Tropico 5 Banned in Thailand Because It Could "Affect Peace and Order"

[UPDATE] Kalypso Media says it is "disappointed."

[UPDATE] Kalypso Media, Tropico 5's publisher, has responded to the news, providing a detailed statement to GameSpot today.

"Kalypso Media can confirm that Tropico 5, the latest installment of the hugely popular dictator sim, has been refused distribution in Thailand. The Board of Film and Video Censors (part of the Ministry of Culture) informed Kalypso Media's Thailand distributor New Era that Tropico 5 would not be granted a release status in the country. They stated that 'some contents of the game are not appropriate for the current situation,' but did not pinpoint the exact content which caused concern. After consideration, New Era has decided not to appeal the decision."

"We are disappointed to hear that Tropico 5 will not be released in Thailand," commented Simon Hellwig, Global Managing Director Kalypso Media Group. "Tropico 3 and 4 both enjoyed successful releases in the country and although the Tropico brand does have a realistic political element to it, the scenarios and content are all delivered with a certain trademark tongue in cheek humor."

Stefan Marcinek, Global Managing Director, Kalypso Media Group added, 'Our distributor has been working hard to gain approval for the release, but it seems that the Board of Film and Video Censors deem some of the content too controversial for their consumers. This does sound like it could have come from one of El Presidente's own edicts from the game.'

"Kalypso Media did release a DLC pack titled 'Junta' for Tropico 4 in 2011 which challenges players to turn the island into a militaristic society, something Thailand experienced in May this year when a real-life coups d'état saw the elected government ousted by a military takeover."

The original story is below.

Recently released PC sim game Tropico 5 has been banned in Thailand, as the country's military junta says the game could negatively affect "peace and order" in the nation. Thailand's film and video censorship office has stopped sales of Tropico 5 because it feared "some part of its content might affect peace and order in the country," a spokesperson for distributor New Era Thailand told the Associated Press today.

No further explanation regarding the decision was provided. We have reached out to the game's worldwide publisher, Kalypso Media, for further information about the case. We will update this story with anything we hear back.

In Tropico 5, you play as the leader of a nation and have the ability to create a constitution by which to rule your country. As the Associated Press points out, you can even control the media in the game. Thailand itself has been under a military dictatorship since May, when soldiers overthrew the government.

New Era Thailand marketing manager Nonglak Sahavattanapong said her company previously had licenses to distribute Tropico 3 and Tropico 4. However, "in the fifth installment, the storyline has developed further and there might be some part of it that's not appropriate in the current situation" in Thailand, she said, adding that New Era Thailand does not plan to appeal.

It's not just games being censored in Thailand. According to the Associated Press, Thailand's censorship groups blur out cigarettes and alcohol on TV and "crack down" on scenes that are determined to be "immoral, pornographic, or critical" of the local government.

Tropico 5, developed by Haemimont Games, launched in May for PC and broke franchise sales records. The game is also coming to consoles later on, including Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

eddienoteddy

Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Tropico 5

Tropico 5

Follow
61 comments
blackothh
blackothh

Government on the edge of not being able to suppress their people anymore much?

DaX_Factor
DaX_Factor

This is funny coming from the country that has the #1 rated Sin city of the world

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

This just means it's not sold in stores, right ?

So why not simply buy it online and download it if you live in Thailand and really want that game ?

Problem solved, censorship circumvented.

If that doesn't work either because of IP region locks I'm sure you'll be able to get it one way or the other too.

It's just a game so screw the government hotshots.

aimmy79
aimmy79

please guys....i'm thai. i mean no disrespect. but you shouldn't just foul-mouth what you truely don't understand. political problem in thailand here is very complicated. and as we have different culture, norms, and beliefs, there are things you will never understand as long as you don't look at them from a different angle. ok....but this news...i'm kinda quite disappointed. but you know what? i really don't expect much from the board of censors. they are a bunch of old fools. you know what...they even censored gohan's nipples in the fight scene with cell and his shirt was torn to pieces. they censored bottles of wine in a wine making discovery show.....yeah....something is really messed up.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Who cares what "Thigh Land" thinks?

Zloth2
Zloth2

A government run by a military with all those guns and they are scared of a humorous little video game?

I presume this situation will be reflected in the next DLC/expansion/whatever for Tropico 5.

brxricano
brxricano

"Thailand, I am disappoint."

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

You know a country is messed up when it bans a random PC game. They have much bigger problems to be worrying about.

sensi2fr
sensi2fr

They have quotes and anecdotes from and about past dictators showing up during loading screens, probably from Thailand military junta or former dictators too, so I guess that it is coming only from that.


Now I played Tropico 5 and the campaign is far worse than in previous installments, they make you reuse the same islands over different missions which is a pain as you clutter them with useless buildings in order to fulfill useless and uninteresting mandatory objectives, the UI is IMHO worse too, it is harder to access meaningful statistics, etc.

khankalili
khankalili

It just hit too close to home.


Also: the military there, in my opinion, has been in power way longer than since may. This isn't the first time the military took control. They don't like your politics (maybe threaten to take power away from the military) and a new general is proclaimed president. As long as the royal family isn't threatened then it doesn't even matter.


But that's just my (european) opinion.

ricardo-sene
ricardo-sene

I'm assuming that it's due to the similarities the game has with the communist history of Cuba, but this is just a guess.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Lol, this is quite absurd, but also quite predictable in this mad world we're living in. I guess people will have to turn to the (expansive? I've never been to Thailand) black market if they want this, so no big deal. It's funny that Kalypso says "This does sound like it could have come from one of El Presidente's own edicts from the game", but I suspect that the Thailand government fails to see or appreciate the irony.

bouchart
bouchart

Thailand has a military coup every couple of years.  You can set your watch to it.  Something tells me that Tropico 5 isn't going to make much of a difference in that respect.

Something also tells me that software piracy is big in Thailand too.

gary234
gary234

I guess Thailand has to many skeletons in there closet.

Hekteur
Hekteur

Australia and Germany are banning games all the time and no one bats an eye. Post a news on Thailand banning one game and everyone loses their mind.

burnettaj
burnettaj

Sounds like Thailand is trying to cover up any illegal or violations of their own. Don't want to have anything get out that puts their true intentions in the lime light.

mietha
mietha

Thailand, whose main source of income is child prostitution (literally), is worried about cigarettes and alcohol and scenes that are determined to be "immoral, pornographic, or critical" of the local government?  Really?  Because THOSE are the problems?  Oh, and a video game, obviously...

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

Is Thailand a big enough market that any developer would care?  Certainly not enough to challenge anything.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

I think it's actually a fun educational strategy game... Oh, maybe that's the problem.

Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

What a joke

The only threat for peace are these military junta guys themselves

Tropico is fun and great games

Stupid

frozenuxx
frozenuxx

Oh my, we wouldn't want to increase the high probability of gamers rioting in the streets....

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Hitting a little too close to home, Thailand?

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

That quest about the missing airliner must've done the game in.

wookiegr
wookiegr

How does Tropico negatively affect their child prostitution problem?

Tefo42
Tefo42

@DaX_Factor Know whats funnier? That i tought Las Vegas also had that reputation. 

cmiuccat
cmiuccat

@aimmy79 I live in Thailand too...

It is NOT about culture in the government... its about CORRUPTION... when someone doesn't get his or her "tea money" then they start tattlle-telling on the others... thus they fight... and then they get the others all hyped up on this or that thing such as the rice scheme... and the guy who started it this time, Suthep... was from south where the Muslims who fight daily down there caused the problems..probably muslim motivated and supported.. if this vdo was such a problem... then FB should be censored... but these cry baby politicians use that media and need there dosage of pretty girls so they can find new employees for their brothels... so it is a business for them.  (you and I know this)  Now the country is in such a mess with the military running, that schools are not even to do their budgets, teachers are not getting paid on time(as I personally have experienced, and i've noticed that people are starting to gouge foreigners more than the locals(a big more openly now) example: i took the bus from Bangkok to Korat... a grandmother and child were going to Khon Kaen... their fee was 160 boht(both together)... my fee? 180 baht... because I can speak and listen to thai... i asked... he looked at me and walked off.   SO the cry baby military men... should get out of politics and let the people run it... as Thailand is suppose to be a Democatic Government... where freedom of speech and other things are suppose to be allowed.   :) with that being said... help change these policies... as you are a citizen of the country...

Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

No one even lives in Thailand

Omg seriously can u get any more dumber than that

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@Hurvl they do see it... thats why its not irony its rather aware of it thats why its banned.

Blk_Mage_Ctype
Blk_Mage_Ctype

@Hekteur Maybe because games getting Banned in Australia and Germany is old news that has been going on for decades, yet Thailand isn't exactly known for banning games. (Seriously, the only other article I think I've ever read about Thailand banning a game before was on GTA: San Andreas a decade ago, and I may be confusing Thailand for Singapore here.)

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

@Hekteur 

No one gives a crap about Thailand or Joker's overused lines from The Dark Knight. Most of us are commenting because we're bored.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@mietha Military juntas (I love typing juntas) are generally more concerned with keeping power more than national problems.

Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

Biggest problem is not child prost

Theres so many men there masqerading as ladies aka fake girl no joke

Go to Pataya beach at night and ul see these hobos pranking around trying to seduce u

emperiox
emperiox

@Monsterkillah  I'm pretty sure prostitutes don't play video games...so he kinda has a point.

Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

U realize that theres more than just prostitutes in thailand right?

Theres normal people and theres people there playing game aswell