Snow falls off release list

Rags-to-riches story about a drug dealer with a dream canceled; no reason cited, but fear of backlash from mature content likely was cause.

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Pushing the envelope could very well be Take-Two Interactive's motto. The publisher has become known as one of the more controversial companies in today's class of game makers.

The most notable controversy to hit the company was 2005's Grand Theft Auto "Hot Coffee" scandal, which brought the issue of mature content in games to the mainstream and resulted in the game being rerated, pulled from shelves, and blamed for the behavior of hoodlums across the country.

Of course, the GTA franchise is also one of the most popular, well-rated, and best-selling series in history, making the risk worth the effort financially to keep the GTA games afloat. However, it appears that Take-Two isn't willing to roll the dice with another game it had in development.

The Xbox and PC game Snow, a product of developer Frog City Software, has been canceled, according to CNN/Money's Chris Morris. The game was an empire-building simulation, starring an out-of-work actor trying to make it in the big city. Sound innocent enough? Here's the twist: Gamers tried to make it by becoming a bigwig in the drug trafficking trade.

Snow: Controversy? What controversy?

The game was set to start off humbly, with players slinging pot to small-timers in the late 1970s. As is the case with several crime-centric games, crime does pay, and players would eventually graduate into dealing more potent and profitable drugs, such as cocaine.

Though the game was done in comic-book-style cel-shading, early screenshots showed that this was no Saturday-morning cartoon. Nefarious types riddled with bullets, enough drugs to make Cheech and Chong feel uncomfortable, and gun-totin' babes in bikinis would surely have cemented at least an M-for-Mature rating.

No reason was given for the cancellation, but it appears that it may have come as a result of Take-Two's attempt at cleaning up its image. Take-Two has felt pressure from all angles, including politicians, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, and shareholders who have seen the company's stock plummet in the wake of controversy.

The publisher's most recent tussle with the ESRB involved the top-selling fantasy role-playing game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which was rerated M for Mature. The ratings board found the amount of blood and gore to be too gratuitous for a T-for-Teen rating and also cited a third-party modification that could make some female characters appear topless in the PC version. Bethesda Softworks, the game's developer, did not contest the decision.

Discussion

60 comments
sugreev2001
sugreev2001

We should hang both Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton.If he hates games so much then he should pack his bags and move to Botswana.

Lt_Sanmay
Lt_Sanmay

This game was really looking good and different. Would have been another jewel on the crown of Take-Two. The comic style feel was aswesome. Few games come out looking like that now days. Real sad.

theKSMM
theKSMM

The key difference between movies and video games is one of perception. Movies have been with us for decades, and has seen one, so it's very easy to dismiss one person's crazy behavior as anomalous (i.e. I watched the same movie and it didn't affect me). On the other hand, there are lots of people who don't play video games and who, quite frankly, perceive them as a children's entertainment medium. So when the uninformed masses hear about games with mature themes, they immediately think of impressionable children learning how cool it is to shoot, murder and rape your way to the top. It's very easy for them to implicitly accept that the "programming" that occurs during a video game is far stronger than what occurs during a movie. Nonesensical, yes, but that's how it is.

Ikthog
Ikthog

Well, don't fret too much, I hear they're still developing Crack Whore. But I think they're still pulling too many punches. We want reality! Maybe... Pedophile? It's important that we eradicate all taste from the gaming industry. That'll show the politicians! It's actually really silly to compare this concept to the movie Blow, given how that turned out. Great movie, by the way.

FallenAngel
FallenAngel

Ok, a game might not influence someone unless the person is very very impressionable, but I'm not at all sad to see this game get cancelled. THis seemed like a game in very poor taste anyway, for god's sake, why in blue blazes would you want to play as a drug dealer is beyond me. What next? Red Light District Tycoon?

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

Yeah evidence that video games has an effect on the mind is inconclusive, but why take that chance. For youths, I believe the way they are being raised, their peers, and music are also strong contributing factors. No one is born KNOWING how to committ violent acts, so where are they getting that knowledge from? Let alone "knowing how" but actually having the mind to carry it out?

vaejas
vaejas

That screenie pretty well says it all. Not what I call entertainment.

ablack6596
ablack6596

Ahhh! Take2 != Rockstar. Rockstar is ownded by Take2. Take2 was the publisher of this game. This game was not cancelled by Rockstar, it has nothing to do with Rockstar. Anyways ratings should have nothing to do with what mods can make games do. A mod has the possibility of doing anything. Someone could mod Elmo's Learn to Read 5 and make naked people run around. The game would still not deserve a rating higher than E. Anyone should be able to publish anything. it's the job of consumers to purchase or not purchase things in order to show companies what they want. If the public wants what the game gives it should be made.

diablusx
diablusx

I really hope that this is because of making GTA4 a great game because if they baked out for fear of ESRB then what will GTA4 look like???

evilbreader
evilbreader

Man I was so much looking forward to selling some snow, I said it once and ILL say it again this is the first wave of a crackdown on Rockstar's game development you can count on mature content being censored and de-fraged for explicit gore,language, and violence. The key element in all of this is Rockstar will NEVER be the same agan because of one mans crusade for Rockstar's ultimate downfall, Jack Thomson will NEVER concede to this charade until game developers can no longer make games that are worth playing

hi_im_derek
hi_im_derek

That sucks! I was kinda looking forward to that game.

FuguNabe
FuguNabe

I'm not a big fan of Rockstar (though Table Tennis looks great) but it's sad to see so much media cotroversy surrounding them. If anything it's only making the immature youth that are so attracted to violence even more interested in their games. In a way it's attracting lots of consumers but the notoriety is not helping R* now with all the negative media attention. Their success is like a blade with no handgrip... Best way for these media and politicians to make a point without looking like dummies is to STFU and simply push the game's rating system awareness so dumb wannabe kids don't get their hands on these games. Blamig all these violence and crap on just games makes them and people supporting them sound like buncha ignorant hicks. What happened to freedom of choice in the US? There's already a good rating systems that just simply needs more enforcement and awareness so what's the deal?... Rockstar themselves should consider making games that are less aggressive for awhile till the tension calms down a little IMO. Other than Table Tennis it almost seems like the only crap coming out from them is the controversial type games which seems to get them into no ends of trouble of late. Pretty much their own fault as far as I can see.

usfslacker
usfslacker

R* really needs to stop peddling smut already anyway. Honestly, yeah, Americans like garbage so we eat it up; so they just keep releasing the same graphically disappointing, repetitive, grossly overhyped game over and over with a different city. The table tennis game is surprisingly addictive, why can't they give us some IPs that aren't all based on glorifying crime and are actually fun to play like that one.

Fallout_red
Fallout_red

I hate all those stupid anti-gamers. They are killing games. Snow could have been nice with semi-cartoonish graphics and GTA elements. SHAME.

ElHypno
ElHypno

They have, Rock,Metal, D&D, Rap, Drugs, Satan,Slang. Oh yeah and if you've never stomped on someones head for coins, you've never really lived. It's the coolest.

Darthmatt
Darthmatt

man Im sick of drug/crime games. If people want to stay up all night snorting virtual coke lines and car jacking people, I say stop being such a wus and go do the real thing and see how much fun it is. you'll like it when you end up as some fresh meat in the county lock up.

sephiroth_son
sephiroth_son

Holy crap !!! blame something else besides video games for a change. I mean i dont go stomp on peoples heads and hope coins pop out of them GOSH.....

FlaringPhoenix
FlaringPhoenix

Yeah, one can argue that interactivity makes video games different from movies. But the fact remains that there is no solid evidence that either really causes violence or other crimes in anyone. Study after study just shows how inconclusive evidence really is. There just is not enough proof for a conclusion in either direction.

ElHypno
ElHypno

The problem comes with interactivity. A movie is simply watched and then the person chooses how they feel about what view. A video game is a lot differnt, as in you are able to choose what you do to some extent with in the boundries of that created world. So if your created world happens to be Super Mario World and you choose to act out in ignorance something you've seen in that game the consequnces are not going to be catastrophic. Unless you jump on someones head or figure out how to throw fire balls. If a person acts out something from GTA or another open world crime spree game. The conseqinces could be alot worse. Which is why we have an ESRB. Politicians need to stay out of the video game industry because they simply don't understand it. It's just like trying to blame the amount of guns in the US for the crazy people WE created in the first place. Fact is you have stupid people who do stupid things and you can't blame something they have viewd or experinced virtually for something a stupid person does. If it wasnt SNOW or GTA it could be anything. The Industry needs to also not be afraid of that Adults Only rateing. If its good, people will play it.

blackhawk887
blackhawk887

drug wars was fun on the palm pilot..making a full game out of this esp. from rockstar is nto a good idea and never was...too much hype, political frustrations, kids who play a game that makes them a drug dealer... i love gta but a whole game dedicated to drug dealing is not cool

homsuplo75
homsuplo75

maybe they just realized thw whole cel-shading wasn't going to fly

MissAndDie96
MissAndDie96

As soon as I heard of this game last year I knew it would be cancled.

quietguy
quietguy

Another victim of political McCarthism.... Unless anybody knows who was Joe McCarthy?

K1LLSWITCH
K1LLSWITCH

WOW! If this game made it onto store shelves, there would of been a huge uproar. From politicians to gamers alike, this game would of never stood a chance. It's bad enough that kids are already having drugs pressured upon them through peer pressure in schools and what not, 90% of those kids have parents that don't raise them properly. There was plans of a game where the main focus is the player builds an empire starting off by selling drugs on the streets? Wow. I'm not one to defend censorship, but in this case censorship is in order.

hazuki
hazuki

Jack Thompson....his name sounds like one of those people who do aerobic exercises and puts them on video sorta like tony little. I can see it now, people that are agravated with him buying his "aerobic videos" and doing "certain" stuff with them. :)

jeffcenate
jeffcenate

not a game id play, but im all for making it. the more the better imo. in order for there to be a 'middle ground' for society to 'compromise' over there needs to be extreams. i think rockstar should get an award for having the guts to push the 'tastless extream' to the limit. and im not being sarcastic at all. i want the ESRB to look at a game like ohhhhh warhammer 40K that is loaded with violence and even enabled features to make the corpses last longer and say .......... "we will give this a PG 13 rating because we gave the last rockstar a AO rating and that was MUCH worse" i want them all with eyes glued to rockstar and screaming like a sac full of monkeys when the CEO or rockstar even farts too loud, that way they will be too bussie with their witch hunt to take much notice of games that are just as bad in their own way in other genras that i DO play.

rafaelszpo
rafaelszpo

I guess that's for the best. Enough already of playing the bad guy. It's becoming tiresome!

krazed3kaoz
krazed3kaoz

I lost all respect for this country. Too uptight for my liking.

DLUX85
DLUX85

damnit, this game sounded cool. and to the 1st fool who responded...you got problem with R*? you probably just a little kid whos too young to get GTA, lol

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

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

Chromeo_basic
Chromeo_basic

Whoooa whoa whoa...this game was about drug trafficking and empire building? Geeez...I thought it was a auto-biographical game of the 90's Canadian rapper Snow...I would've rather played that

sushi_111
sushi_111

This game was going to be garbage anyways. It should've never been made to begin with.

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

WOW that game sounded like it would have been pretty neat to play. Maybe if lucky it is not really canceled but going to the 360 instead. Most likey not but would be cool.

EBWCLIF
EBWCLIF

If you don't like Rockstar's games then don't buy them, but don't stop them from making them. They should be free to make any type of game they want. Just look at the porn industry, they do much worse and I barely hear anyone complaining about them anymore. Video games do not cause people to commit crimes. We need less censorship and better parenting.

Ghost_Face
Ghost_Face

I was anticipating this game. Jeesh!

OmegaOrtega
OmegaOrtega

LordBrittish Your comment was a bit racist. Instead of saying "mexicans", why not say "illegal immigrants". It's not that hard, and besides just saying mexicans like that makes you sound ignorant.

Timstuff
Timstuff

While I'm all for free speech, there really comes a point where you've got to say "Okay, that's enough". I mean, a drug dealing simulation? I'd like to think our society is above that.

tyko0n
tyko0n

i was actually looking forward to this game.with gta it's an all out shooter most of the time.this one was different you actually took control or what you do i just hope bully doesn't get cancelled.

LordBrittish
LordBrittish

ha ha death919, that was funny. Honestly, the games that Rockstar makes(excluding the ping pong game) are pretty rank and disgusting. Violence and language and drug use and nudity and all that crap is in there. Children shouldn't play it and parents should regulate what their young children play. Personally, Rated R movies are more rank than M or AO rated games. I mean, hell... They are REAL LIFE CHARACTERS and the special effects make everything that happens look real. I don't understand why political figures have to jump all over video games when they have bigger fish to fry like [sarcasm]gay marriages and mexicans[/sarcasm]

WolfSkill5544
WolfSkill5544

I think companies need to come up with more interesting ideas, instead of just doing the same gameplay over and over, and just changing the name. Enough with money laundry and drugs dealers, give us something more original.

Berserker_2
Berserker_2

This is justice. Hot Coffee was a bad mistake. It is good to see Rockstar clean up their act. I bought Table Tennis and it is a great game.

veracity024
veracity024

sucks. i didnt remember this game tho

SNKrock
SNKrock

I vaguely remember the game, but R* is known for keeping to themselves when developing. I probably would have wanted to play the game seeing as how I havent played a BAD R* game in yrs....

nazart81
nazart81

thats just stupid would anyone censored a pasollini film???

ujazzrule
ujazzrule

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

death919
death919

I'd never heard of it before. What I HAVE heard of though is this really disgusting, sick and twisted game which I personally am offended by. It's in the hands of virtually everyone, even people under the age of 10. That, my friend, is Battleship. I mean, it teaches people, even KIDS, that in order to win you must use violence. I'm really offended by this game, and am probably going to start a club where we try to get the game banned or only available to people above the age of 18. [/end sarcasm] I REALLY don't see a difference with Jack Thompson's logic and the idiot logic that I just used...

OdiumX
OdiumX

If the game had potential it would have come out.