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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Capcom considering legal action against GTA3 age ban in Japan

Capcom considering legal action against GTA3 age ban in Japan

"Capcom retaliates to GTA3's age restriction in a Japanese region, citing that the movement can cause issues in freedom of expression in future games.

TOKYO--Last week, the local government of Kanagawa prefecture, a region located immediately south of Tokyo, announced that it will ban the sales of Grand Theft Auto III to minors as of June 7. Saitama, another region neighboring Tokyo, also announced that it is considering the age restriction on the gratuitously violent game as well.

The possibility that the ban may spread into neighboring regions has caught the eye of the game's Japanese publisher, Capcom. (Rockstar, which publishes the game in other regions, has seen similar threats.) With other games noted for violence and gore, such as the Resident Evil series or the upcoming Xbox 360 game Dead Rising, Capcom fears that such restrictions could affect future releases. In a public statement saying that the age ban was inappropriately implemented, the company has announced that it is considering taking legal action.

"Japan's Videogame industry is a world-class business, which foundations are supported by the freedom of expression and intellectual property protection laws. Like our country itself has been practicing, it is essential that we continue to make efforts to sustain these two factors that are essential for growth of the game industry," said Capcom in a public statement.

"It is especially important to handle freedom of expression with care. It is a powerful factor in society, but also something extremely delicate. Our company does not believe that videogames should be completely free of any regulations under the freedom of expressions, and we have censored our games when seen to be required within our judgment.""

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