Rule of Rose Euro release cancelled

505 Games pulls controversial horror game "following discussions with retail and publishing partners."

by

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However, the publisher said that the game had been withdrawn from sale across Europe (with the exception of France and Italy).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.

Discussion

168 comments
ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

I really want to pick this up, being a ps2 horror game afficionado, but the "mark-up idiots" on Ebay, Amazon and Glyde are charging ridiculous prices for it.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

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

Raym0nd
Raym0nd

I've never seen it in THE NETHERLANDS... damn it... well I'll get MANHUNT 2 when it gets released over here... I just wish I could get a copy of this game too.

noelveiga
noelveiga

The game has been released on Spain too. I've seen it for sale personally. Sad that things have come to this, though. Freedom of expression is not limited by some standard of moral adequacy. You can't ban Trainspotting for depicting drug use, and you can't ban a videogame for its imagery. And it's also kinda sad that such a bad game has become a symbol of gaming for conservative media. It's never the creative, intelligent games. When media need to paint a picture of all game design they always choose the most clichéd, often less creatively interesting, examples.

Scorpion16
Scorpion16

"...um, not really when you consider the content of each particular game. You wouldn't regulate games featuring obnoxious edutainment characters. However, retailers would happily sell a product to anyone with a fist full of cash if there weren't regulations like movie ratings in place to prevent 10-year olds from buying "House of 1,000 Corpses." " Wow you're more misinformed than I thought. There are plenty of stores that would gladly sell a kid a movie like House of 1,000 corpses and frankly it's completely absurd to compare any mainstream game to a movie like that. It's a movie about a family of psychos that torture and kill people for fun. That's all it is, no story, no purpose, just non-stop torture and murder for over an hour. The movie ratings don't stop anyone from buying something like that because there are plenty of indie video stores who are more concerned about making a profit. "True, but examples of violence are equally damaging to younger gamers. More so to a developing mind that has not yet established reality from fantasy. I'm not advocating for the Right-Wing here, I'm just saying that gamers below a certain age should not have access to material that is inappropriate to them." Please shut up, now your just showing a level of stupidity that I was hoping I wouldn't have to deal with her. Now you sound just like Jackass Thompson. First off your assuming that all kids are stupid. I'm not going to believe for a second that a 10 year old is going to be damaged mentally from playing GTA or Mortal Kombat. And I frankly doubt that most kids who are old enough to have thier own money and are allowed to go out walk around the city on their own can't tell the distingush reality and fantasy. And second of all, who are you to say what is and isn't appropriate for younger gamers? And again you an amount of stupidity that only Jack Thompson would be capable of saying that alchohol is EQUALLY as damaging to kids as playing violent games. Alchohol can kill you, it can make you deathly ill, and it can ruin your life. When I hear of a kid dying of liver failure from playing GTA, than I'll admit that you were right. "Parents need some kind of guidance. No one has the time or money to purchase and play every game before they approve it for their children. That's what the ESRB is for." No what parents need to do is to get off their lazy asses and do thier jobs. If they are worried about what their kids are playing, it doesn't take much time to pop into thier room once in a while. And frankly once the kid reaches junior high, I don't see the any reason what so ever to care if they are playing M-rated games. The worst thing you could do to a kid is censor them up until they are 18 from this kind of stuff. Kids need to get a decent dose of the harsh realities of the world before going into it and the best way to do it is through entertainment. We aren't talking about toddlers playing something like this. We are talking about pre-teens and teenagers who by that age probably already have access to worse stuff on the internet. "How is it unconstitutional to require retailers to check your state ID or driver's license before they sell you an "M" rated game? I'll gladly hand over my ID to prove my age and receive heart stopping survival horror goodness. What's the big deal? " It's a restriction on free speech on a false basis for "public safety". Minors have first amendment rights too. And this won't even be an issue a few years from now because the next generation systems have parental controls on them similar to the V-chip in most TVs. The kid can buy the game, but he won't be able to play it, if the parent has set the controls right. And the big deal is that it brings us one step closer to becoming a police state and may lead to other restrictions on other forms of media like movies and music.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

Meanwhile, while the world is caught up in video games, the terrorists plot....

InfectX
InfectX

I dont understand how people are saying these things; the game really isn't that bad...except that it sucks.

Acid_Kitsune
Acid_Kitsune

The game's a pain to play, but the plot is really good. I kept playing it just find out wtf was going on.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

This is ludicrous... people always running around making stuff up, saying "Columbine simulator" and "this game endorses sex with children" and all this stupid garbage. Invariably these are people who haven't even seen the game, nor heard of it until they realized that the mention of it would give them a blurb in the papers. This game is dreadful only in the sense that Superman is dreadful and until they do a sweeping ban of games that are a big waste of time, then these folks need to STFU.

Xastabus
Xastabus

For my thoughts on this subject, look up "FCCFU" at Youtube. Granted it isn't the FCC in this case, but the sentiment is the same. In response to Scorpion16: "comparing games to alcohol is absurd." ...um, not really when you consider the content of each particular game. You wouldn't regulate games featuring obnoxious edutainment characters. However, retailers would happily sell a product to anyone with a fist full of cash if there weren't regulations like movie ratings in place to prevent 10-year olds from buying "House of 1,000 Corpses." "Alcohol is regulated because it's a drug that impairs the mind if and can be dangerous in excessive amounts." True, but examples of violence are equally damaging to younger gamers. More so to a developing mind that has not yet established reality from fantasy. I'm not advocating for the Right-Wing here, I'm just saying that gamers below a certain age should not have access to material that is inappropriate to them. "What is needed is for parents to start monitoring what thier kids are playing. The responsibility falls on the parents..." Absolutely agreed! However... "not the retailers and not the goverment." ? Parents need some kind of guidance. No one has the time or money to purchase and play every game before they approve it for their children. That's what the ESRB is for. "What we need to do is educate parents, not pass unconstitutional laws that can't be enforced." How is it unconstitutional to require retailers to check your state ID or driver's license before they sell you an "M" rated game? I'll gladly hand over my ID to prove my age and receive heart stopping survival horror goodness. What's the big deal?

Sheiko
Sheiko

When your told not to read an email whats the first thing you do when your alone? Ya Read it Right? Must be some new publicity stunt. Too bad its not a well known company.

hunter8man
hunter8man

For those who are dying to play this game, go play Silent Hill or find a cheap version of Clock Tower. It's the same thing only much better.

wild_world_girl
wild_world_girl

Masterash42: "I almost want to check this title out now, but when voting with my dollars, grabbing a game on bad press alone is bad form. " Actually, when headbutting uptight religous nutjobs (read: Jack Thompson) I'd always call it good form. But depending on your personal financial situation (and your taste in games), it may be bad policy.

carlopret
carlopret

Does this mean that we in South Africa wont be getting it either.

Chirico_Cuvie
Chirico_Cuvie

You've been saved from a crappy game, you should thank them. Watch any one of a dozen reviews to see why. If you still want it then you must be into punishment like the characters in the game.

slush_puppie18
slush_puppie18

Everyone should click here and tell 505 games exactly what you think of their decision. Don't hold back now! Also, click here to sign the petition for UK release.

gamerchikrpg
gamerchikrpg

didn't only like 2 people play that game anyway? shame...i wanted to try it but heard it was disapointing. i agree though. the makers of the game seem like p*ssies

crozon
crozon

oh and one more thing if the press start saying sh^& about your game which isn't true then you need to stand by your game and not not publish your game in the country. I mean look at Bully anyone in the know must be laughing at all the people who accused it of encouraging bulling. All i got to say is shame on the publisher of Rule of Rose and thank god Rockstar don't give a F&*K

crozon
crozon

good grief for everyone who is scared this mean that the UK is going to start banning games, don't. This game was not banned from the UK, just the developer couldn't be asked to publish the game here. Also places like Dixons might not sell Bully but do you seriously buy games from there when you got play.com, hmv, virgin and game and a lot of other places to buy games.

Thornscar
Thornscar

What the dont have any R Rated movies in Europe where girls are being hurt? Give me a break. They hate what the dont understand.

BlueEyesGR
BlueEyesGR

Another episode to the soap opera that politicians shamelessly applause. Because for them is a good way to misdirect the public's opinion to this new enemy, video games... Far away from their own mistakes or even worse their 100% realistic crimes. To these "ethical" people, I want to provide the following question: What rating should take the death of a real child, because they vote or let a war to continue?

casshern
casshern

I hope this doesn't become a standard why of marketing games because it can backfire like it did this time. The rumour mill especially with politicians and the media can get very intense and sometimes absurd. I havent played this game because its banned, but I hope it does come out if the claims are grossly inaccurate, not because its great or anything (6.0), but just for the matter of principle. I cant believe Jack Thompson has said nothing yet, well no mention of him so far, that must be a good sign at least :)!

diablobasher
diablobasher

What sickens me the most is that all you americans sat back going "lmao, i dont care" are the ones with the problems having these games sold to children! Here in the UK we have a system to stop violent games getting into the hands of children, yet, we are seeing an increasing number of games not even released here. Games i want to freaking play! Man this sucks so bad.

slush_puppie18
slush_puppie18

THIS TAKES THE P**S. Why didnt they just make the game an 18 certificate? But no they had to just ban it outright. Makes no sense to me.

wwonka666
wwonka666

Sorry UK, your actually not losing out on much. But you have been stiffed so much by Sony this year. Have you supported one of the other consoles yet. Let Sony die in hell.

playa42018
playa42018

Politicians should be required to play the games they ban or condemn before hand.

samuelroberts
samuelroberts

I'm so f*cking sick of people inteferring in games when it has nothing to do with them. Maybe the mayor of rome should sort out his own town's issues, and stay the hell away.

PixyMisao
PixyMisao

The game creators were probably forced to cancel the game's release if they ever wanted to sell games in Europe ever again. Gee... I'm glad Europe has gotten more tolerant of freedom of speech since Probotector. /sarcasm

Scorpion16
Scorpion16

"This is, quite frankly sickening. When will people realise that the optimum way to prevent kids getting hold of 'violent' or 'twisted' games is to place similar laws against their sales as we do with alcohol." I'm sorry but this is the worst way to handle the problem. This is what people like Jack Thompson want. If this happens than they have won. We should never sacrifice our freedom to appease these kinds of people. And comparing games to alcohol is absurd. Alcohol is regulated because it's a drug that impairs the mind if and can be dangerous in excessive amounts. What is needed is for parents to start monitoring what thier kids are playing. The responsibility falls on the parents, not the retailers and not the goverment. What we need to do is educate parents, not pass unconstitutional laws that can't be enforced.

dez_
dez_

ok im soo sick you those of you who think this game sucked and no one is missing out on it. first of all, the game was brilliant. perhaps something only intelligent minds can appreciate. secondly, were talking about a game being banned here. not wether the game was good or not. what if it was a game that you were into? then suddenly it would be of concern right? we start letting them get away with banning a game, then theyll just start banning all the other games as well. i cant belive your FINE with it for them to ban game just cuz you dont find it palatable.

Enthasius
Enthasius

This is, quite frankly sickening. When will people realise that the optimum way to prevent kids getting hold of 'violent' or 'twisted' games is to place similar laws against their sales as we do with alcohol. That way, people who are obviously of age enough to play a game can buy it, and kids will find it much MUCH harder to buy a game when the retailers are at risk of heavy fines should they supply the game to anyone under age. Where I work, I've been told several times by my superiors to just let the sale go ahead even though a parent is obviously buying a 10 year old kid an 18 game like GTA or something of equivalent content, we can only deny the sale if it's directly to the kid. If you ask me, it's just as bad.

Scorpion16
Scorpion16

It's really sad that one blowhard in Italy can ruin it all for a whole region. Frankly I'm tired of all these opprutunist politicians and out of touch old farts sticking thier noses into things they know absolutely nothing about. It's sickening and it has to stop. Thank God I live in the good old USA where something like this would never happen. God Bless America!

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Though it didn't really get good reviews, you can add this to the growing list of games that don't make it to the UK. Right along with Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy Tactics, Xenogears, Suikoden III, Grandia III...

the-very-best
the-very-best

It's not even a good game guys, so you aren't missing out on much.

gamer_girl15
gamer_girl15

Politicans bashing games again? Sigh....

frazzle00
frazzle00

Politicians should be made accountable for spreading blatantly false information in the hope of boosting their flaging careers. If videogame companies are to sue anyone it should be idiots like Frattini, and not import sites like LikSang.

gerardnll
gerardnll

UK it's not EURO, it is one of many countries that pertain to the European Union, so don't put EURO if it is only UK. Bye.

nemesis_blue
nemesis_blue

Unless you want to hear some great music, Rules of Rose is a dumb game. A very dumb game.

yixingtpot
yixingtpot

i own this game, i am an adult... it is quite disturbing in many ways, but the overall feeling it left me with was profound sadness. it's a beautiful game when all is said and done, but they are right regarding it being too much for young minds to handle perhaps. so i would say they should just rate these games accordingly and all will be well. if they are afraid of the impact of a video game to such an extent? then i think we should really be worried about society. it's one of the best horror games i've played presentation wise, it does have faults, load times, clunky controls (nothing new in horror games), and the obligatory bad camera etc... it will be a shame if adults and horror game fans of the UK don't get a chance to play and own such a classic cult game.

Jaeme
Jaeme

As I`ve said before, this has nothing to do with videogames, it has to do with fear of the younger generation. Every generation brings with it a new medium or pass time or what have you and since the clueless can`t ban the youth they attack the media/etc. There are far worse things being shown in movies, and yet the biggest selling point in DVDs is the "unrated" version, which are being sold without any form of outcry. Can anyone reading this even say that they know where to find the rating on a DVD? The ratings icon is smaller than a pencil eraser on DVDs, books have no form of ratings, and the Vchip is a joke. Even if they put labels on the games cases like they do on cigarettes(now there`s a great idea for some T shirts. "Videogames can cause you to froth at the mouth about moronic turd lawyers named Jack") there would still be people saying it isn`t enough. The only hope we have is that just like rock and roll and D&D and Playboy magasine it will eventually all go away as people get a clue. Now you mention Tipper Gore and people say "Who?". It`ll eventually be like that with these putzes. I hope. Course the irony is that the idiots chasing videogames are the ones that were chastised by their elders for gangs, gang fighting and drugs, which are sooo much less nasty than a videogame about creepy little girls.

supreme_dar
supreme_dar

According form the quote, he said that about the UK. And the UK is a VERY small part of Europe. They have not said that it will not be released in Europe, according to that quote and if he tried to say that, then the whole world needs to know that UK = not Europe. People please learn, not to generalize to much, since UK does not equal Europe. It doesn't even have the Euro currency! So please, stop generalizing that much! And some titles even get released the last in the UK, like DBZ:B for example, so it amazes me that people continue to generalize that much. Now more to the point: Banning games is silly... What are they trying to achieve with this? If people really wanted to get a game, then nothing would stop them. look at AUS where games like GTA/Manhunt had been banned, but plenty of people still played it. PLus... it still only is a game...

aries1
aries1

HI :) First, I don't understand the need for banning videogames. Nobody would ban movies, would they ? (ok a few might...). The point is this: Videogames are new, and then they are dangerous to the public, just like the movies once were. (or books have been etc. etc. etc.) You could publish a book or a movie with the same content as is in the game, 'rule of rose' and nobidy would care (ok, a few might). The point is also this: If they succeed in banning videogames, they might go on to books, movies etc. etc. Last time, I looked, a videogame is still a legal product. The people in charge seem to be forgetting that videogames now are part of the popular culture, and as such, they are NOT just for kids anymore. A growing & larger part of the gaming audience are now over the age of 30, and about ½ of the gaming crowd are women. AFAIK, the pegi.info rating system is a guide to parents who wants help in choosing what games to buy for their children. And yes, England isn't Europe and Europe isn't just England. 505 can, imo, do whatever, they want with their game. However, I'm reminded of a passage in one the Harry Potter's (tm) books in which a certain lady bans an article, which just makes sure that everyone, and I do mean everyone, including the owls ;) , did read the article. My bet is that sales would go through the roof...

Scarabus
Scarabus

ffmarcos said: "Hey don t bash 505 Gamestreet. You north Americans get all the games you want, but we europeans have to wait for a publisher to bring all the underhyped good games here. All big publishers won t even care about them, as such games won t fill their greedy pockets. The only hope are small operations, like 505 Gamestreet." Yeah I totally agree. I checked out their site and they're not only responsible for bringing Cooking Mama to EU, but also that Simple 2000 godzilla game with the bikini babe. I never thought that thing would come here. Personally, I blame italy for everything that's wrong with the world.

Andron666
Andron666

It's great we have the media to tell us what is good and bad. ;) No one censored it in Europe. 505 Games decided not to publish it in the UK, because of inaccurate negative press.

rikhan_z
rikhan_z

This game is famous now, everyone in Europe would want to play it. I personality think this game has a interesting style... it's a shame that it got a 6.0 GS score... Next thing you know, they wouldn't let the Aussie's play this game!