Wow, we're used to writing such headlines for Australia, but it isn't often that Japan is forced to play the "AO" card.
Not only has the United Front title received the AO – Adults Only – rating in the Land of the Rising Sun, the game has also been cut and altered. According to CVG , the Japanese rating board had a big problem with civilian casualties.
Therefore, the game now features a penalty for attacking civilians "during certain missions." They've also removed a "less gratuitous sex scene" and a character who signals the start of a street race (apparently so players don't run him over). So now we'll be interested to see how other ratings boards, including the ESRB, handle the potentially harmful/offensive content in Sleeping Dogs . This is starting to remind me a little of the Manhunt controversy…
Sleeping Dogs currently holds an August 15 release date. And Square Enix really doesn't want it to have the AO rating here; it means major retailers won't even stock it, and in stores that do have it, you'd have to ask for it by name, as the product is kept behind the counter. Kinda like what we did with that Playboy game when I was workin' at EB.
Related Game(s): Sleeping Dogs