Little Big Planet recalled planetwide, new dates issued

[UPDATE 3]: Quotations from the Qur'an in soundtrack prompt sudden delay of Sony's platformer; US getting revised version next week, EMEA from November 3.

Sony's Little Big Planet is one of the most high-profile releases of this holiday season. Developer Media Molecule has seen its game go from indie darling to AAA system-seller in the past year, thanks to the many appearances that the game has made at trade shows and events.

However, fans of the game are going to have to wait slightly longer to get it. Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has announced that it is recalling the game from retailers after it learned that the soundtrack featured some Arabic-language lines from the Qur'an backed with music. A SCEE representative also confirmed to GameSpot that this recall would be global, and could not confirm when the game would now actually hit shelves with the offending music removed.

The confirmation follows rumours that that Singing Safari level of the game features a song with two expressions found in Islam's central holy text, the Qur'an. Cached pages on the official PlayStation forum claim that the two phrases are (literally translated from the original Arabic): "Every soul shall have the taste of death" and "All that is on earth will perish."

Although Sony's press release does not confirm that the above lines are in the game, they do claim that "one of the background music tracks licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur'an." Independent translation done for GameSpot confirmed that the lines linked from the original post are indeed from the Qur'an.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's press release continues, "We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence that this may have caused." It ends by saying that the company will confirm the new launch date shortly.

For more on LittleBigPlanet, check out GameSpot's full review of the indefinitely delayed game.

[UPDATE]: Impatient gamers may still be able to get their hands on the version of Little Big Planet that contains the Qur'an references. Gaming importer National Console Support said that it has begun shipping US versions of the game to customers who preordered. What's more, the site says that it will ship the game to US customers for Saturday delivery if they order by 4 p.m. Eastern time today.

This is not the first time a game developer has run afoul of the Qur'an. In November of 2002, Microsoft released the Xbox fighter Kakuto Chojin with a piece of background music that sampled passages of the holy book.

An internal Microsoft "geopolitical strategy team" identified the potential problem with the music as soon as the game had gone into duplication. Microsoft had a chance to recall the game before it hit shelves, but decided to release it anyway in the hopes that the music would go unnoticed. Although Kakuto Chojin was a critical and commercial flop, the background music eventually came to the fore, and Microsoft recalled the game in February of 2003.

[UPDATE 2]: SCEA has acknowledged the recall on its PlayStation Blog, apologizing to those offended and for the delay. According to the post, SCEA "will begin shipping LittleBigPlanet to retail in North America the week of October 27th."

[UPDATE 3]: SCEE has just issued a statement confirming the game will be out in the first week of November for other territories. The statement reads: "Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is pleased to confirm that LittleBigPlanet will start to appear in stores no later than the week commencing Monday 3rd November in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, on a country by country basis. We appreciate all the enthusiasm surrounding this much anticipated title and we would like to thank PlayStation fans for their support and understanding."

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2134 comments
xandyg
xandyg

Its not the fact that its Muslim, its the translations of the quotes that is deemed offensive. If you heard in a friendly family game the lines "Every soul shall have the taste of death" and "All that is on earth will perish," I think you would be a little worried as well. I agree with you, I have nothing against Muslims. Just those words seem a little creepy to me.

Phaje
Phaje

what the hell is all this hostility toward muslims for? don't be pissed off at us, we didn't tell Sony to recall this game.

Phaje
Phaje

I'm a muslim and I really don't see why they did this recall. Maybe it's just me but I don't see how anyone could be offended by some religious verses in a background music track.

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

andowilliams: i really respect ur opinions & really respect all the christians like u.... that what's we need respect each other... u talk from logical point of view.... at the end all we can play & enjoy the "clean" version...

andowilliams
andowilliams

Not again... For you who think you're more righteous than others and for you who think your religion's better than other's: I'm really tired of this my-religion-is-better non-sense. Why would you people keep discussing the differences between religions? No offense, but are you retard This is all about videogames. A fancy one. The one we waited for so long, the one we wanted to play. Let me get this thing straight: I'm a Christian, and I DO RESPECT JESUS. More than respect, I even follow Him. The reason why you keep accusing Christians for something bad (insulting God, hosting sinful parties) is because you THINK those who did that are Christians. In fact, you're wrong, because the only thing you can only do is think negatively (maybe you'd been taught that way your entire life?). Is there any proof people who did those things are the TRUE Christians? Do you know what TRUE Christianity is? I doubt that. Enough about religion! The reason behind this recall is because Sony want to avoid any future conflict/controversy/confrontation against Moslems, particularly the radical/extremist ones. There's nothing wrong with it. It's not like Sony is anti-Moslems or something (though there are many anti-Christians, anti-Buddhist, anti-Shintoist and anti-anything). Think positively: it's just a preventive act to avoid any controversy or confrontation. Even if I was the Sony CEO, I would do the same. It's better to stay away from Moslems for the prospect of your business, especially since in my personal opinion they're so very sensitive (I'm sorry, correct me if I'm wrong, but many controversy with Moslems I read and watch lately make me think that way). No offense for my good Moslem folks. Besides, the game's market target is children and everyone else who always think positively, not some violence-loving, my-religion-is-better immature grown-ups. ^^ So it's better to stay off of sensitive contents. In the end, it's all about Love-It-Or-Leave-It thing (or Love-It-Or-Shut-Up thing?). Again, whatever Sony do, I think it's the best for all of us. Hey, let's think positively: the game's going to be released in a "clean" format, means that should offend nobody, right? That's good, isn't it? Come on, it's not like Sony's going to delay it for nothing. And for Christ's sake, it's just, say, only a couple days of weeks (there's a saying: patience pays a lot). Let's go buy the game when they release it to store's shelves (if you haven't buy any). Now I sound like a marketing folk... Respect to luq_crusher and Gothic_Jazz. A people like you, Brothers, is indeed so very rare and far between these days. And for atheists who don't like faith? He he, I'm a TRUE Christian. So expect nothing will happen from me, not even anything you did to me and others.

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

Game with Boobs are the BEST.....

sttill
sttill

I sure hope that when the game hit the shelves (again) the IWTO (International Wool Textile Organization) won't get offended with the slap thing.. LAME!!

dj_c4
dj_c4

LOL...Assassins Creed is so much more "offensive" then this song thing lol. Game play and story actually involved you disproving every religious event in the world to date. But it shipped and sold fine. It's not the fact they recalled it that bothers me, it's the fact that of all the things anyone could complain about...LBP was at the top of your list?!?! Come on...it's a game. PS I love the "snickers" analogy below. Spot on. Whatever...it's out now.

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

why u r so much hot about just a mere game... simply if u don't want the delay don't do mistakes from the begginning, don't offend the jesus or church or buda or any holy books..... if the game was with an proper soundtrack from the beginning No one will be offended .... by the way this game is rate for (E)... i don't think u want to discuss a topic about souls and death with ur child... ( this is another reason to recall the games) and if u saw the world as crap... just coz of one delayed game then i think u should recalculate ur equation... what if the game id cancelled & no one will play it even two weeks later then the world is hell???? LOL

Koal_Jadian
Koal_Jadian

words from a book in a song from a game caused a multi-million dollar delay? what a crappy world we live in! Oh, Christmas is coming, hide the christmas trees! it might be offensive to someone!

Gothic_Jazz
Gothic_Jazz

If you're allergic to peanuts, you don't send the bars back to snickers demanding they take all the peanuts out, you just don't buy a snickers and move on to the next delicious bar. I realize that religions and peanuts are two very different things, but both can be delicious or harmful depending on the individual. You can't please everyone. Should you choose to take offense, try not to steal everyone elses nuts while we're trying to have a good time

luq_crusher
luq_crusher

OK. Where do I start? I am a muslim. Personally, I think it was a good move. Not to say that only Muslims should be given respect and be adhered to, but what I mean is that it made a recall under religious reasons. All religions should be respected, and therefore any games including violence or negative events in a masjid (mosque), church, temple, or any place of worship should be 'fixed'. Sony should not ONLY 'fix' games or products which have negative effects on Muslims, but on everybody else ie Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus etc. If you're a monotheist or polytheist, I'm sure you'll agree. If you're an atheist, please understand the sensitivities of people toward their respective faiths.

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

insane: thnx for ur concern.... but i think if Sony released this game with the musical tone nothing will happen ... the muslims will not destroy the headquarters of Sony corporation or threat the owners.... but simply they will boycott all the products of sony.. by the way ( not all muslims will do it... many of them don't boycott ) that's all & the muslims is not putting the rules for the world.. all they want is the respect between all the nations u respect me & vise versa ... :)

Insane00
Insane00

In general I agree with Sony's decision. Personally I think it is completely stupid that they have to waste this money on recalling the game over two vague lines in a song that has already been published (and can probably be bought on itunes). None the less, parts of the muslim community have been know to get their panties twisted over this sort of thing (aka "The Satanic Verses" or the cartoons depicting The Prophet published in Denmark). What still surprises me is that Islam expects the entire rest of the world, the majority of which are not Muslim to adhere to their rules. As others have pointed out there has been plenty of irreverent depictions of other religions (say Buddy Jesus) with little upset save in very small communities. While I understand having respect for other cultures and ideas, declaring a fatuah (sp?) on writers and forcing world wide companies to tip-toe around your religion doesn't seem to be the best way to generate respect and understanding, rather it seems to result in resent.

abouelsoum
abouelsoum

guys... believe me, it's better that way!! i'm a muslim, & i know how that could make a fuss in the muslim community just coz they used the Quran as a soundtrack. as for me, i dont mind to spread some of the muslim culture that way, but there's a LOT, & i mean A LOT!!! of people will be MAD. we want the game, we want the company to produce more, better than be sued..... right?

division_9
division_9

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

DaCelciusKid
DaCelciusKid

suprisingly, i just got this game today. i went into gamestop to reserve it because i thought it was going to come out next week, and the guy just gave it to me. he said it was one of the copies that was being recalled, and well, its the same game, so i dont care...its an ok game

uglynuncreative
uglynuncreative

Anybody who thinks Sony is out of line could just as easily level the same criticism at Gamespot, they removed a post of mine which used factual figures to demonstrate the market irrationality of the decision as well as criticize the Sony move as censorship for "trolling." Way to piss on liberty, guys.

foofightersrule
foofightersrule

Sweet got the call from my local gamestop and I will have my copy tomorrow!!!

HuskyBeast
HuskyBeast

Isn't is funny (and by funny I mean tragic) that Sony will pull something that may offend Muslims, but is completely apathetic towards a shoot out in a Christian Church (i.e. Resistance)? More and more is sensitivity toward specific groups rising yet more and more is Christianity being push aside. Thanks Sony (and by thanks I mean no thanks).

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Womp Womp!! dumbiest reason to remove a game from the shelves. Any game that uses in the begining. should suffer the same clause. I'm a christan and I think it is great to be introduced to new cultures and not force people to follow your rules. this is just silly. (Shaking Head as I type)

Enok666
Enok666

AHHH i cant wait any longer. why dident they just relise a patch 3 days later and we could all be happy.

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

Do u want to hear something funny... in the middle east ( only gulf area) we get the latest games even sometimes before the date of release... i swear in our markets i saw little big planet game LAST WEEK .... & they didn't know for sure about the queting... but i saw many copies in the market the last week the same thing happened with many games... the games also are for region (1) ... i don't know how but yes they have a big market big fat BLACK MARKET ....

jknight5422
jknight5422

Are sales really that big in the Middle East for this game?

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

unctreative: if this is ur calculations... then we could delete from the market a country called china .... the too much billion people.... because although china products are inside every house on every country... the too much billion country has a few people who own a PS3 or Xbox the population is too high but the gamers are few so therefore we should not respect them & offend them by any means .... yes yes yes... i have an idea....let's make a GAME that shows china torture a guy from Tibet.... it's ok it's a Game ... they should have a thick skin.. KEEP THE GAMES FROM OFFENDING OTHER NATIONS OR RELEGIONS OR UGLY POLITICS...

uglynuncreative
uglynuncreative

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

jogunther
jogunther

Frankly I'm Christian as much as someone who doesn't go to church can be. I want the game as much as the rest of you. But do you not realize the complicated religious impact somthing like this could influence extremest Muslims. Wait a little bit and soon we'll all be playing the game of the year together :) Just a lil patients brothers and sisters.

voltzila
voltzila

This is just plain dumb and something that should have been addressed and taken care of well before anyone saw the light at the end of the development tunnel.

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

I,m asking my self.... why Sony Didn't just release a compulsory batch???? it's easier also can satisfy all gamers & nations.... maybe this is a commercial move??? or just to approve that if u can't get it then u want it...

Irithes
Irithes

As has been pointed out, this is a business move, and not censorship, and I agree, of course. While I feel very inconvenienced by this move, I don't think Sony has done the wrong thing, necessarily. I have too little knowledge of economics to comment on the value of their decision.

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

sj_nehama: by the way my friend.... the muslims respect the jesus, coz they believe that he is a messenger from god... but unfortunetly ur peaple don't respect the jesus the christian people... see ur shows(Family Guy, etc..) again the muslims respect the holy jesus too much also a big percentage of them do parties in the new year... sohma2501: i prefer u the one that should have a big skin.... u know why???? coz u r making too much mess & fuzz & bla bla bla talk.. just because sony delayed the shipment.... (U should have a big skin my friend) i don't get it??? why when rockstar delayed gta4 more then freaking two months u didn't say anything coz u have a big skit for ur self... but not for other people in addition of that u want the people to change their believes & be more strong & abandon their relegion only for a mere GAME .... by the way u r asking why the muslim is offended only by qouting... again their is no prob. the prob. is don't do it a freaking rock silly music.. in islam their are rules for reading the holy quran.. i said for reading only.... u should read it with respectful way not musical way... if u don't understand this issue i respect ur way of thinking... but Sony understand the muslims & know the situatoin...

kimomad1
kimomad1

sony respectable ... thank you

boniceman
boniceman

holy crap i preordered the game like hell long time ago!!!! ill have the forbidden illegal little big planet!!!!! awesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Joker_268
Joker_268

the middle east is in the centre of the world, thus, a VERY important area for businesses, all the major organisations have links with the middle east, including sony. I think they saved them selves in time. and uglynuncreative, theres a new middle east mate, google it if u cant afford to check 4 ur self. peace

Serious
Serious

I can't wait to get my hands on this game. However this incident makes me wonder what is Sony going to do about those that will purposely place inappropriate content on here. I foresee nudity stickers and crotch shots. I know most will be cool and make fun stuff but there are those out there that will relish to do what is inappropriate.

BloodyPirateSF
BloodyPirateSF

lol TV and movies make fun of Christianity constantly and nothing happens, but when you quote the Quran you have to recall the whole freakin' game rofl!

AJ-2K7
AJ-2K7

what is the point in arguing over a few words in a song cos i really dont see how this is offensive. why it was pulled in the first place i dont know cos sony could have used a patch or just tell whoevers offended by it to turn the volume down. also why would someone play a game only to pick the bad bits. just ignore it and enjoy the game.

firesatr
firesatr

It is a good thing that Sony look in to the matter seriously, y? lots of you guys may ask. It is not the first time when some big shot speak without knowing offended someone and in the end causing riot and protest world wide. If now its to happened to Sony their office and shop bearing the word or logo of sony may be burn down.

B_O_B_
B_O_B_

I belong to a little known religion, I believe in this dude who says he's everywhere and created everything and his name is 'S*ck My B*lls!' Anyone using his name in text, music, video, games or anything else (like naming a cuddly toy) is going to get sued!! He also has two God-like brothers called 'LMAO' and 'LOL' so you cant use their names either or you'll burn in our version of HELL, which looks a lot like Bracknell. (PS I've just started writing our bible so prepare for the long list of phrases that cant be used, because I might get upset!) But wait, I've just realised...If I wanna be a good person and be nice to people, I dont need a religion as an excuse! Haha I'm finally FREE!!!

singularity2030
singularity2030

Wow, you people are really stupid. This is self-censorship, yes. The reason is what's important though. We're dealing with a corporation whos loyalty lies to the stockholders to turn a profit, which means doing what's in the best interest for sales. This has nothing at to do with censorship but everything to do with maximizing profit. The state of society isn't Sony's fault and they have to make decisions based on how things are, not how they should be. Most gamers will not even know about this incident and very very few will care. I'd say they made the right move from a business standpoint, which is the only way they should be looking at it.

sohma2501
sohma2501

this is cenorship,plain and simple.cenorship is bad in whatever form it takes.The fact that sony recalled the game so close to releases says that they are idiots and stupid.sony fears a if,that should be very disgusting to sony. Meanwhile sony has done nothing but offend people over the fact that they pulled the game.way to go sony! I find that almost every game I have played in my life could have at one point or another done some offensive,you dont see me freaking out about it.I say people need to get a thicker skin.now a great game gets overshadowed because of stupidty.I have herd the track that got changed or pulled out and Im not impressed.sony would have had it much easier if they would have just released a patch and not made a big deal of it.people are stupid.Im also getting tired of being forced to pander to whatever religios right out there that gets a wild hair up thier butt--I say to you get a thicker skin,if you dont like something dont buy it.

sj_nehama
sj_nehama

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

sj_nehama
sj_nehama

All i have to say is: Jedi mind tricks to trick the mind challenged Whats the big deal with the song?

sj_nehama
sj_nehama

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

JBjazzbo
JBjazzbo

thank god they havn't seen the 9/11 level someone made on the beta u jump in a plane then it crashes into the towers and then an ambulance comes. sick.

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

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

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

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

Myth-Q8
Myth-Q8

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

christania
christania

Irithes, I totally agree with you and your posts are very good on this matter. I said this sort of thing on my previous post as well. I really do detest censorship. I think it is an infringement on basic human rights and a blatant display of ignorance and intolerance. Why is it so many people out there just can't see that? Censorship works to remove our freedoms of speech and expression, as well as our freedoms of religion... This sort of thing really does upset me. It isn't about respect or lack of respect for a religious sect as a whole at all people. It is about our individual rights as human beings. Our right to express ourselves, our right to believe in what we want to believe and not what someone else tells us to believe. Our right to say whatever we feel without fear of persecution. Our right to CHOOSE what we ourselves are exposed to artistically, religiously, or whatever. You may not agree with what I say or how I express myself, but I still have a right to say it without someone working to shut me up or CENSOR me JUST because they didn't like what I said. One thing I may note on though, is the right of parents to control what their small children are exposed to in which case a different age rating might be suitable. I'd gather that the E rating was pretty important to Sony, though. Then again, I would imagine that it's far more expensive to recall every game than apply a new rating. or am I wrong on that? At any rate, the recall is obviously not just thinking about parents and children, but a religious group of people (or even several religious groups) and this is where the main meat of controversy springs up.

Ninja99
Ninja99

Hear hear, Irithes. As a free people we need to stop capitulating to demands that undermine the foundation of our society. No demand was made in this case, true, yet going to outrageous lengths to eliminate the slightest chance of offending anyone amounts to the same thing as complying with a threatening directive: compromise spurred by fear of reprisal. Sony would do well to learn that there is a fundamental difference between respecting the beliefs of others and being cowed by them. It's time to shed the manacles of excessive political correctness stand up for our rights. Allow LBP's "offensive content" to remain intact, Sony. Hold on to the last precious morsels of your crumbling integrity.