The United Arab Emirates' National Media Council has banned the sale of 2K Games' Mafia II
, reportedly due to "excessive violence and nudity."
So says Nitin Mathew, marketing manager at Dubai-based Red Entertainment Distribution, according to a report in UAE-based ArabianBusiness.com
. Mathew says the game's expected August release date in the country was put on hold when the NMC told him of the ban on Aug. 25.
The Mafia II
ban apparently follows that of its predecessor; the 2002 release of the original Mafia was also reportedly banned in the UAE.
The culturally conservative United Arab Emirates government has a history of prohibiting sales of games with content it deems unacceptable. This year's releases of Darksiders
, Heavy Rain
and Red Dead Redemption
join past releases like God of War III
and Grand Theft Auto IV
in being banned by the country.
Still, past reports suggest
that these games may still be available in the UAE via marked-up, under-the-table sales.
Outside of the UAE, Mafia II
has garnered middling reviews
and seen strong sales in the UK
along with protests by Italian-American group UNICO National
over the game's content.