The Evil Within Censored for Japan, But You Can See All the Gore With DLC

By preordering in Japan, you can add the gore back in that would have caused the game to get a more restrictive rating.

For its release in Japan, aspects of The Evil Within have been censored by its publisher in an effort to earn a more acceptable rating from the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization, the country's ESRB equivalent. That doesn't mean Japanese gamers will be left without any way of seeing the game be as gorey its designers intended, thanks to a DLC pack that will be made available to fans who preorder.

Speaking with Famitsu (as translated by Siliconera), ZeniMax Asia general manager Tetsu Takahashi explained that the changes were made in order to avoid a rating that would have restricted its ability to market the horror game. "If we were to make it the same way as the foreign version, it'd be rated CERO Z and we felt that it'd be best to release it the way the creators make it. However, that would limit the sales and advertising, so we'd lose the opportunity to reach out to as many customers possible," he said.

You probably get what I mean by "gore."

The CERO Z rating is for people ages 18 and up only--effectively the equivalent of the ESRB's Adults Only rating, which is rarely used. The alternative was for publisher Bethesda Softworks (a subsidiary of ZeniMax) to shoot for a CERO D rating, which is recommended for those ages 17 and up--basically an ESRB Mature rating.

And that's exactly what Bethesda has opted to do, though it still plans to offer that CERO Z experience to some. The regular version being released at retail in a censored form will carry a CERO D rating, but those who preorder will receive access to a "Gore mode DLC." This won't be included on the disc itself, but will allow gamers to download content that gives Japanese gamers the uncensored experience that would have warranted a CERO Z ratign.

Takahashi says that modifying the game to earn a CERO D rating "won't have an effect on the game itself." Combined with what he describes as "a vast amount of preorders," this route seemed like a natural option for the company.

It's unclear at this point as to whether this DLC will also be made available to those who don't preorder and, if so, how much it will cost. If the DLC does end up being sold for money, it wouldn't be the first time that mature content was made available as DLC. New copies of The Saboteur famously came with a code enabling nudity; secondhand buyers wanting the same had to buy the DLC on its own.

The Evil Within was delayed earlier this year; it's now scheduled for release in October. We recently took a look at some of the elements of it that resemble other horror games.

Fortunately for those of us outside of Japan, we don't need to worry about The Evil Within being censored, but it does raise the question: Would you preorder a game or pay for DLC in order to get all of the mature content the designers intended? Let us know where you stand in the comments below.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX

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Discussion

89 comments
ratchet200
ratchet200

It's funny the kinds of things that get censored in different countries. In Japan, blood and gore gets censored from this game, but in the west, they'll censor the amount of skin shown, or an outfit that's to revealing.

daviz88
daviz88

really ? though Japanese like those kind of things

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Sounds like a costly censorship to me.

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

this is typical for japan !Believe it or not they even locked away the PC version of Metal Gear Rising in japan xD

M3o5nster
M3o5nster

This is what happens when the money people are making the decisions... It's all marketing.

"Our game has so much gore, we had to censor it! Preorder to find out why!"

Xristophoros
Xristophoros

ummm... ok then. if this story is in fact true, why aren't they giving the DLC to EVERYONE for free? if this is the version of the game they intended to create from the beginning, then they should happily just give out. to all that want it. also, why is the DLC alleviated from the harder rating to begin with? doesn't the rating board monitor the content, DLC or not? this is baffling. i think it is a way to boost pre-orders, a sign that the game is in a bad state and not meeting expectations.  

BuBsay
BuBsay

Bethesda's been making more and more awful decisions in regards to game releases, it'd be sad if they (most likely due to Zenimax honestly) turned into another Ubisoft.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

This is a disgustingly sleazy move.  You don't get the whole game unless you preorder?  What absolute garbage.


Tell me, what is the difference between this an an option to disable/enable gore?

Darkreaper_1
Darkreaper_1

I bet EA are scribbling down this idea, especially with a series like Dead Space in their pockets.


The whole idea is a crock.  If they were seriously that bothered about the rating in Japan then they should of made a less gory game from the start.  If you set out to make a horror game with plenty of gore, blood, guts, etc then you should expect it to get a high rating from the ESRB (or your country's equivalent).


This is just a very greedy under-handed way of forcing people who want to the play the game as intended to pre-order it.  If they were pulling this stunt in the UK, I wouldn't buy the game at all.

samus_my_life
samus_my_life

what about hentai jap ?! does gore make you scared ?! unlike sex .... puff so disappointing  

dani3po
dani3po

If the developers replace the gore by some panty shots of underage girls, they won´t have any problem with the rating in Japan.

exedeath
exedeath

This is an awesome idea. Now the people have the choice to play with or without the censoring. They didn't just remove the gore and say sucks to be you. If they would have done that with that mon piece game for the vita over here, then I would have bought it. At least they are giving the players a choice to have it censored, and that is more than what we get over here in the US

blackothh
blackothh

I seem to remember some company getting in trouble for doing something like this in the past.

qtmew
qtmew

They will pay for that :'(?

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

Oh god, don't give publishers this idea. Some of them will start doing it just to get the pre-orders.

unreal849
unreal849

Clearly, the ratings system is being used exactly as intended.

KillzoneSnake
KillzoneSnake

Cant wait for the new RE4. Shinji dev legend!

AzureBonds76
AzureBonds76

I heard all the gamers in Japan get a free copy of Urotsukidōji with every pre-order of The Evil Within to make up for the lack of gore.

superbuuman
superbuuman

so only of concern if you are in Japan then.. :P

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Haha that is actually quite clever. As long as they don't hike the price for none pre-ordering people that is.

They get the game into more people's hands and people with Xbox or PSN accounts above 18 get to see the gore anyway without mentally scarring some of the younger people.

frozenuxx
frozenuxx

Lol Come on Japan, looking at your history of violent animes and mangas, this should just be a breeze.

Keitha313
Keitha313

I thought the Japanese loved gore.

xbr85
xbr85

Shameless...

danielclfff13
danielclfff13

I can't say I agree with all this censored thing. It just matter perspective to be honest. 


Compare to Indonesia censorship (my own country), this like nothing. Have you guys ever watched Spongebob? I think most of us have. In Indonesia some of Spongebob scene got censored. Can you believe it? Spongebob, a cartoon that rated for all age (I think) got censored in my country. I have watched Spongebob for years, but two years ago Indonesian censorship start all kind of censored thing. Not just Spongebob, Avatar The Legend of Aang and the next Avatar The Legend of Korra you name it. Almost every cartoon that rated for all age got censored in Indonesia, except cartoon that fully childish or for education, they don't get censored. Now I can't enjoy watching cartoon, even Anime vanished from Indonesian TV. So if I want to watch cartoon or Anime, I have to find it on the internet. If I watch it from TV, like totally not worth it.

I'm pretty sure if this game ever legally announce in Indonesia, it will completely restricted.

Fastphase1
Fastphase1

Resident Evil 4 did not have decapitations in Japan because of this same reason. Dismemberment means automatic Z-rating there. And Z restricts the game into "not on shelves" and you have to ask it. Same with the AO rating from ESRB. Us Europeans are luckier: PEGI 18+ is only enforced to "no sell without parent's premission".

PS4andXoneGamer
PS4andXoneGamer

This is one of the most ridiculous pre-order incentives I have ever seen. The gaming industry is losing its way

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Remember those times when you had to import the Japanese version in order to get the uncut one? things change a lot...

Bellum_Sacrum
Bellum_Sacrum

Oh great, now another dumb excuse to get people to pre-order games.

Mariofan15
Mariofan15

Lol,really? Japan has no problems with sex but gore is to much? It's just like America. Gore is allright to have but sex or anything related to sex is a big no no.

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@exedeath Let's be honest about it. It's not like it's some noble gesture; it's about money. They're worried they'll sell less if they get hit with a restrictive age rating and this is their get out. Doesn't hurt them that it might bump up the pre orders at the same time. It's the same as Hollywood trying to get more bums on seats in the cinema by cutting a film down for the rating and then putting out an unrated or 'too hot/gory for the cinema' dvd and blu ray version later.

NiteX
NiteX

@exedeath The idea of removing gore from a game like this and making it DLC is fairly insulting to the gamer.  I've seen many Capcom games with a toggle for blood in the options menu.  To not do the same for this game is simply a slap to the face.  At least this is only in Japan though, those poor bastards.

TenraiSenshi
TenraiSenshi

@frozenuxx It's just done in the efforts of complying with their country's version of the ESBR rating system, in order to get the game's rating a bit lower (in the interests of selling to more people).

It doesn't mean they don't accept gore, it just means more gore = higher age rating and thus less potential sales (assuming people actually enforce those rating systems). Still, I question how much of a difference getting it down from 18+ to 17+ would really make in sales.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Bellum_Sacrum Japanese Cero and government regulation regarding the Z rating are no "dumb excuse"

Keitha313
Keitha313

@Mariofan15 Well real sex they do have a problem with but when it comes to the messed up... anime sort of thing ummm yeah.... They seem to not mind that.

danielclfff13
danielclfff13

@Mariofan15 In Indonesia both are no. Gore, sex, violence, everything that are way too offensive gonna be censored or even restricted. 

LilithN
LilithN

@Carpetfluff Its kind of paradox, this thing, "we take out the gore from our HORROR game", yeah because mind-terror and fucked-up scariness is totally ok for a child, but gore, oh no...

ztype85
ztype85

@Carpetfluff Ask yourself how many AO rated games do you see at Gamestop or Bestbuy. The answer is none at all. It works the same way as CERO's Z rating in that you might as well not even sell the game because it will be non-existent at retail.

Bellum_Sacrum
Bellum_Sacrum

@Stebsis @Mariofan15 Have you seen Japanese TV with overly descriptive sexual innuendos all over the place?

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@sephsplace Well, first of all: They still have not talked about if they are making it available for everyone else at some point or not.

Second: Z rating implies restriction in advertising and places where the game can be sold. That directly impacts in the potential sales. As it states in the article. so thinking this is just an excuse is quite out of place. If that DLC were to be available to everyone, that would mean that technically the games makes that gore available to all. This limitation allow then to say that "the game is Rated D, since this level of gore is not included on the disc itself" the DLC would be the one with a Z rating and that is ok, since it would be digital only.

Are they using this so it serves marketing purposes? yes. But if this were just an excuse they would provably do the same for US and Europe (Like saboteur did)