Gears of War won't turn in Germany

Epic Games' sci-fi shooter meets same sales-limiting fate as Dead Rising; country's ratings board refuses classification.

Back in July, German zombie-haters were stymied in their quest to slay the undead when the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) refused to give Dead Rising a rating due to its excessive violence. While this didn't officially ban the game, it effectively limited the scope of its release and made it available only as a hard-to-get under-the-counter sale.

Now it appears the USK is at it again. Microsoft has confirmed to GameSpot that Gears of War has been refused rating in Germany, presumably also due to violence. Because of this, Microsoft has decided not to release the game in the country, as per the company's policy with unrated games.

It's currently unclear whether Germany has been left out of the Gears of War loop entirely or if Deutsch consumers will be able to get the game the same roundabout way they can get Dead Rising, such as by importing the game from other regions.

Gears of War is rated M for Mature in North America and will be released on November 7. For more information, read GameSpot's previous coverage.

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284 comments
Octaaf7
Octaaf7

^^ goalie! To bad for the germans!

Cloud737
Cloud737

Sigh...So now Germans don`t have a regional version of GoW? This shows how much support the German government has for it`s citizens. Almost none. Germany continues to shoot itself in the foot I see. I hope they will face the severe consequences of their actions later and wake up from their stupidity.

Cracker_Jacker
Cracker_Jacker

All german citizens, you are welcome here in Canada to get your games! :)

lanista
lanista

I seem to remember that the European release of Ninja Gaiden was altered - to remove beheadings - because Germany refused to give a rating unless they were removed The rest of Europe was unimpressed However, don't forget the historical reasons why Germany is cautious over the promotion and glorification of violence - so you have to pay them some respect for setting moral standards and sticking to them

filodelallata
filodelallata

I' m in Germany and this really suck, here in Europe you have to wait months for the games to be in shelves and lately with the xbox 360 they have a new thing of ban all the good games, with my xbox live account I can't play smash tv, ultimate mortal kombat and others... and also we don't have a lot of good games for 360 and I don't know who makes this decisions here in Germany but it's just disgusting How they treat the Gamers market here... I just hope something changes soon because Germany is getting way back with the Game industry standards...

Marinedawg
Marinedawg

If this type of game gets banned in Germany, I wonder what their take on violence is across all forms of media. With bands like Terminal choice, Suicide Commando, and Wumpscut (old releases specifically,) was there any banning there? If one sings about violent acts is it expression through art. If that is the case then where is the line in the sand drawn?

deliman
deliman

poor germany. poor, poor germany.

diablos101
diablos101

Thats quite bad, but i also heard that blood in video games are usually green as theres a law that prevents red coloured blood coming from the characters in game.. if thats true, then DAMN!

mikiempalador
mikiempalador

fu**ing USK! sure everyone of them have the pre-release copy at home and plays with it all day! >: (

Goldeneyemaster
Goldeneyemaster

peeweeshift: Nobody is banning the game. They just aren't selling it. It can still be imported.

PackersRock
PackersRock

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

kaito2
kaito2

What next for the German gov't? Burning books? Rounding up ethnic minorities into "camps"?

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

What has the world come to!!! ban on videogames:(

masterofobvious
masterofobvious

Don't be racist. Calling the Germans Nazis is just a stupid biggoty thing to say. The truth is, all the germans I've met were fa ggy peace loving socialists. Unless it comes to talking about Dubya, who I don't much care for myself but also doesn't run their country anyway, at which point they become venom spewing snakes from the pits of hell.

raev92
raev92

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

BoogieManZero
BoogieManZero

Huh...is it weird that I bought Dead Rising the day it came out and have already preordered Gears of War and plan I picking it up a week early(hopefully). Apparently I love games that are too violent.

PregnantMan
PregnantMan

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

_Sam_
_Sam_

too bad for German gamers

Scorpion16
Scorpion16

This is completely and utterly stupid. It's funny how Germany is perfectly ok with all the sick porn that comes out of there and yet they won't even allow a game where you can kill zombies or aliens which I thought was within thier regulations Hypocrites If they are so concerned about protecting minors than they should get rid of all that disgusting pornography they produce, some which mixes sex and violence.

D_Mainge
D_Mainge

That's bad for the people in Germany.

Ryoukou
Ryoukou

@imautobot: yes, we got "Prey". don´t ask why we got this and Gears of War won´t be released here... It will be not that hard to get Gears of War in Germany, you can import it from also German speaking Austria or Swiss. But only hardcore gamers will do that, a lot of "mainstream" gamers will never have the chance to play this probably great game

insinuendo
insinuendo

I've heard of this situation rise before in Germany. I think the Resident Evil series had a similar fate. I'm sure if they really want the game it can't be that hard to get a copy of it.

Irve
Irve

Nowt wrong with that ... so you have to ask for the game rather than it being on the shelf ....not a problem ( except for any effect on sales ) Personally i would have thought peeps that are old enough and are into their games would buy on the net anyway.

D_IMMORTAL
D_IMMORTAL

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Ice_man_1985
Ice_man_1985

i feel sorry for the one's are in germany for wanting the game , damn it's sad

dgmoore7811
dgmoore7811

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

gamerfreak667
gamerfreak667

Srry germany :( alot of you are gonna miss out on some good gaming same about dead rising

wooooode
wooooode

That sucks, the first game with major hype on the 360 and they dont get it.

mojahid_1st
mojahid_1st

hmmm seems that hitler is alive and well and has a new job in censorship!

darklight_wing
darklight_wing

To the rampant Pan-American gamers: If you can keep up-to-date on gaming news, surely you can update your world history. Germany is hardly a dictatorship anymore. Or did you miss the fall of the Berlin Wall? That, and WWII was not caused by one country or one person. And I would like to think that Americans are not vengeful, unforgiving people who still dwell on decades past or consider themselves superior to others simply because America has 'saved' some country in the past. Regarding the rating refusal: It is unfortunate that the USK chose to make the distribution of the game difficult, but those who really want it should be able to cross their border in a day and purchase it.

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Halfpipe7
Halfpipe7

ya i feel srry for germany, its going to be one great game

killuminati4181
killuminati4181

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

NFunspoiler
NFunspoiler

You wouldn't think that a country that started 2 world wars wouldn't allow games like this. I mean, they have commercials showing b00bs yet they dont allow a video game?

rad_2xl
rad_2xl

Too bad for German gamers, they'll miss out on wh at seems to be a g reat game. Kaput!

Ark_Fatalis
Ark_Fatalis

Man, 12 pages of comments on this one. I got tired and just jumped to the end. I'm amazed at what came up in the posting though. Instead of semi-intelligent conversation, like normal, its seems every idiot and his mother decided to jump out and scream the atrocities of political parties, Nazis, Hilter, sex, and violence. The worst part is all of it was made in blithering ignorance. You people really need to stop sitting around on the computer and let your starving imagination feed on something good for you, like a book, some "outside" sports, artistic expression (paints or crayons, your choice) or a face to face conversation with a real live human being (possibly a family member!). Hell, watch the History channel, because even then while your sitting on your duff in front of the T.V. atleast your learning something worthwhile. For the record, as I have been and lived in Deutschland, Germans are great, fun loving, peaceful, and all too often stern people. Yes they are okay with sex; if you aren't then there is something very wrong with you. By the way sex is alot like guns and alcohol, the sooner children know and learn of them the more likely they are to use them right and treat them with respect. Yes all politicians want your vote, democrats and republicans alike. Every party says and does what it can to gain control of the government to pass legislation. If you think games regulations are bad you should read some of the stuff congress passes that isn't shown by the media. Most of it is so controlling of just basic rights and freedoms its terrifying! Violence is not the answer, but it definitely will get to a conclusion fast than anything else. I say this not against video games but for them. I got in so many fights when I was a kid that I would be considered a psychopath today. Although after a fight I would normally return to normal, if not even better, despite the fact that I won or lost. Fighting is a natural release of aggression, and lets admit it, young children build up alot of aggression fast. In schools now-a-days, if students so much as utter verbal disagreements aloud, teachers will rush to the area to break up a presumed soon to happen fight. Children are so protected from everything now, that they have no outlet and are becoming boiling over tea kettles of physical violence. Hello, Columbine? is that you calling? Violent video games are such an outlet. Now there are better outlets but most of them have been removed from our school system. Did you know some where around 74% (i'm pretty sure this figure is close) of public schools have removed recess and P.E.; two perfect examples of stress and energy relieving activities. I worked a after school program at such a school. Let me tell you, those kids were bopping around like gerbils on speed. There was nothing I could do to make them listen or even try to sit still for 5 seconds. But after a good 30 minutes of outside activity, what ever it may have been, they were quiet, attentive, and generally good kids. Therefore the popularity of violent video games over here in America can be some what attributed to a lack of physical activity and a loss of school and after-school sports programs. Where as in Germany, a country where every one even the 90 year old men and women, walk, bicycle, and exercise every day. But then again, our large cities and car driven culture takes away from our chances of getting the same exercise. So I say, let the Germans dislike violent video games, they don't have the same pent-up aggression. Plus they can just walk to a neighboring country if they really wanted to. I just feel sorry that they aren't allowed the right to choose for themselves what they would like to have in their stores. If they don't buy it, stores won't stock it. Besides, the lack of sex in America is appalling, what is worse, American girls are known for being very "loose." The second they are out of country they let their inhibitions go. Really, why can't we have that hear? It is just saddening if you ask me.

kambion313
kambion313

yea sucks for the germans but hey they killed 10 million people, maybe its a good thing they are conservative about stuff like this

phillyfan1091
phillyfan1091

In response to Ante1978: "Germans still think that German is a "world" language and refuse to learn English. They must have localized games with german text and/or audio" "Oh, and why is this site first a "American site" to you?" No, if Germans won't learn English we shouldn't worry whether they can play an english-native game. It's great if we can provide a german translation of the game, but not a "must", so if they're so desperate to play and microsoft has difficulty providing German GOW then let them learn the language. I'm so sick of people trying to stick up for everyone but america. The truth is, if Germany made a great game and ESRB or somebody blocked it they wouldn't go out of their way to give us a translation. And yes, this is a primarily american site.

Natdaddy
Natdaddy

lol silversix, no matter how neutral you try to sound you arn't giving the lefties enough credit to terribility. But this isn't about us, its about our german gamers!

rgp_md
rgp_md

sigma8 "If you want to complain that Germany is undemocratic because they can't buy a game, what about our country's reluctance to approve the more socially relevant abortion pill? So much for freedom in the US. Every country is chock full of regulations and laws. The US is no exception, so stfu it." If you're going to go and get your panties in a bunch, at least get your facts straight. The abortion pill is approved, they've just been trying to get it to be over the counter instead of requiring a prescription from a doctor. And actually I think even that has since been successfully approved by the FDA.

MangyForestCat
MangyForestCat

And they will be taken to re-education camps on how to play less violent games while doing manual labor!