Kim Jong-il axed from Homefront in Japan

Publisher removes North Korean leader's face and amends all mentions of North Korea in Japanese version of THQ's upcoming shooter.

Given THQ's upcoming military shooter Homefront is set amidst a fictional North Korean invasion of the United States, current North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was bound to make an appearance.

Kim's face deemed unsuitable in Japan.

Also referred to as the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, Kim Jong-il features prominently in Homefront trailers, screenshots, and gameplay videos, hinting that the incumbent leader will play some part in the game's story. However, it appears his role in the game is not in accordance with guidelines laid down by Japan's video game ratings board, the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO). According to Japanese gaming news site Andria Sang, CERO's guidelines regarding the portrayal of existing people and countries has pushed publisher Spike (which is publishing and distributing Homefront in Japan) to make certain changes to the Japanese version of the game ahead of its release.

As announced on the official Japanese Homefront page, Spike has made three changes to the game: It has removed the image of Kim Jong-il from Homefront's opening movie sequence. It has changed all instances "deemed malicious to an existing person" (that is, Kim Jong-il) to be referred to as "Northern Leader." And it has changed all instances "deemed malicious to an existing country" (that is, North Korea) to be referred to as "A Certain Country to the North."

According to Andria Sang, Spike says that outside these three changes, The Japanese version of Homefront is identical to copies that will be sold in other territories.

Last week, THQ pushed back Homefront's North American release to March 15, 2011.

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Discussion

102 comments
Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

and before any of you say anything, i was kidding, i know the real reason. (Kim might get pissed)

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

wait, if Japan hates NK so much, wouldn't censoring the game be strange? wouldn't they WANT to get to kill him? if only in a game?

StraferBiz
StraferBiz

This was to be expected.NK is already on bad terms. If KJi face does pop-up it may indirectly effect NK. A slight change can effect alot btw.

weirdboy911
weirdboy911

Why do they need to make a Japanese version if its going to affect them!

gamedae
gamedae

CERO and the Japanese gaming industry are hypocrites...does anyone remember the controversial japanese game, Rapelay??

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

I just think what's the point when every Japanese person is going to know it's referring to KJI/Nortk Korea anyway

Charliesix
Charliesix

@gamingfriendly Bionic Commando NES was originally called "The Resurrection of Hitler Top Secret" in Japan. The "Mister D" name and the renaming of the game to "Bionic Commando" was censorship for the USA game, not for Japan's. A similar situation happened for the Japanese game "Guevara" which lets players play as Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. In the US, the game was renamed "Guerilla War" and the names of the player characters were removed. By the way: This game was awesome!

Blacks_Soldiers
Blacks_Soldiers

No nuke in the japanese version of fallout 3 Nono kim jong-il Don't they get it thats ITS A GAME! whats next? jews that demand they take out all mentions of germans in ww2 games?

Krinnium
Krinnium

ha i wonder how that makes poor kim jong-il feel x] people sure are insensitive these days.

jzdisturbed
jzdisturbed

Uh Oh! We cant make North Korea look like the bad guy! Noooo(sarcasm)! I mean what bad things have they ever done?

PizzaWizard13
PizzaWizard13

to me, this is the same as bleeping out words in songs; its not the same as the artist originally intended it.

havocmerc
havocmerc

@ the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO), GROW UP.

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

That is why Jgames have crazy country games, hah hah, Ace Combat is one of them. It would be fair game if they also sensor movies and fictional books in the same manner. Do they? I bet they don't.

lock445
lock445

So we're going back in time to when people were afraid to use important individuals in creative media? How about South Park?

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

lololol they put hitler face in some games so they should remove them too and call him MR D

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Now that I think about it... sending the message of "We don't even want to see your face" sounds to me even more offensive towards Kim that allowing that game to be published. Well, the guy deserves any insult you can throw at him anyway...

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Sigh...Ray to kick a guy ren he's down. He's just so ronery, so ronery...

Little_Socrates
Little_Socrates

@EchoEcho: Nah, I can get past that, as I'm certain it sounds way less ridiculous in Japanese.

gamerpipe
gamerpipe

They could've just called him Shorty McGlasses the leader of Korth Norea . by the way , CERO is like ESRB, except with less consequences. ESRB AO rated games won't sell in most stores in the US. while CERO [Z] which is equivalent of AO and M sells almost everywhere. it cannot ban the game. Even some stores sell imports with no CERO rating. but I guess it might prevent kids from buying it without parents.

gamerpipe
gamerpipe

Perhaps Japan has a strict privacy laws that's why Japanese cops chases TV shows always 90% blurred . you can't see a thing. lol I bet the import version will sell better on amazon jp.

jlwood830
jlwood830

@ Obiwan_ws2 Sorry you misunderstood. I love Tolkien. The only thing I was referring to as an allegory was Animal Farm where names were actually swapped out in the "story". The other two books I mentioned were brought up just to illustrate that if the name of a character in one story or the name of a place in the other story was changed it would it no way what-so-ever hurt the actual story. In the case of Homefront the names just serve to incite other feelings and emotion to increase interest in the story but just for the purpose of monetary gain. Nothing else.

jlwood830
jlwood830

@MMaestro Didn't Castro outsmart us in Black Ops since we assassinated a double but not him? Caricatures are just meant to be funny... whoever is in them. They don't give elaborate future histories based upon things that real people have not done yet. Looking back is one thing... forward quite another.

xdude85
xdude85

When your within missile range of a country like North Korea that bombs civilians for no reason, then you really can't blame Japan for taking this precaution.

KirbyAkari
KirbyAkari

"A Certain Country to the North"? CANADA!!

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

They coulda just called North Korea "Best Korea" :P

majere613
majere613

@EchoEcho My first thought was that North Korea is not, in fact, to the north of the USA who they're apparently invading, nor really to the north of Japan. So the 'Country to the North' actually isn't.

oKiRe
oKiRe

"A Certain Country to the North" Canada invaded the US? Interesting...

jaredcrazy3232
jaredcrazy3232

@EchoEcho you obviously haven't been to Vancouver.

EchoEcho
EchoEcho

@Little_Socrates -- Never mind that -- "A Certain Country to the North" has to be the most ridiculous thing I've read in a good while. @ChaosDynasty -- I wouldn't worry too much about it. The North Korean soldiers are still going to look (and sound) Korean; I don't think anyone will be mistaking them for Canadians or Russians. At least I certainly hope not.

Daian
Daian

@DLobotomist But if it does good, then it will be praised for it's bravery to touch such a delicate subject and turn it into something of high quality. It can go both ways, hopefully it will be good.

Little_Socrates
Little_Socrates

They couldn't even give him a fake name? He's just going to be "Northern Leader?" Laaaaaaame.

DLobotomist
DLobotomist

yeah this game its controversial, if it does bad when it releases then its going to get a lot of back lashes....

The-Longshot
The-Longshot

@KC_Hokie a little stereotypical don't we think!? but yea, kim jong is kim jong, if the guy didn't want anything damaging associated with his name,... haha, well he probably wouldn't be who he is at all in the first place. So I don't see why reality needs to be censored but whatever, my guess is their still a little shaky from him testing nukes in their neck of the woods a few years back, and who could blame em for not wanting to offend the psychopath.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

So the final story will be: that a certain country in the north unified a certain country in the south, after that they invaded a certain country to the east right before attacking a certain super-powerful country in the west, where a certain group of freedom fighters try to face the invading forces of that certain coutry to the nort comanded by a Leader that actually has no face an nobody knows... Jesus Christ, this is so stupid that is not even funy...

DarthVeng_basic
DarthVeng_basic

Yes, let's not offend anyone in a game that is about killing and hostile takeover....

Ryozo
Ryozo

This is, as many have said, quite silly; it's not like Japanese gamers don't already have the same level of knowledge of the backstory as their counterparts in the rest of the world. And so they'll buy and/or read about the game when it comes out, and snicker at CERO's exercise in politically-correct fig-leafing.

Jurassic85
Jurassic85

@Entropy730 I agree, not to mention that this is a great tactic to boost sales. I'm starting to get tired of video games companies folding under the pressure, stop trying to be so politically correct. This is the same thing that happened with Black Ops where edited to game last minute when the military threatened to ban it from being sold on their bases. In a world where games like GTA, Bully, and others exist exploring controversial political topics should be the least of our worries.

icepickiii
icepickiii

lol... I thought it said he got axed(killed) in the Japanese version.

KC_Hokie
KC_Hokie

So Japanese gamers can cut people in half with samurai swords but can't have Kim Jong-Il in their games?

youngsexynerd
youngsexynerd

screw kim jong wong dong, i hope he burns!!!!! i hate all evil ruling looneys, hes gonna be getting pinnaples shoved up his a** one day, like adolf hitler is......IN HELL!!!!

Evolution-X0
Evolution-X0

I don't understand why Japan's getting all butthurt about it, its not like any of them are going to be playing it.

ChaosDynasty
ChaosDynasty

"A certain country in the North". What the heck? people are going to think of like Russia or Canada before North Korea. And I live in Canada. I have nothing against censor but still just make sure u clarify things so people are not mislead.

obiwan_ws2
obiwan_ws2

@jlwood830 Why bring the LOTR up? That was not allegory. Tolkien had a long standing disdain for allegory in any form and stated so many times.

Entropy730
Entropy730

unless you live in japan, stop caring. only reason they're taking it out is because NK is a regional neighbor, and all this does is create controversy and possibly problems with that psycho dictator. really, who cares. move on with your life

MMaestro
MMaestro

@jlwood830 Except real life people have been used in video games for years now. Hitler is an obvious one, but what about Fidel Castro in Black Ops? Or (on the lighter side) Obama in NBA 2k11, Bush Jr. in ESPN NFL Football or McCain and Palin in NBA Jam?

campbell153
campbell153

Why bother censoring the above??? when i turn on the news he is on there sometimes!... he is mentioned on many tv programs!.. just because they put the nutter in a game it makes it wrong? lmfao!!! politics should be band from games! politicians should use a cheese grater to clean there privates!

campbell153
campbell153

Why bother censoring the above??? when i turn on the news he is on there sometimes!... he is mentioned on many tv programs!.. just because they put the nutter in a game it makes it wrong? lmfao!!! politics should be band from games! politicians should use a cheese grater to clean there privates!