Rule of Rose has hit the headlines in recent weeks. The game has been labelled as containing "obscene cruelty" and being "profoundly shocking." There have been calls for it to be banned--even though it hasn't even hit the shelves yet and few people have played it.
The psychological horror game is set in the 1930s and tells the story of a young girl called Jennifer who is packed off to a creepy orphanage. The UK's Video Standards Council gave the game a PEGI-16 rating, and it has already been released in the US and Japan. It was due to be released across Europe on November 24.
However, the publisher said that the game had been withdrawn from sale across Europe (with the exception of France and Italy). The statement read, "Following discussions with our retail and publishing partners, 505 Games has taken the decision not to publish Rule of Rose in the UK [and most European countries] at this time."
Earlier this week, The Times and Daily Mail newspapers both ran articles condemning the game, and the mayor of Rome has called for it to be banned. European justice commissioner Franco Frattini wrote to European Union governments urging them to tighten controls on what he described as "dreadful" games.
VSC secretary general Laurie Hall told industry trade magazine MCV that it was furious with the "grossly inaccurate" media coverage of the game and called Frattini's claims "nonsense." She said, "I have no idea where the suggestion of in-game sadomasochism has come from, nor children being buried underground. These are things that have been completely made up."
The controversy surrounding the game comes hot on the heels of the furor surrounding Rockstar Games' recently released Canis Canem Edit (also known as Bully). In the UK some retailers refused to stock the game, and the game was even discussed in Parliament. The debate subsided after the game's official release, when it was found to depict hardly any of the scenes and actions that had been attributed to it.
For more on Rule of Rose, check out GameSpot's full review.