Officials from Italian publisher 505 Games have announced that controversial PlayStation 2 title Rule of Rose
will not be published in the UK, following pointed complaints
from various European Union officials.
The game was criticized by both the mayor of Rome and Europe's justice and security commissioner Franco Frattini, who described the game as containing “obscene cruelty and brutality.” At the same time, Frattini called for changes to the pan-European PEGI age rating system, and dialog between government and industry representatives to help moderate game content.
Rule of Rose
was due to be released in the UK today but a statement from a 505 Games spokesman indicated that, “Following discussions with our retail and publishing partners, 505 Games has taken the decision not to publish Rule of Rose
in the UK at this time."
The decision was likely taken following negative coverage of the game in British newspapers The Daily Mail and The Times. As recently reported
in British trade paper MCV, though, The British Video Standards Council (VSC) has reacted angrily to the press coverage, accusing the newspapers of inventing non-existent scenarios in the game.
“I have no idea where the suggestion of in-game sadomasochism has come from, nor children being buried underground. These are things that have been completely made up,” said VSC secretary general Laurie Hall.
The comments came after the VSC was criticized for only giving the game a PEGI rating of 16+. Referring to Franco Frattini’s lurid descriptions of the game, Hall countered, “I wouldn’t call the game violent. We’re not worried about our integrity being called into question, because Mr Frattini’s quotes are nonsense.”