Citing a plotline that goes "way too far," South Korea's Media Rating Board has rejected approval of Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2, according to American military newspaper Stars and Stripes. This (obviously) forced the game's Korean publisher to abandon its plans for a localization of the squad-based shooter.
While disappointing, it is unsurprising that Ghost Recon 2 would rile South Korean censors. Its near-future storyline is set in the year 2007 on the PlayStation 2 and 2011 on the Xbox, and features commando missions into a conflict-wracked North Korea. Mass warfare on the Korean peninsula is a touchy subject, since North Korea is still technically at war with South Korea. That nation's capital, Seoul, has an estimated 11,000 artillery pieces aimed at it by its northern neighbor, whose Stalinist dictator, Kim Jong Il, has said he could turn the city into a "sea of fire" any time he wanted.
It also won't be much of a shock that Ghost Recon 2 is not popular with the North Korean government either. A preview of the game at this year's E3 prompted one North Korean newspaper to write some choice words: "Through propaganda, entertainment and movies, [Americans] have shown everyone their hatred for us. This may be just a game to them now, but a war will not be a game for them later. In war, they will only face miserable defeat and gruesome deaths."
A representative at Ubisoft defended the game, stating "When we developed the story background, we aimed at staying away from key current or specific events while still having a reasonable setting for a conflict."
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 is currently available for the Xbox--and has been reviewed--and the PS2 version will reach North American retailers December 30. Both will sell for $49.99. PC and GameCube versions are due for release next spring.