Germany cracks down on Crackdown
[UPDATE] Country's ratings board refuses classification on upcoming Xbox 360 game; shooter could face restricted release in Germany. Microsoft responds.
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German censors have targeted yet another Xbox 360 game as being unsuitable for young gamers. As it effectively "banned" Dead Rising and Gears of War, the German ratings board, the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbskontrolle (USK), has refused classification on Microsoft's upcoming Crackdown.
By failing to receive a rating, Crackdown will have a handful of restrictions placed on its sales. As an unclassified game, Crackdown cannot be sold to minors, the transaction must take place in person, and the game can not be displayed or advertised in stores.
The decision to not rate the game is, like both Gears of War and Dead Rising, likely due to the game's violence. In Crackdown, players take on the role of a cop with superhuman powers who takes on gangs through brute force.
The USK's decision on Crackdown comes less than a month after proposed legislation in the country was drafted seeking jail time for gamers who performed "cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters."
In response to the USK's decision, Microsoft told GameSpot, "Microsoft respects the decision of the German ratings board--the USK--not to provide the title with a rating. While Microsoft will continue to follow its policy of not publishing unrated titles, we remain committed to delivering Crackdown and other top-quality entertainment experiences to age-appropriate audiences around the world."
Crackdown is rated M for Mature by the ESRB for "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Drugs" and will be released in North America on February 20. For more information, read GameSpot's previous coverage.