Back at the end of October Aksys Games and Experience Inc., released Death Mark for the Nintendo Switch and PS4. The ‘M’ for Mature-rated mystery-horror game had previously released in japan with a CERO D rating, which meant it was for those 17 years of age and older. Following its release in North America, however, Aksys and Experience apparently had to censor the game via a day-one patch for the retail version of the game.
Censored Gaming did a video on the change back in October, explaining how one scene in particular within Chapter 6 was altered via the patch.
As described in the video, in the original scene there’s a woman with a speculum holding her mouth open so that her tongue – complete with dripping saliva – is hanging out. Eventually a spider is dropped into her mouth. In the North American version this is altered where the image of her mouth being held open by the speculum is completely blacked out.
The fully uncensored version of the scene was captured on video thanks to YouTuber justonegmr, which you can view below at the 30:53 mark.
Justonegamr further explained why the scene is still in the video even though it was censored via a patch, writing in the comments…
“Just wanted to make a quick note in regards to the scene at 30:49. This scene actually got censored via a patch when the game launched. So if you were to play this game right now, chances are you would get this scene with a dark shadow over it. I was able to show the scene uncensored through a retail copy of the game that didn’t have the patch applied to it. So if you really want to have a version of the game that is uncensored, get a retail copy. As far as I know, this scene is the only one that got this treatment.”
This is true.
Aksys and Experience had to censor the game via a day-one patch after the ESRB was made aware of the scene. Gamepitt explained the situation in their review, writing…
“The image was a red flag for the ESRB rating, so they chose to remove the image but keep all sounds and narrative in-tact. This allowed Death Mark to receive a pass. As the NA and EU code is the same, the change appears in all formats.”
Aksys also issued a statement on the matter, explaining that the ESRB found the image “offensive” and so in order to retain the ‘M’ for Mature rating and not get hit with the death knell that is the AO+ rating, they complied and removed the image, stating on November 1st, 2018…
“Aksys Games was founded on the mission to publish unique, high quality content that might otherwise not be available to Western audiences. We have a long tradition of faithfully localizing games from around the world intact, without removal or alteration of the contents.
“In the case of Death Mark, the image in question was flagged as being possibly disturbing and/or offensive. Due to that, we respected and complied with the request we received and made the decision to modify the individual image accordingly for the releases in North America and Europe. We hope our explanation is understandable and that everyone will continue to enjoy the game.”
This is one of the rare times where the censorship wasn’t being applied due to Sony’s new censorship policies, since it affected both the Nintendo Switch and the PS4 version of the game.
Take note that if you do decide to purchase Death Mark the better option is to go with the retail version of the North American or European release, since they don’t have the censorship patch automatically applied. So you’ll be able to play the game in all its uncensored, natural glory.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)