L.A. Noire Banned in UAE

May 21, 2011 -

United Arab Emirates retail chain Geekay Games updated its Facebook page today with sad, if unsurprising news:

Unfortunate news, L.A. Noire has been banned. Sorry guys :(

Bummer.  The UAE’s National Media Council (NMC) did not reveal why it banned the game and so far, Rockstar has not commented on the situation.

Speculation has it that The Witcher 2 and Duke Nukem Forever will be the next titles to receive a wallop from the NMC banhammer.

Source: Middle East Gamers via Cheater87

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

2 comments

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.”

No Mafia II for UAE

September 7, 2010 -

The United Arab Emirates’ National Media Council has banned the release of Take-Two Interactive’s Mafia II videogame in that country.

Nitin Mathew, of the Dubai-based distribution firm Red Entertainment Distribution, told Arabian Business that the game was banned because of its “excessive violence and nudity.”

Mafia II was going to be released at the end of August, but now it will share the same fate as its predecessor Mafia, which was also banished from the UAE. Other recent games outlawed in the UAE include Heavy Rain, Dante’s Inferno (which wasn’t even submitted to censors), Darksiders, God of War and Grand Theft Auto IV.

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Scuttlebutt: Rockstar Title Banned in UAE

May 17, 2010 -

Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption won’t be up offered for sale in the United Arab Emirates, at least according to chatter on a forum dedicated to visitors of the MEGamers website.

In response to a post asking if the title would be available in the UAE, user GetUpYaSook offered that a “Retailer at Dubai Mall told me last night that Red Dead has indeed been banned.” None of the users seemed to worry much about the game being banned, indicating, in as many words, that such bans are not all-encompassing and there is always a way to acquire a game.

MEGamers (Via MCVUK) did ask local distributor Red Entertainment about the ban and received a “no comment.”

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Dubai University to Use Crytek Tech

March 10, 2010 -

Educators in the United Arab Emirates are attempting to push fledgling game developers towards making more socially conscious games and now one school will be able to create such applications using one of the most powerful game engines available.

The Khaleej Times reports that American University in Dubai has inked a deal with Crytek in order to use the developer’s CryEnginge as a basis for developing Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC “edutainment” titles. UAE teachers are trying to get students away from creating violent action games in order to “create content that imparts values, culture and critical thinking skills to digital natives.”

Dr  Basel Dayyani, Associate Professor of IT at the American University in Dubai on the movement:

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Foreigner Offers Look at Gaming in Dubai

March 8, 2010 -

A British ex-pat currently living in Dubai has penned an article that examines what it’s like to be a gamer in the United Arab Emirates.

Josh Brindley wrote the two-part piece for GamesLatest and began by outlining some generalities, such as how Dubai gamers seem to prefer single-player gaming over multiplayer, though the writer points out that this may be more of a factor of Xbox Live not being officially supported yet in the UAE. Sony’s PlayStation network, however, has been supported in the country since the PS3’s introduction.

UAE gamers also seem to prefer the PS3 over the Xbox 360 and sports games over shooters.

Brindley also details how easy it is to acquire banned games in the UAE:

Despite being officially banned, many games can be acquired over the counter fairly easily in the gray market because the gamers demand for it is high, and everybody’s willing to pay to play.

Many expats who’ve just moved into the country don’t know about the grey market games, so they aren’t be able to buy them.

He sums up:

Most of the differences are because gaming isn’t quite as popular as in the UK, but the market is growing rapidly so it won’t be long before most of the differences are resolved. If the UAE adopted some of the methods of distribution the UK uses, then I think the gaming market would grow faster.

2 comments

Forecast Calls for No Heavy Rain in UAE

February 23, 2010 -

The Quantic Dream-developed PlayStation 3 title Heavy Rain, which releases stateside today, will not see the light of day in the United Arab Emirates.

The Khaleej Times reports that the UAE’s National Media Council, in what sounds like a late reaction, stopped the release of the game. The paper speculated that a scene from the game in which a character is forced to perform a topless dance at gunpoint was most likely among the reasons for the game’s ban.

A Sony PR rep confirmed the game’s ban, noting that Heavy Rain “has been conceived from the earliest stages as a genuinely adult experience. This means that it deals with strong content including blood and nudity, but treats this content in amature and sensitive manner.”

Problem solving UAE residents that wish to play the game will probably not have too hard of a time finding the title according to one gamer, who said, “There’s a flourishing gray market out there and the title will be available there, if it already isn’t.”


Thanks Andrew and Gellymatos!

11 comments

Dante’s Inferno Banishes Itself from Middle East

February 8, 2010 -

Electronic Arts’ Dante’s Inferno will not be released in the Middle East.

EA didn’t even bother to submit the game to censors reports GamesLatest, apparently realizing that a game focused on the nine circles of Hell would be destined for banning, much like the treatment Darksiders, God of War and Grand Theft Auto IV received in the past from the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, EA said, “Electronic Arts has decided not to release Dante’s Inferno in the Middle East after an evaluation process which is based on consumer tastes, preferences, platform mix and other factors.”

If a circle of Hell had to be applied to this story, the First Circle appears most appropriate—Limbo.


Thanks gellymatos!

13 comments

UAE Bans Darksiders

January 7, 2010 -

The United Arab Emirates has banned THQ’s game Darksiders reports gaming site GamesLatest.

The site notes that such bannings are not usually accompanied by a detailed explanation; instead an explanation typically offered is that a forbidden commodity “contradicts with UAE’s customs and traditions.”

The game, developed by Vigil games for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, involves demons and has players take the role of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

In the game’s setting, War is accused of breaking a scared law and “inciting a war between Heaven and Hell.” Following a battle between demons and angels that the demons win, War is “brought before the sacred Charred Council” and indicted for his crimes and has his other worldly powers removed. While being hunted by Angels, War returns to Earth in order to search for the truth, to find those responsible for deceiving him and to battle the forces of Hell.

God of War and Grand Theft Auto IV were also banned in the UAE in recent years.

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Andrew EisenThat was quick! Pretty accurate cosplay of the new Ghostbuster uniform and proton pack: https://twitter.com/mirabellemusing/status/61673135125394227207/03/2015 - 6:23pm
Matthew Wilson@mast I dont know, but I do know it got a cult fallowing here.07/03/2015 - 6:22pm
MastermuneWasn't the Zero Escape series more popular here than in Japan?07/03/2015 - 6:19pm
Matthew Wilson@mast given the game was revealed in the US, I wouldnt be shocked if it was released at the same time.07/03/2015 - 6:15pm
MastermuneI don't trust the big AAA worldwide simultaneous releases though.07/03/2015 - 5:57pm
Mastermune@Infophile I have come to the conclusion that smaller games like zero escape, JRPG's and the like are actually worth preordering sinc they are limited quantities and since they usually release in japan first we know if there are any issues.07/03/2015 - 5:56pm
Infophile@Matthew! Awesome news. I'd preorder on that shout alone if I didn't have a policy against preordering anymore.07/03/2015 - 5:16pm
Matthew Wilsonzero escape 3 was announced today.07/03/2015 - 4:21pm
Matthew Wilson@pnx I am guessing a ddoss since that is what happened to neogaf, but sony needs to do a investment in psn as a whole. steam is still the most reliable and fastest digital platform I use.07/03/2015 - 3:06pm
PHX Corphttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/psn-is-down-sony-investigating/ not again: PSN is down, Sony investigating07/03/2015 - 3:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/digital-extremes-trespasser-keystone-pc/ if true, this is funny and embarrassing for Digital Extremes. companies need too have better security.07/03/2015 - 2:57pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-destiny-the-hardcore-gamers-slot-machine/2300-6425852/ this is very good, and well researched.07/03/2015 - 12:41pm
InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
MattsworknameYou know andrew, those are actualy rock solid ideas, I woudl like those features a bunch ,especially with games that a cut scene heavly. looking at you kojima!07/03/2015 - 1:18am
Andrew EisenActually, "things I'd like to see become standard in video games" ain't a bad idea for one of my future YouTube videos.07/03/2015 - 1:05am
 

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