I'm a videogame tester and I work in Germany. Since the very moment I moved here from Madrid I knew what was awaiting me; like every German gamer I import my games from UK to prevent censorship. No big deal since everyone does it and, as it is stated in German legislation, you can import any kind of banned or censored movies/books/stuff If you want as long as it is for your own personal use
Today I came to my office And my company's boss (awesome guy) came and told me that He can't buy "Call of Duty Black Ops" from UK; that he can only get the greatly censored German version. I told him that was the usual thing with Steam and PC games, since steam looks at your IP and all that stuff. My surprise and awe came when he told me that he was talking about the PS3 version... weird.
Later on, while I was making some coffe, my Team Lead came to me and told me that Amazon had cancelled his pre-order of "Black Ops" (A X360 version in this case). Which let little room for doubt.
Later this afternoom, and after my tasks were done, I went to Amazon UK and tried to order the game, as spected, the message "This product can not be sent to the address you have choosen" (Frankfurt) poped up. After a check around the internet I read some coments about Amazon not distributing any PEGI 18 (the European equivalent to "M for Mature") game to Germany. Which happened to be bull****, as expected.
So, a final test was in order:
I surfed around Amazon UK website and made a simulted order composed of the next:
-Madworld for the Wii
-Splatterhouse for PS3 (preorder)
-Modern Warfare 2 for both PS3 and X360
-Gears of war for (obviously) X360
-Call of Duty Black Ops for both PS3 and X360
-Mortal Kombat for X360 (preorder)
-The Saboteur For PS3
So, after putting all that in my shop card and moving on to the "pay" section... guess what!. All of the Items were allowed; a nice collection of hyper-violent games not distributed or censored here WITH TWO EXCEPTIONS; the two version of Black Ops (even the Saboteur, with all his Nazi references, was allowed).
I'm not going to rant about how evil is the German ratting system, since it does not affect me... It's Germany's loss if my taxes go to UK and, any way, I can't Speak nor Read German (Yet).
My protest here comes from the fact that this guy, Mr. Kotick CEO of Activision, is imposing me his own censorship for pure monetary reasons that, ni this case, go beyond what is legal in Europe.
Boby Kotick, the guy that called himself "a lover of games" when aswering to Tim Schaeffer's insults few monthsd ago, the guy that knows that no German gamer with a little brain would EVER buy the censored version of Black Ops. THIS is what he did: he blocked the sales and imports of the European version of the game to Germany, to force us to buy his bad-joke of ripped-off Deutche localised version.
According to European Union laws: "Market is free and unrestricted between countries which are members of the Union. Both in the fields of Government, industry, large-scale marketing and particular/domestic consume". Hell! I came to Germany from Spain and politically I'm not even considered an Inmigrant since I do not require a Visa or a work permit!.
This is the CEO that claims to love games... This is the guy rising with other members of the industry against the California's Bill against Violent videogames by calling it "censorship" and "beyong Absurd". A guy that must believe himself so big and allmighty that he can talk against a trial of censorship in the States and at the same time apply a dictatorial censorship in the form of marketing practice, in violation of EU's Law of Free Market.
Let everyone know, because this time is not a CEO being an ***; but something directly Ilegal.
Mr. Kotick; I'll get a UK version of the game, and When I've done it I'll paste a pic of it in Activion's forums, with a special dedication note to you. Because you know what? Tim Schaefer was right about you; you are a ****.