Danganronpa V3 has been refused a rating and rejected by the Game Rating and Administration Committee in South Korea on the grounds of being a harmful and disruptive game for Korean society. Not only that, the committee believes it is a game that will be both harmful to kids and adults alike.
A quick two minute video from Censored Gaming sums up the event rather succinctly, giving gamers an overview of why the title was rejected in South Korea.
If you didn’t watch the video, there is strong suspicion that the rejection for Danganronpa V3’s rating is due to the recent murder and dismemberment of an eight-year-old girl in Incheon, South Korea.
Back in March of 2017, two teenager girls, aged 17 and 19, worked together to kill and dismember an eight-year-old neighbor. According to the Korea Herald, the police ended up picking up the second suspect in the crime after they discovered that the 19-year-old was carrying parts of the eight-year-old in a paper bag and had left some of the pieces about Seoul.
The 19-year-old mistakenly left some of the eight-year-old’s body parts at the train station, as well as other parts on the rooftop where the crime was committed. The 19-year-old allegedly had some of the pieces of the body in plastic bags, and gave some of them to a friend while they traveled around Seoul, spending a few hours eating snacks.
According to GameMeca, a member of the Administration Committee was asked if the rating rejection of Danganronpa V3 was in part due to the Incheon murder case, and while the Committee stated that it wasn’t the whole reason for the rejection, it did play some part and that a game like Danganronpa V3 in light of the Incheon case could be harmful to both kids and adults…
“Danganronpa V3 is a violation of Article 32 (2) (3) of the Game Act (excessive expression of crime, violence, lewdness, etc.,) and there is a fear that the social order might be disturbed by over-depicting crime [and] violence, [so] I decided to reject it.” […] “copycat crimes such as [the] Incheon Girls’ Murder Case [happened] recently, and there were many opinions that it is harmful to adults [as well as] adolescents.”
The comment section on GameMeca is filled with plenty of flippant responses from Korean gamers, but toward the bottom there are more serious responses from gamers who feel as if gamers should simply be allowed to game without interference from busybodies. They also don’t like that real life events are affecting bans for a fictional game like Danganronpa V3.
According to the Game Rating and Administration index, they previously allowed five Danganronpa games to be released in South Korea between 2014 and 2017, not including this newest game.
According to PCGamesN, games that don’t have ratings can’t be sold in retail shops in South Korea, thus effectively banning them. Digital distribution is a bit more of a gray area. GameMeca contacted Sony, and SIE’s publishing arm in Korea told them that they are currently investigating ways to respond.
Since the entirety of Danganronpa revolves around school kids wrapped up in a game show about murdering one of their classmates and then going on trial for it, it’s a bit tough to just censor one aspect or one part, since the whole game is about adolescent murder. Even though the previous games were released in South Korea, the ratings board is now saying that the game crossed a line that they couldn’t allow in their society.
There doesn’t appear to be an easy way around this situation. It’s also far worse than the Australian Classification Board recently adding new consumer notices to game ratings about how content is depicted in a game, such as informing consumers that in Blue Reflection there is “Nudity related to incentives and rewards”, landing it an R18+ rating for nudity, sex and themes.
Blue Reflection has also been given a “Nudity related to incentives and rewards” rating. It looks like this new label may be pretty common pic.twitter.com/LTqXZNzqXX
— Censored Gaming (@CensoredGaming_) July 29, 2017
At least the game managed to land a rating, unlike Danganronpa V3.
Nevertheless, if you live in North America you can look for the game to launch for PS4 on September 26th, and if you live in Europe you can look for the game to launch on September 29th. If you live in South Korea, you’re screwed.