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UK Retail Chains Ban  Bully

UK Retail Chains Ban Bully

October 18, 2006 | By David Jenkins

October 18, 2006 | By David Jenkins
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British retail giant DSG International has announced that its UK stores Currys (as well as Dixons) and PC World will not be stocking Rockstar’s controversial new title Bully, recently renamed as Canis Canem Edit in the UK.

A statement from the company indicates that the game is “not appropriate for Currys' family-friendly image” because of an “explicit link between violence and children". According to the statement, “We haven't taken this decision lightly, particularly considering the excellent relationship we have with Rockstar."

Although Currys and PC World are amongst the country’s largest electronics retailers, their presence within games retail is not quite as large. DSG also has some history of reacting to negative media coverage of specific titles, and perceived consumer disquiet, having previously refused to sell Manhunt in the wake of a controversial teenage murder and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin following complaints from Sikh groups over the use of a Sikh temple in the game.

Although Bully has received considerable criticism from campaign groups, including charity group Bullying Online, the majority of the complaints arose before any major previews of the game had been given by publisher Rockstar. The final game, which features no blood and a main character who is the victim rather than perpetrator of bullying, was give a relatively mild 15+ rating in the UK and ‘T’ for Teen in the U.S.

DSG’s aversion to games which have received negative media coverage has not prevented it from stocking other 18+ rated games, including Grand Theft Auto, Scarface and Saints Row. Thus far no other retailer in the UK has announced any plans to boycott the game, with all major stores currently offering it for pre-order, ahead of its European release on October 27th.


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