Crunchyroll issued an official statement about the interactive touching feature that was removed from the English release of the mobile game DanMachi Memoria Freese, stating that it was never intended for Americans to have access to the feature and that there was “miscommunication” in allowing Americans to see the feature in the promotional content.
The game released on March 30th, 2018 for mobile devices but the English release had a touching and patting feature removed from the game. This featured was part of Crunchyroll’s advertisement for the game for several months, dating back to November 7th, 2017. After Western gamers confronted Crunchyroll about the missing featured, the company stated that it wasn’t censorship and simply that it was a feature removed for Western audiences. The company claimed that if you wanted to play the feature you would have to acquire the Japanese version, even if you don’t speak Japanese.
Gamers took the issue to the Federal Trade Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority, stating that Crunchyroll had participated in false advertisement, especially by promoting the feature in the trailer for four months, only for the feature to be removed. To remove the incriminating evidence from the net, Crunchyroll decided to delete the trailer from their YouTube channel and then followed it up with an official statement on the matter.
Crunchyroll’s statement was given to Anime News Network, where they wrote…
“[…] We apologize if there was any miscommunication around game features for the U.S. version of Memoria Freese — addressing the specific issue at hand, there was an interactive “communication mode” that was inadvertently included in some of our early promotional content. However, that feature was never intended to be released in the U.S. version of the game. It was not our intent to miscommunicate to any of our players. “
“Memoria Freese is a free-to-play mobile game for iOS and Android devices, and as part of the download process, users agree to a terms of service that acknowledges that we may update or make changes to both the Game or user accounts at any time without notification. Our Crunchyroll community is strong and passionate, and while we actively listen to their valuable feedback, we also must reserve the right to modify game features at any time. We plan to continue updating Memoria Freese and are working closely with partners to enhance this popular Japanese game for the U.S. market. While there are many similarities between the Japanese and U.S. releases, the markets and distribution partners are very different, so not all Japanese features are part of the U.S. Release.”
YouTuber Scratch Point has been keeping up with the controversy and informing the YouTube community about the situation as it unfolds.
Crunchyroll, meanwhile, has been constantly backtracking and making excuses and lying to fans, especially when they initially told fans that the Western release of DanMachi Memoria Freese would release uncensored in the West.
Promoting a feature in a game for four months and claiming that the game wasn’t censored, only to censor the feature and claim that the promotion of that feature was as an inadvertent miscommunication has truly angered many fans. This does fit within the confines of false advertisement, especially since they were asked on multiple occasions about the content in the game and lied to fans saying that there was no censorship.
Many gamers who have become aware of this have taken the issue to the FTC, where complaints can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission’s user complaint form.
Those in the U.K., can use the Advertising Standards Authority complaint form.
And those in Canada can use the Advertising Standards Canada complaint form.