political, violent or sexual content.
However, the existence of plenty of games featuring the USA and other nations as cruel opponents rather suggests they are simply too spineless to endure a few complaints from North Koreans in Japan, a shady and influential bunch.