Reports are going around that Mortal Kombat 11 won’t be sold on Steam to Japanese gamers due to the extreme violence and gore featured in the game. According to some reports it extends beyond what’s allowed by the CERO system, and therefore won’t be legally distributed.
There’s an entry for the subid for Mortal Kombat 11 over on the SteamDB page where there’s an information tab indicating that the game will not be sold in Japan due to a regional restriction.
The purchasing restriction is limited only to Japan, and no cross-region gifting will be made available either.
If you check the standard app entry for Mortal Kombat 11 on the SteamDB page, it doesn’t mention anything about Japan being blocked from purchasing the game, but it does mention that pricing for the game in Japan is “not available”.
YouTube outlet Censored Gaming went into detail about the removal and why it likely isn’t being sold in Japan.
They note that since CERO came about back in 2002, setting certain restrictions in place, the newer 3D games within the Mortal Kombat series weren’t officially distributed in the country. They also note that it’s not for a lack of interest given that there’s a healthy community for the game on YouTube where millions of views have been racked up on Japanese channels featuring content from the game.
Now it should be noted that Japan has very different restrictions on mature-themed content in games, even with the CERO Z rating for content aimed at the 18+ crowd. Games released in Japan, for instance, still censor out things like nipples, nudity, and extreme graphic violence and gore. There was even a comparison video on how games like Resident Evil 7 had to be drastically toned down for its release in Japan.
Most assume that instead of going through the painstaking task of censoring all of the Fatalities, X-Ray attacks, and special moves, Warner Bros., just decided to not have NetherRealm make a version for release in Japan.
However, just to be sure, I did reach out to Warner Bros., to ask about the regional restriction in place on Steam, and if they decide to respond the article will be updated with their response.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)