Nintendo will dramatically transform Wii's image with the release of ultra violent video game MadWorld which, revolves around the themes of brutality and exhilaration, according to its creators.
Players in the hack and slash game, which is due for a UK release in early 2009, can impale enemies on road signs, rip out hearts and execute them with weapons including chainsaws and daggers.
The decision to release a violent game on a console which has supposedly based its reputation on family fun has shocked anti-violence pressure groups.
The game has not yet been given an age rating.
Mediawatch-UK said MadWorld will 'spoil' the Wii. John Beyer: This game sounds very unsavoury. I hope the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will view this with concern and decide it should not be granted a classification. Without
that it cannot be marketed in Britain. What the rest of world does is up to them. We need to ensure that modern and civilized values take priority rather than killing and maiming people.
It seems a shame that the game's manufacturer have decided to exclusively release this game on the Wii. I believe it will spoil the family fun image of the Wii.
SEGA has revealed that it is working closely with the BBFC and PEGI to make sure their up and coming Madworld game is actually acceptable for release.
Speaking about MadWorld and their relationship with the the UK’s BBFC and the EU PEGI, SEGA marketing guru David Corless said: Yes, it’s violent. We don’t try to hide that, but as publishers, we see it as a fantasy game -
it’s fantasy violence. It’s over the top. It’s cartoony. We also take the violence very seriously. We are working with the age rating boards, with PEGI and with BBFC. We’re not at the end of the game’s development,
but we’re working with them now to make sure that we don’t go over the top. The game has been banned in Germany; there’s no getting around that unfortunately. But we are taking it seriously and we’re going to make sure
that this game is rated for the appropriate audience.
PlatinumGames' MadWorld , the action-adventure Wii game, is so violent that publisher Sega isn't optimistic about getting the game released in Japan.
Sega doesn't even plan to show the game at next week's Tokyo Game Show, according to MTV Multiplayer. In fact, any Japanese release will be evaluated after MadWorld is released here.
The plan is undoubtedly in response to a recent spate of Japanese bannings for violence, the most recent being EA Redwood Shores' Dead Space . But the other usual suspects in censorship cases--Germany and Australia--are being treated the
same way. [The German and Australian] markets could see MadWorld, but it's not part of Sega's strategy right now, reads MTV's report.
Contrary to recent reports, Sega has confirmed it will try to release the controversial Madworld in Australia next year, a Wii game with over-the-top violence and murderous moves.
In Madworld, players control a character called Jack caught up in a murderous game created by terrorists. To survive, players must master the use of weapons and items, perform brutal finishing moves delivered by the Wii Remote and Nunchuk
controller, and compete in ultra violent mini-games designed to push you over the edge.
Sega say they hope the game will become an instant classic on the Wii thanks to its highly stylised black and white graphics and irreverent humour and over-the-top violence which delivers a visceral gaming experience.
A Sega spokesperson said today that in response to recent reports regarding the Australian release of Madworld, Sega Australia would like to clarify that we are currently planning on releasing Madworld to the Australian market.
But Sega is likely to face difficulty in getting the game approved for release in Australia by the Classification Board. If the game is deemed unsuitable for an MA15+ rating it will be banned due to the ongoing absence of an R18+ rating for games
in this country.
Mediawatch-UK's autumn newsletter has just been published on the website.
Mostly predictable stuff but it does have an interesting summary of feedback in response to Mediawatch-UK comments about banning the up 'n' coming MadWorld game:
John Beyer, director of mediawatch-uk, said: This game sounds very unsavoury. I hope the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) will view this with concern and decide it should not be granted a classification.
Without that it cannot be marketed in Britain.
We need to ensure that modern and civilized values take priority rather than killing and maiming people. It seems a shame that the game's manufacturer has decided to release this game exclusively on the Wii. I believe it will spoil the 'fun
for all the family' image of the Wii."
Within hours of these remarks being published a rain of hostile emails from gamers poured into our office telling us to "shut the f*** up", suggesting that we have "got our knickers in a twist", demanding, as though we were on
trial for an heinous crime, to know what right we had to impose our "narrow minded bigotry" on them and stopping them playing an "adult" game of their choice.
Others, of a more sober character, asked reasonably why we should be so concerned about games when there was so much violence in films and on television! We were also accused us of being "cowards" for not responding properly to
belligerent strictures and one ‘emailer' observed glibly that "violent acts are not a symptom of video games and films, but rather the human condition". Another said: "If you don't like violent content, don't view or use it".
Others thanked us cynically for drawing attention to the game saying they would rush out and buy it as soon as it was available. Yet others told us to focus on retailers and said that parents should safeguard their children from "adult"
Feature articles, grossly exaggerating the significance of our comments, were written in computer game magazines exonerating the multimillion pound games industry and headlines were achieved on Google News UK and dismissive remarks made in The
Guardian newspaper. It is comforting to know that the BBFC, too, received "abusive and incoherent" protests from gamers who disagreed with their decision to reject the game Manhunt II - a decision that was subsequently overturned on
Just a day after the game was given an 18 rating by the BBFC, Sega has revealed that MadWorld has also received a rating in Australia. Surprisingly, it appears as if the violent Wii title was given a MA 15+ rating by the Australian
Classification Board without any cuts made to the content.
Because the highest rating the OFLC has is MA 15+, a number of high profile mature titles have been recently banned and only reinstated after edits. However, in spite of what the BBFC describes as very strong, stylized, bloody violence, Mad World was given a pass.