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.

Not coming soon to Germany--Crackdown!

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.

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Discussion

485 comments
Matthew_AM
Matthew_AM

I want the super-violent version of Crackdown, because the one I got is pretty lacking in blood and gore

_Sam_
_Sam_

people there will probably just get a pirated copy then.

Darqness
Darqness

It's not like anything hateful o violent has happened in Germany before. Why would they ban violent games. I mean they are such a peaceful people. Violence has never goten out of hand in Germ... oh wait. Nevermind!

Elementalftball
Elementalftball

Violence in society, I find, is a big circle. Violence is a natural part of human behavior. Ever since ancient times how has man taken out his frustration or anger, through violence. Violence is embeded in us. Now in later times it isn't so out there as it once was. Through modern techniques and learning human have been able to control ourselves, somewhat. So orginally violence starts with the person, going into society. Society influences entertainment, entertainment influnces a person, but only those who can't control what they see and do according to that are the ones who go out and reenact the violence they see. So yes violence is part of entertainment but is entertainment responsible for the actions of a weak minded person. NO. A person is responsible for his or her own actions. STOP BLAMING SOMETHING ELSE WHEN YOU SHOULD BE BLAMING YOURSELVES!

stave000
stave000

wow I'm glad I don't live in Germany

TheBlastmaster
TheBlastmaster

Really Kah-LenS? im sure that all that violece on TV is what can turn people crazy enough to kill? Im pretty sure back in Al Capone's day there wasnt violence on tv and there was soeme pretty nasty stuff going on then. The question youre begging is that of cause and effect is there violence in society because of violence on TV or vice versa. And im going to be leaning toward the fact that it happened in society first because it had to come from somewhere. However, i dont think that people can be driven crazy any easier today as a result of entertainment media, i think that there are far more stressful and "crazy-driving" forces and events going on in peoples daily lives today tv/videogames/movies not being any of them. because Honestly... the only killing i would ever do would be when someone threatens mine on my familes lives, and if thats not true of anyone else reading this then they have a mental sickness that is unrelated to entertainment media that they should seek help dealing with.

KaH-LenS
KaH-LenS

1st) You must make difference between REAL humans and ANIMATED CHARACTERS. But on the other hand, with all the violence in the world,Germany is taking a step forward by ungiving a rating and it's prevention. Sure two kids made a rampage and video games was part of the problem, but if the kid (or anyone in fact ) has social or mental problem and get the pressure down by blowing up chite in a game, he/her will feel comfortable. But when they take a game outside the game, now that's a problem !!! Anyway, with all the violence on TV, everyone can turn crazy-enough-to-kill if he really wants to.

JohnnyWeird
JohnnyWeird

It's not really necessary to quote someone's entire speech to say that you agree with them. For the record, I agree with Kastigador too.

Scorpion16
Scorpion16

I just noticed that Crackdown just got the no.7 spot for most popular games. I wonder if this has something to do with this. Hopefully it will sell well because it looks great.

goez3000
goez3000

"Kastigador The idea that simply blinding kids to violence by banning all content of that defined nature is going to somehow make them less violent is absurd. I grew up with video games like Duke Nukem, Doom, and Grand Theft Auto 2. I am totally a lover, not fighter. I never had the open urge to use violence to solve problems because the people closest to me never used violence to or physical threats solve theirs. Violent games therefore had zero impact on my perception of reality and rightfully so. A game is a game. Any kid that is lost enough to miss that clear difference is lost because of lack of parental guidance. If you let TV and video games raise your children, they WILL have problems. If your family tolerates violence, your children WILL be violent. A rating system is good, but censoring is bad. Ratings help parents, rigid censorship prevents choice and freedom of artistic expression. Constructive vs. Destructive approaches to the same goal, discouraging violence in society." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ AMEN!!!! i agree 110& percent with Kastigador

SovietWarrior42
SovietWarrior42

Damn Germany is finicky about their games. Jeez I'd move to Poland or Denmark if I couldn't buy Gears.

jackle2071
jackle2071

ok lets just STOP sending games too germany ! i hate to be a gamer there!

Kastigador
Kastigador

The idea that simply blinding kids to violence by banning all content of that defined nature is going to somehow make them less violent is absurd. I grew up with video games like Duke Nukem, Doom, and Grand Theft Auto 2. I am totally a lover, not fighter. I never had the open urge to use violence to solve problems because the people closest to me never used violence to or physical threats solve theirs. Violent games therefore had zero impact on my perception of reality and rightfully so. A game is a game. Any kid that is lost enough to miss that clear difference is lost because of lack of parental guidance. If you let TV and video games raise your children, they WILL have problems. If your family tolerates violence, your children WILL be violent. A rating system is good, but censoring is bad. Ratings help parents, rigid censorship prevents choice and freedom of artistic expression. Constructive vs. Destructive approaches to the same goal, discouraging violence in society.

V4LENT1NE
V4LENT1NE

Wow, they are taking this way to far. Wouldnt be suprised if they banned Mario next for jumping on shells.

Filaki
Filaki

coming up next; germany refuses to rate pacman and passes a law against gamers performing cruel acts on ghosts or ghost-like characters.

Unassigned
Unassigned

Germans are pretty smart to keep this game under the blankets. Enough with the gange fighting crap. Put out some REAL games that haven't been done to death.

Legacyoftain
Legacyoftain

Ah Germany...land of David Hasslehoff....Facism...and Beer...you continue to throw curve balls at history...only 60 odd years ago you were trying to take over the world...now you have a woman prime minister and are censoring video games for children (who also 60 years ago were in branches of their military)..I dont know if i should blame German politicans....Moral superior Christian dogmists...or just bad parenting so I will just hop on the band wagon and blame this on 9/11

Isakovic
Isakovic

At least some countries are concerned what their kids do. I would rate all mature games over 18 or 20, and if any kid gets his hands on the M games it is the parents to be blamed for their violent outbursts. Personally I would be glad not to be playing some games online with all those kids with thier anoying voices... eeeeeeeeeek!

Autokiller
Autokiller

sucks to be a german player(if u dont live near the german borders)

TheBlastmaster
TheBlastmaster

Honestly. no, there is no way to keep games out of kids hands. As long as parents fail to do their duty and instead try to appease their child by buying them everything they want (roughly 70% percent of american parents) minors will continue to get their hands on games they really should not play. And honestly theres worse things in videogames than violence. In fact the worst title that i have seen for kids to get their hands on on the 360 is hands down Saint's Row. Dont get me wrong Saints Row was an excellent game, but it had everything "bad" for kids: blatant sex, drugs, and violence in pretty hefty doses, i mean should a 10 year old really be driving a car around and hear a prostitute servicing a john in the back seat? i doubt it. But yet 10 year olds are all over xbox live playing that game. No amount of legislation short of sanctions against anyone who buys/sells/makes M rated games will replace proper parenting to keep mature games away from kids. And as for those who said that because they were exposed to "mature" concepts as a child now they can make informed decisions...blah, blah. Thats all well and good, but im sure you didnt just see it and go yeah im not gonna do drugs or kill people, your upbringing is what made the difference not the concepts themselves. Im pretty sure that if at the age of 10 you witnessed your father doing a line of cocaine, having sex with some random woman and then going on a cracked out killing spree, you wouldnt have coped so well. To make my final point, Germany, i undrstand your intentions, but you cant legislate good parenting no matter how hard you try. And also why does this have to be about the Nazis, maybe theyre just trying to keep their kids from ending up like "those crazy american kids" shooting up everybody in the school. So stop reinforcing american stereotypes of being ignorant, self-absorbed, pompous, *** holes and make an intelligent comment for once.

ReaperXxxx
ReaperXxxx

What complete and total disgrace this is. Sucks to live in Germany if you're a gamer I guess.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

Its an interesting approach, but I'm not sure I entirely agree with it. There has to be an effective and informed system for keeping inapropriate material from the access of minors ! However, it seems that Germany are addressing certain issues in a draconian way !

Thornscar
Thornscar

They have been real skittish after the whole Nazi thing.

_mozart_
_mozart_

With the country's historical background, I can why these kind of news pop in. They can, at least, still buy the game. I think this is way better than a country that does NOTHING to prevent children and teenagers from playing games that are not suitable for them. We can blame the PARENTS too. Interestingly enough, I am going to have to check this game out. Perhaps it's a good way to make some publicity? Even if it's not as good? :)

dodgyd55
dodgyd55

lol germany sucks harder than i thought

lobobizarro
lobobizarro

I ived in Germany for a while, but back then (5 years old) I only had Atari. I'm glad that now 20 years later I am living in Puerto Rico. lol I can understand the censorship and not selling these kind of game to minors, God knows I will enforce my own censorship on these kind of games once my child is born and at age of 12 asking to play a GTA game :p Legal drinking and smoking age in Puerto Rico is 18, at 16 my kid can play any game he wants. That should distract him from asking for a car... maybe...

DirtyRotten
DirtyRotten

Irony thy name is German Censorship.

thefjk
thefjk

I don't ever want to go to German... if getting games tends to be this difficult... WTF? It says that the transaction has to take place in person... so no online buying of M Rated games.

osxgp
osxgp

Oh well. too bad for German citizens. That of course is their law and can do what they want. I feel bad for them but I can't change it. I wish those luck who want to play it but can't. I guess they can get it on eBay. We can whine and say how stupid their government is but it doesn't change the fact that they have restrictions. Those of us fortunate enough to live in countries that allow it should be thankful instead of complaining about a country that doesn't. Remember that some politicians here in America want to ban games just like Germany.

Gorge-a-Maniac
Gorge-a-Maniac

@ racerx737 Actually, the majority of the German population didnt have violent intentions, it was purely formed from the Nazi regime and while many did not agree they would comply out of fear. Its also common knowledge in general that Germans denounce the actions of the Nazi's and therefore should not be bundled with them. While I dont agree with their over the top censorship on games, and im in no way backing it, perhaps you should show a bit more tact in your comments, and avoid over stereotyping a whole nation and its population against the evil intentions of a dictator and his followers.

Eagles5
Eagles5

omg whats next for germany? like how extreme are the germans going to go with this nonsense? i feel bad for all those german gamers that cant even play shooting games now with fear that bil will be passed and every gamer in germany will face jail time for killing humans in videogames. kinda sad

racerx737
racerx737

haha I have to agree with kyle_1865. The Germans have completely changed since WW2.

toyungu
toyungu

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

BonziBoce
BonziBoce

funny i read this, i played co-op on GoW yesterday with a german who knew some english and he explained to me how hard it was for him to get the game. but trust me some of them will still get it.

kyle_1865
kyle_1865

stupid sissy german government, before you had no problem trying to take over the world now ur afriad of your children seeing a little animated violence. pathetic

videogamesjunki
videogamesjunki

GANGSTA287: Don't say this has nothing to do with the Nazis, it does, Germans are so afraid of their past, they are killing their future... Forgive and forget like the rest of the world has Germany... I don't mean to bash you "GANGSTA287" but I think your statement is short-sighted and insensative. You are right, Germany is very restrictive on the media it's citizens are allowed to experience. I would not, however, say they are "killing their future." I would not claim Germany restricting their citizens from a few X-box 360 games will have any sort of negative impact on their culture. Besides reading a WW II history book, you might also want to speak to relatives of 12 million innocent victims. The world will not and has not forgotten Germany's past. Although, they do make some pretty good beer and chocolate. Germany has good reason to fear the past. Many innocent German citizens were also amoung the dead. The Nazi's only made up 4% of the German population. Everybody paid a price in that war.

damned_beast
damned_beast

wow germany is really stoping all the games coming in.... well if their are fans that really want it... they will find away to get it

mercenar3
mercenar3

awww i feel sorry for the Germans.....i love dead rising and gears and now they can't even get crackdown.......oh wait i was going to go to germany and i was gonna bring my 360 but now im not so sure if i should.

GANGSTA287
GANGSTA287

Don't say this has nothing to do with the Nazis, it does, Germans are so afraid of their past, they are killing their future... Forgive and forget like the rest of the world has Germany...

GANGSTA287
GANGSTA287

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

Death5089
Death5089

I cant believe der Vaterland does this. All because the NAZIS did sumthing bad they censor ne thing violent. ACCEPT YOUR HISTORY!!! FEUR DER VATERLAND

winnazdaluza
winnazdaluza

quote "after proposed legislation in the country was drafted seeking jail time for gamers who performed "cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters." end quote" does that mean that if (before the legislation) i was a person that did cruel acts on humans ...and said i was a gamer i would have been set free?

V-IGamer
V-IGamer

There should be some economic sanctions placed on Germany for this. If Microsoft had any sense, they'd take the German government to the World Trade Organization, because although their laws don't garuntee freedom of speech, ours do. I've learned a lot from my Legal Environment of Business class, and countries that do business with the United States have to abide by our laws as well. So, technically, the USK has to rate all games that come out of America. So, they have to rate Gears of War, all the Wolfenstein games, etc. And since they disregarded our laws and customs, they should have to publicly apologize for their ignorance in my opinion.

Alf
Alf

"anamnawshad Hardcore gamers of Germany would now leave their country..... Atleast some will leave when the stupid politicians will pass even stricter laws...." nah, they just wont buy xbox360 anymore

Solid-CELL
Solid-CELL

im sure glad as hell that i dont live in Germany

Legendaryscmt
Legendaryscmt

Why not just ban the damned 360 in Germany...