Naughty Dog confirms The Last of Us was censored for PAL territories

A Naughty Dog developer has confirmed the game was modified to meet legal requirements in PAL markets.

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Following suspicion from players that some of the more graphic content found in the critically acclaimed The Last of Us was different in the North American and European versions of the game, a Naughty Dog spokesperson has confirmed that PAL editions were toned down to meet legal requirements in their respective regions.

The comments, made to user Ramify by Naughty Dog developer EvangM said: "1. The gore and violence ratings are subject to local regulatory boards in various countries, so the game must be slightly changed in order to accomodate [sic] those choices.

2. To be honest, I'm not sure what version Australia is getting. If you import the North/South American version, it will not be censored, but EU/UK will be."

Posters on both the PlayStation and Naughty Dog forums expressed concern over differing animations when performing executions, the removal of enemy limb dismemberment, and the amount of blood spray experienced when killing another player during multiplayer matches.

GameSpot contacted Sony Computer Entertainment, seeking clarification as to the specific differences for the game between regions. A spokesperson was unable to comment at time of publication.

Discussion

598 comments
LonelyHippie27
LonelyHippie27

I really wish GTA V would have been as graphic as this game. Companies need to take note from TLOU. Bring back the gore!

DWalker131
DWalker131

so hang on a minute, is the single player censored as well ?

philMcCrevis
philMcCrevis

uhhhhm, who gives a shit...uyah thats what i think!  

SubHumanTorch
SubHumanTorch

Maybe in the idealistic land you live in that would work but in reality hat sort of approach has very rarely ever worked. Secondly the censorship was not revealed until a significant time after release. 

redskinStu
redskinStu

Well, how can you blame them? If there's too much violence in the game, too much graphic stuff, somebody will obviously surrender control of their mind and go massacre a schoolroom full of children.

Rockshow2oo8
Rockshow2oo8

BANNED!!!

A message from Ramify (the guy who started the original thread on TLOU Forums, about TLOU MP being censored)...

Forum Thread Link here: http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/The-Last-of-Us-Multiplayer/Media-Coverage-The-Last-of-Us-Censorship-Compared-NSFW/td-p/40854677

Picture Link Here: http://i789.photobucket.com/albums/yy177/Rockshow2oo8/Slikica610_zpsf2fcdce5.jpg

So yeah, he was banned!!! It has come to this, soon we will all be banned, and the original TLOU Forum thread edited, censored, closed, and forgotten? And for what? For seeking out the truth, and answers. Well I guess, this society isn't so "free" as we think it is! This is a small issue compared to some of the bigger problems in the world (wars, famine ect.), but it still doesn't deserve to be put under the rug.

91210user
91210user

yeah 'censored'... it doesn't sound like much of a censor to be honest and not worth the import! I used to import alot of titles from America and Japan into the UK and I wouldn't import this game based on this!

GuiltiestGearXX
GuiltiestGearXX

move out of your socialist nanny state if you're really that upset by this. don't blame naughty dog because your government wants to play Big Brother with your video games. 

adward22
adward22

go drink soup i doubt you will get cold  ^_^

LE5LO
LE5LO

Our censorship has become more drastic these days, before the R18+ classification came along this year in Australia, the majority of violence that's being censored these days was available in MA15+ games like Manhunt and Soldier of Fortune. So, we now have a new R18+ rating that censors violence that is comparable to MA15+ games. Should all those old games I own now also be considered inappropriate for a 15 year old?

Very little in R18+ appears to be any more 'adult' than MA15+ was for an entire generation.

We've got monkeys in charge down here.

LE5LO
LE5LO

To the secretive, greedy A**holes in charge at Naughty Dog. Announce regional cuts BEFORE you release a game, not afterwards by having the general public question you about it. That's a low move.

TirOrah
TirOrah

"...PAL editions were toned down to meet legal requirements in their respective regions."

And then Gamespot asks for clarification. *facepalm* The answer is RIGHT THERE! 

Anyway, I didn't know it would have to be toned down for over here... Interesting. I don't really care, though. The amount of gore in a game never determines whether I buy it or not. 

SeannTHEsheep
SeannTHEsheep

i never got to see any censorship in my copy.  joels daughter getting killed in cold blood in the first ten minutes of the game traumatised me beyond belief. you just dont kill young girls in computer games. i couldnt play the rest of the game and traded it in for Lego Batman 2

wasakawaka
wasakawaka

I think they may have done the same thing for Canada. I don't remember any limb dismemberment's in my game, except for the occasional time someone lost their head, no limbs lost.

erMonezza
erMonezza

I'd understand if they left out some story moments, but a bit of blood and gore? 

Com'on, who cares.

Dumper1
Dumper1

Wow, so many people upset because they've missed out on a little bit of gore. Probably kids who shouldn't be playing it. Does it really matter? Just enjoy the game.

ANUBISZER0
ANUBISZER0

Love me some gory deliciousness.

hadlee73
hadlee73

I'm in a PAL territory, and if I played a censored version you could've fooled me, lol

Bendecire Cantare
Bendecire Cantare

de que sirve un juego censurado, si en la realidad se ven cosas similares... actos sangrientos y mas

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

Really rather annoyed I stumbled across this article. I had a suspicion the game had been toned down but didn't give it much more thought as I still enjoy it.

Now I may look at importing a U.S. copy as I can't stand knowing I don't have the full product.

mastermetal777
mastermetal777

Why are people so upset over this? It's not that surprising, especially given Australia's history of censoring/banning just about every violent video game in recent years. As for the rest, again I'm not too shocked. Kind of expected a game like this to be censored quite a bit. I have the North American version, and it's as visceral as you can get in a game.

Yamakoichi
Yamakoichi

maybe that explains why everyone on the internet is raving of the last of us and everyone I have spoken to in the UK has given it a massive MEH

mattcake
mattcake

Wow that sucks. One of the few good things about living in the UK is that we very rarely get things censored. Not happy they did here. Makes me worry what's gonna happen with the next generation as gfx take another big jump.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

What is the videogame regulatory landscape in the EU? Some people claim it's well-known by EU residents, implying both a well established difference with other regions and consistency among member states. Others say only a few countries have considerably harsher restrictions; I hear Germany mentioned. Is there a single regulatory body on this matter for the whole EU? Is there one set of governing regulation that individual national agencies consult? Is there one or more NGO like the ESRB?

Bernardo Pinto
Bernardo Pinto

All the countries that speak portuguese are terrible for a reason? How come people from where you live, come to where portuguese is spoken? That i'd like to know.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

I am going to see if I can get a refund for being sold a censored game that wasn't advertised as such. This is complete bull and Naughty Dog is now completely untrustworthy to me.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@GuiltiestGearXX Except that ND was the one that submitted a censored version to our countries without even trying the uncensored version. Then they didn't tell us. Why should we not blame ND again?

Sturmfuehrer_
Sturmfuehrer_

@GuiltiestGearXX ...and move to the U(N)SA?!

nah, thanks... I'd rather they play big brother with my video games than with my privacy.


MasterManiac772
MasterManiac772

@SeannTHEsheep "You just don't kill young girls in computer games."

Actually, yes you *do,* if it's relevant to your story. If you're so squeamish, don't buy anything with an "M" rating.

Remember kids, the ESRB is there to protect you!* :-D

*So the rest of us don't have to hear you bitch.

megakick
megakick

@erMonezza So gore is more important then story? If you want gory just go play MK...

norman69
norman69

@Dumper1 I know, right? I mean they say there isn't limb dismemberment in multiplayer, but if you execute a guy with the shotgun or shorty his head still gets ripped off. I'd say that was a lot more violent than losing an arm/leg...

Crucifier_Z
Crucifier_Z

@hadlee73Yeah I had the same exact thoughts, but it seems like only multiplayer was affected which did seem less gory than single player. Doesn't really bother me as long as they're not beeping over curse words or drastically adjusting blood and gore.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@PlatinumPaladin Contact ND to give you the version you paid for. That's what I'm doing. You shouldn't stand for being the victim of a scam. ESPECIALLY don't give them MORE money for it.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@mastermetal777 People are upset because we were literally tricked into buying a game that we would not have bought (or would have imported) had we been told that it was censored.

As it is, I feel like the victim of a scam and like I've betrayed what I believe in (that censorship is wrong.)

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@Yamakoichi Yeah, because we're actually a really sick bunch of fudgers that don't get enough gore and violence in our day-to-day life. ;-P

kagento
kagento

@Unfallen_Satan There is a European age rating, but there are also local laws in place, and therefore some region specific games are tuned. Yes, Germany is normally the main offender when censoring games, but it isn't normal for games to have a whole European release when there is some kind of censored element.
I'm guessing Sony thought it wasn't a big deal (what was cut) and decided to save some bucks by making a single EU release version.

hadlee73
hadlee73

@flammable_zeus Naughty Dog is a developer (no doubt you knew that already). It is not their responsibility to post press releases stating some versions of their game are censored. They may not have even been authorized to do so. It sounds like your beef should be with Sony and/or the retailer in which you bought it from (which if it was on PSN, would still be Sony, lol).

G4mBi7
G4mBi7

@flammable_zeus It isn't their fault, they didn't want their game to get taken off of store shelves, Australia and Britain have a tenancy to do that.  They also aren't the first developer to be forced to tone down a game allow the game to make it to market. You have two choices; buy off the shelves which are imported from the UK or order online from the US. Simple as that.

hadlee73
hadlee73

@Crucifier_Z @hadlee73 Thank goodness the game didn't have an anal probe anywhere, otherwise the Australians wouldn't have got the game at all :P

Kraken422
Kraken422

@flammable_zeus @mastermetal777Tricked? A scam? Really? The parts which were removed were never specifically advertised so you were never mislead. 

As for the immorality of censorship that usually refers to freedom of speech not the amount of gore in the game you just bought. Fuck, talk about first world problems. 

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@kagento Thanks! I was ignorant of PEGI's international nature; I thought it was just for UK. So let's say German regulations categorize a game to be in a more restricted category than PEGI, does the game bear some marking in addition to PEGI, assuming it is released in Germany?

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@hadlee73 @flammable_zeus If they weren't authorised to do so, then why are they telling us now? They censored it, and while they had no obligation to tell us it was censored, they still could have instead of tricking me into supporting censorship.

I can't get a refund from the retailer because of the time that has passed and the fact that I discarded the receipt because the game runs just fine. I didn't expect that I would have been lied to about the condition of the game. I would never pay for an incomplete game that other people are getting around the world.

Sony had nothing to do with it, and neither did the retailer. This is all Naughty Dog (which sucks because up until now I've always been under the incorrect impression that they were decent people, not scam artists.)

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@G4mBi7 @flammable_zeus I don't think zeus, or anyone whose comments I've yet thus far, is criticizing the actual censorship, though almost all are against it to varying degrees. The specific criticism leveled at ND is that they kept it a secret until now, likely forever if some buyers didn't call them out.

True, ND has no obligation to reveal the censorship, and they have every reason to ensure maximum sales in all regions by witholding information they are not obligated to disclose. That does not negate the merit fo the criticism. It is precisely because ND has done its best to protect its own interest that some of us are criticisizing them to protect ours.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@G4mBi7 @flammable_zeus They didn't even tell us that it was censored though. I bought it at release thinking that I would receive the full game as advertised. Naughty Dog lied to sell their game, simple as that.

Also, they didn't even try to get the full game classified here. We have an R rating now, which may not be perfect but it doesn't have a problem with the things that they removed.

They tricked me into supporting censorship, which if you ask me is like tricking a vegetarian into eating meat just because you can profit from it.

Crucifier_Z
Crucifier_Z

@hadlee73 @Crucifier_Z Hahaha yeah the aussies are always getting fucked over, no pun intended. Same with the steam deals, they're always drawing the short straw.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@Kraken422 @flammable_zeus @mastermetal777 I wasn't told that I would be getting a chopped up version of the game rather than the full game which I paid for, so yes I was misled.

ANY kind of censorship is wrong. Especially a game that focuses on the bleakness and harsh reality of an undead apocalypse.

How do I know that nothing else was cut? It's the fact that they were dishonest about what they were selling.

Also yes, my problems are first-world problems. Strangely, this ties in to the reality of living in a first-world country.

jeronimo616
jeronimo616

@Unfallen_Satan@kagentoWe do unfortunately have a very strict policy abbreviated USK .(Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body) It is very well known here in Germany and in most cases those versions are extremly censored. That's why most people will try to import "complete+uncut" versions from Austria/Switzerland. Those are PEGI-Versions and as far as i know as uncut as possible.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@hadlee73 @flammable_zeus More like I'm the pilot blaming ND for the lack of a crosshair on my gun.

Devs could have talked about this at any time. If I was working on something and was told to not tell the public that they were going to be sold something incomplete, I would still let people know.

They did the wrong thing, plain and simple. The game didn't NEED to be censored. The uncensored version would have been here just fine and ND was the one that implemented the censorship themselves.

This is the same company that rallied to keep a girl on the cover, so it's not like they're not afraid to stand up for what THEY think is important (although I think censorship is a tad more important than having certain characters on a game cover.)

hadlee73
hadlee73

@flammable_zeus @hadlee73 The game has been released now, so any binding confidentially imposed by the publisher is now done and dusted. Developers don't necessarily get to choose what they can and can't reveal to the public before a game is released (the only time this is different is if they are also involved in the publishing aspect of the game).

This was Sony's responsibility to distribute a press release to the public (before the game came out) that there would be different versions (and why), not the job of the developer (who is making the game itself, not handling its marketing campaign). Crapping on Naughty Dog is aiming the crosshairs at the engineer when you should be trying to shoot the pilot.

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

@flammable_zeus you got the full game. it like watching a movie on tv that is censored. I remember a movie I watched  the guy in the movie say bull crap. but in the dvd version I have he says bull can guess the word. the movie still intact just with some minor changes. and besides let`s look at a deadisland the cover picture was changed in north America to a walking zombie instead of a hanging one. the game still the same though.