Tales of Berseria has been censored for the Western release in order to maintain a 16+ rating (in Europe) and a Teen rating in North America, according to Bandai Namco.
RPG Site spotted the message from Bandai Namco on their official Facebook page where they announced that for the January launch of Tales of Berseria on PC and PS4 in the West, they had to make some concessions, stating…
“The violence depicted in the original Japanese scene in Tales of Berseria would not allow us to keep our current 16 rating. A major change in our rating wouldn’t have allowed to share the game with as many fans as we’d like and it would have prevented us many opportunities to show the game on social networks, websites and even during events. Therefore, instead of deleting the sequence, we decided to rework a portion of the scene to keep its importance in the story. We’ve ensured its impact in the story is the same. Even if the exact actions are different, their consequences are exactly the same”
A lot of people instantly flipped out when the news first broke about the censorship because Bandai originally said they wouldn’t be censoring the game, and everyone was looking forward to the release. In recent times a lot of games have been hit with serious censorship that has caused gamers to lose faith in both the publishers and the media, given that the media has oftentimes sided with those advocating censorship, like with the debacle involving Fire Emblem: Fates.
According to Bandai Namco, they addressed the claims that were made about censorship in a previous interview, claiming…
“You may have read in an interview that we had promised not to censor the game in the West. The statement applied only to the Velvet’s outfit at the time, and we did our best to keep the game as close to the Japanese version as possible.
“This is the only scene which has been altered from the Japanese version of the game. Everything else is exactly the same as the Japanese version including costume designs which you will be able to see for yourself once we release the demo on January 10th.”
The other responses to Bandai’s response was from people asking why they didn’t inform the community about this change beforehand?
I think the lack of communication or the hope that gamers wouldn’t spot the differences is kind of silly given that gamers are known to have a keen sense of paying attention to detail… especially a game that they’re going to be combing for any instances of censorship following claims from the publisher that the game wouldn’t be censored.
A lot of faith was lost in Bandai Namco over the move, but the company promises that that was the only scene modified and that the rest of the game will stay intact.
Tales of Berseria is due out in North America for the PS4 and PC on January 24th , on PC on January 26th, and in Europe on January 27th.