South Korean game company Pati Games Corp recently updated their vertical shooter Dragon Heroes, adding a bunch of new features and fixes to the game while also removing cleavage, exposed thighs, and bare midriffs from the female costumes.
Originally the developers made a post on Facebook back on May 12th, which contains a lengthy changelog of lots of new tweaks, balances and content being pumped into Dragon Heroes. They also revealed that in addition to adding some new limited edition costumes for the characters in the vertical arcade shooting game, following the May 19th update, many of the female character costumes had to undergo changes and alterations to comply with Google and Apple’s standards on how females should be dressed in a game, and that the characters should maintain appropriateness in terms of virtual clothing attire.
The Facebook post states…
“Dragon Heroes have decided to change some of the characters’ images to follow Google and Apple app market policies. Costume images of some characters will be changed as well. The changes will be applied from 5/19 (GMT+9) and Costumes already purchased BEFORE 5/19 (GMT+9) will keep the original designs. However, original character images will be changed on 5/19 without exception.”
They list off 20 different costumes that had to be altered for the various in-game characters in order to ensure that the artwork complied with the rules of the Google Play and iTunes app stores for Western gamers. You can see an example of the change with the image below that was used in the Censored Gaming video.
The change includes covering up the cleavage a bit more than the original, along with putting the females on items to cover their bellybuttons and midriff. The exposure of the female thighs also had to go away. The stockings were pulled up higher and turned into armor.
Some of the female gamers were fine with the change, commenting on the post with the following messages.
A couple of the users calmly noted that they did indeed enjoy the fan-service.
You can get an idea of what the actual game is like with the launch trailer below.
Gamers have been told by pundits like Jim Sterling and Anita Sarkeesian that the whole point of attacking the game industry wasn’t to take away games or “take away the boobs”; but in this particular case that’s exactly what the results are.
The censorship is being handed down directly from the app stores, forcing developers to comply or have their games removed.
Apple enacted a similar policy last year when they had the Confederate flag banned from appearing in games; games that did not remove the flag were removed from the app store, as reported by Apple Insider. They also had various game makers remove the depiction of firearms from their marketing photos, even if the games themselves centered around shooting firearms. Now, it appears as if female clothing attire is being targeted by the app distributing giants.
Earlier this year the United Nations put a lot of pressure on Japan to comply with revisiting how females are depicted in anime, manga and video games. So far, Japan has said that they will not be wasting time trying to censor games and anime given that they’ve stated that these characters are “fictional” and not “real women”, as reported by Niche Gamer. What’s more is that the United Nations have not given up on getting Japan to ban or censor games and media that they feel depicts females in problematic ways.
Nevertheless, it appears as if some developers who won’t self-censor or choose to start changing how women are depicted in their games, will be forced to censor and change their depictions of females by the app stores and distributors.
In the case of Dragon Heroes, all future costumes released for the game after the May 19th update will be censored to comply with the rules of Google Play and the iTunes app store.