South Park: The Stick of Truth is one of our most anticipated games of the year, but it’s come in for a bit of pre-release..erm, stick..for censoring a few scenes in EU regions. An Associate Producer working on the game has taken to Reddit to explain the situation, and reveals that the content is removed from the disc in its entirety to avoid a “‘Hot Coffee’ situation”.
The scenes affected by censorship are:
-A mini-game in which the doctor is performing an abortion on the player.
-A mini-game in which the player is performing an abortion on the character Randy.
-Five anal probing scenes involving someone actively being probed. The scenes play out as normal before and after the active probing sequences.
I’m the Associate Producer on the game for Ubisoft. We did make a separate version just for Germany/Austria. There’s actually 5 versions: North/South America, Europe, Germany, Australia, and Russia. Only the North/South American one is completely uncensored on every platform. The Australian one is censored on all platforms, the European and Russian ones are censored on console only, and the German one is censored on console for anal probing etc as shown in this screenshot, and censored on both console and PC for swastikas, Heil Hitler arm salutes, etc.
Australia just can’t catch a break, huh?
The screenshot he references is the title card players see instead of the censored scenes, which is currently doing the rounds on Reddit. Here it is:
In response to other user questions, Walgiz goes on to explain that the scenes are completely removed, including all audio, from the disc to avoid a ‘Hot Coffee’ situation.
“To avoid a “Hot Coffee” type situation, the 20-second-or-so gameplay/cutscene is removed completely from the disc and replaced with the screen you see at the link (times 6 more 20-second scenes)”
‘Hot Coffee’ is a reference to the famous minigame controversy that saw GTA San Andreas copies pulled from the shelves because a sex scene was still hidden on the disc, albeit it disabled by Rockstar. Here’s a screenshot of that for good measure (any excuse):
He also reminds one disgruntled fan on Reddit that Ubisoft tried twice to get the game released in its uncensored entirety in Australia before finally having to bow to the censor board’s commands.
“We tried twice, got “Refused Classification”, which means we couldn’t sell in AU”
So it’s not really Ubisoft’s fault. As for the reason why it’s only censored on consoles in the EU and the PC version is untouched – he rolls out the same line we’ve already heard before: “The reasoning we’ve stated publicly is “It was a marketing decision.””
It would be interesting to hear exactly ‘what’ that marketing decision is, and why the PC version is unaffected.
We’re still psyched for South Park: Stick of Truth, but it’s a shame we can’t play it on our consoles the way it was intended by the ingeniously offensive Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The game releases for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on March 4th, 5th, and 6th in NA, AUS, and EU territories respectively.