New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle East

October 20, 2010 -

Media firm Rubicon Group Holding has partnered with Modern Electronics Co. Ltd., the sole distributor of Sony products in Saudi Arabia, in order to localize content appearing on various Sony platforms for Middle East users.

United Arab Emirates publication The National (thanks The Escapist) details the plans, which will include dubbing "certain games” into Arabic, adding Arabian characters and eliminating scenes that could run afoul of censors. Rubicon Executive Director Ghassan Ayoubi explained, “Those games that are extra-violent, or have sensitive issues for the region, will be edited for content.”

Ayoubi appeared wary of the “C” word, but used it anyway, stating, "It's not censoring … it's tailoring or customising it for the market.”

Rubicon will begin by altering existing (already completed) PlayStation 3 titles, but eventually plans to join the production cycle and brings its expertise to games still in development. The firm expects to work on two to four games per year, with FIFA Soccer 11 and the latest in the Uncharted series, being among the first to receive the Rubicon treatment.

Some titles are so far out from would be accepted in the Middle East that attempts to cleanse them will not even be undertaken. Ayoubi stated, that such games are “off the chart, because they would need reinventing.”

A release on the Rubicon website also indicates that the company would develop its own educational and entertaining games, “based on Arabic culture Storyboards.”

Recent games that never made their way into the UAE, for example, include Heavy Rain, Dante’s Inferno (which wasn’t even submitted to censors), Darksiders, God of War, Grand Theft Auto IV and Mafia II.


Comments

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

Localisation is an important part of selling any product; you tailor your product to the desires and laws of the target region to be able to sell there.

If another area wanted to sell games in the west, they'd have to use characters that the west could identify with. Final Fantasy springs to mind as an example.

If you want to say that only one version of the game should be made, to be used wherever the game is sold, you cut out a lot of areas you could be selling your game. Australia, for instance, has many sanitised games because of their Byzantine laws - they are criticised for it, and some companies choose not to change their games to sell there. But many companies do change their games to sell there, which is no different to this.

Companies want to sell their product, so they tailor their product to their target audience. With multiple audiences, multiple products.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

but you cant get a taste of other cultures if everything coming into yours gets tailored to yours and that works both ways.

its stupid and xenophobic.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

Rohin: It depends how far you go. Translating a language is the most obvious part of localization and so certain things have to be changed for context, like how the Phoenix Wright games had to refer to different pop culture instead of the ones mentioned in the original Japanese version. Yet then we had hostess clubs being removed from Yakuza 3 which some people were annoyed at - clearly certain gamers want to have the experience be as close to the original as possible and I agree. If the game is completely changed, what's the point?

I'm not sure it'll be as atrocious as people are imagining - just look at Mariah Carey's edited album covers in the Middle East, she simply had more clothes added to her to reduce the skin on show, rather than, as I'm sure a xenophobe would have you believe, a digital burkha added to her head.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

this is why they cant have nice things ... they're not allowed to have them.

not until the things are made less nice ... oh is it racist to say changing the races to Arab ones makes the games less nice?.

the politcally correct would say little to nothing about this but if a company was changing arab races to western ones it would be out right war.

double standards urgh ... I dont hate arab people I think they should get to play the games uncensored and NOT kept from them by their own government just because they dont agree with the content let "THE PEOPLE" themselves decide.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

Censorship is censorship.You can try to sugarcoat it however you like but in the end its still censoring content.

 

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

Kinda like how win and beer used to be refered to as juice in video games.

Re: New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle ...

heck, sugarcoating is a form of censorship

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

 
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IanCBroke my EA boycott to pick up Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Loving it. Still hate EA though. But i like Popcap. Gah.08/30/2014 - 6:01am
MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
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Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
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TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
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Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
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SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
 

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