European publisher PQube confirmed recently that Omega Labyrinth Z will not release in the U.K., or Ireland. It will not release physically or digitally in either territory.
According to Rice Digital, Omega Labyrinth Z was denied a rating by the U.K.’s VSC Rating Board. Meaning that the game won’t be released in the U.K., Germany or Australia, as confirmed by publisher PQube.
#OmegaLabyrinthZ news – the game has been rated PEGI 18 in Europe. The game is still coming out worldwide, with the exception of the UK, Germany and Australia.
No boobs have been harmed in the rating of this game. https://t.co/xt0anUE9hi
— PQube (@PQubeGames) March 12, 2018
And no, you will not be able to download the game digitally from the PlayStation Network in order to bypass the lack of a physical release in the U.K. PQube confirmed in a tweet that there would be no digital release in the U.K.
No physical no digital and no Ireland either!
— PQube (@PQubeGames) March 13, 2018
PQube confirming that the game won’t release digitally left some gamers confused because the VSC’s denial of a rating only extends to the physical release of the game. The website ruled that they would not issue a rating for Omega Labyrinth Z, so it could not receive a physical release in the U.K.
According to the VSC Rating Board, the decision was reached based on the content depicted in Omega Labyrinth Z, specifically relating to underage school girls. The VSC explained in their ruling that the game’s sexual depictions may attract younger gamers and sexually influence them…
“The game is explicit in its setting within a “school” environment and the majority of the characters are young girls – one child is referred to as being a “first year” student and is seen holding a teddy bear. The game clearly promotes the sexualisation of children via the sexual interaction between the game player and the female characters. The style of the game is such that it will attract an audience below the age of 18.
“There is a serious danger that impressionable people, i.e. children and young people viewing the game would conclude that the sexual activity represented normal sexual behaviour. There is a constant theme of sexual innuendo and activity throughout the game that suggests behaviour likely to normalise sexual activity towards children. As a means of reward gained by successfully navigating the game, the player has the means to sexually stimulate the female characters by using either a hand held remote device or touch screen software.”
As pointed out by Rice Digital, Omega Labyrinth Z did manage to receive an 18+ rating from PEGI, so it can still be sold in Europe, just not in the U.K., or Ireland.
Censored Gaming reported that video game bans in the U.K., are a rare occurrence, and the last major game ban occurred a decade ago with Manhunt 2.
However, in recent years there has been a concerted effort by the media to paint sexualization in gaming as a cardinal sin, so much so that some countries like France and the U.K., considered adding special “sexism” labels to video games.
The media has maintained a nonstop attack on the gaming industry, stating that sexism in video games can cause gamers to become sexist in real life, even though they also claim violence in video games won’t cause you to become violent in real life.
Since 2014 and the whole “sexism in gaming” topic has gained mainstream attention, there has been an increase in censorship for various games themed around fan-service. Some companies like Koei Tecmo simply opted not to release titles like Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 outside of Asia, while companies like PQube, NIS and Marvelous have had to deal with a barrage of bans on games like Valkyrie Drive Bhikkuni and Criminal Girls 2. And now Omega Labyrinth Z has been added to the list.
If you don’t live in Australia, Germany, the U.K., or Ireland, you can look to pick up a copy of Omega Labyrinth Z on PS4 and PS Vita this spring.