The good news is Atlus’s ultra-weird dating sim/puzzler will be getting a completely uncut release in the US. Hooray!
The bad news is the cover art’s been tweaked a bit in order to make it happen. You can see the difference to the left. Why the change? Jeremy Cail, a creative designer for Atlus' US branch says retailers were a bit squeamish about the somewhat risqué original covers.
“We have two different versions of Catherine cover art. There's already two different versions, one for both the PS3 and Xbox 360, but the altered imagery was at the request of some our retail partners. They wanted the change in case people got the wrong idea about the game... or, as I see it, the right idea about Catherine! No change to the games themselves – the disc themselves are the same.”
If you went to E3, you might have noticed the Catherine art on your badge holder. According to Cail, selecting the art for those was a headache in and of itself.
“We tried another of different image, but that didn't go through [it was the one with Catherine's legs spread]. We couldn't put it on the badge but we put it on [Atlus staff] shirts... Certain hemlines were lengthened before final approval... We also have to balance concerns of the original designers in Japan; maybe we'll want to use one piece of art in this way or that, but we'll ask them and they'll say it wasn't the intent to use it that sort of way. But with the badge stuffer... it took three to four iterations to get there, but people seem to like it.”
You can see pics of the badge holder art, including the original “spread legs” one, over at the[a]listdaily.
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen