Kim Jong-il axed from Homefront in Japan
Publisher removes North Korean leader's face and amends all mentions of North Korea in Japanese version of THQ's upcoming shooter.
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Given THQ's upcoming military shooter Homefront is set amidst a fictional North Korean invasion of the United States, current North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was bound to make an appearance.
Also referred to as the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, Kim Jong-il features prominently in Homefront trailers, screenshots, and gameplay videos, hinting that the incumbent leader will play some part in the game's story. However, it appears his role in the game is not in accordance with guidelines laid down by Japan's video game ratings board, the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO). According to Japanese gaming news site Andria Sang, CERO's guidelines regarding the portrayal of existing people and countries has pushed publisher Spike (which is publishing and distributing Homefront in Japan) to make certain changes to the Japanese version of the game ahead of its release.
As announced on the official Japanese Homefront page, Spike has made three changes to the game: It has removed the image of Kim Jong-il from Homefront's opening movie sequence. It has changed all instances "deemed malicious to an existing person" (that is, Kim Jong-il) to be referred to as "Northern Leader." And it has changed all instances "deemed malicious to an existing country" (that is, North Korea) to be referred to as "A Certain Country to the North."
According to Andria Sang, Spike says that outside these three changes, The Japanese version of Homefront is identical to copies that will be sold in other territories.
Last week, THQ pushed back Homefront's North American release to March 15, 2011.