Capcom’s forthcoming Xbox 360 exclusive title Dead Rising has been denied an age rating in Germany, ahead of its scheduled September release in Europe, according to a listing on the official USK ratings board website, reinforcing the relatively harsh rating system in that country.
Together with Australia, Germany has one of the strictest controls on video games content, with a long history of banning or forcing alterations in games. Previously titles banned in their original form in Germany include Doom 1 and 2, as well as Manhunt and Command & Conquer.
Ironically, the USK has often guided publishers to change human characters into “zombies” in order to allow games to be released, usually at the same time featuring only green blood.
The previously mentioned Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle ratings board, though, has deemed the zombie-filled game’s content (which currently includes red blood) to be too violent and refused to rate it, despite the technically non-human enemies and the relatively tongue-in-cheek, if gory nature of the game's plot and dialogue.
This does not mean the game will necessarily be banned from sale, but the lack of an age rating now makes this legally possible for the separate Government entity Bundesprufstelle fur jugendgefahrdende Medien (Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons) to do so.
In addition, whether Japanese-headquartered publisher Capcom will attempt to appeal the decision, perhaps by toning down the violence for a German-specific version, is unclear as of press time.