[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|
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