LittleBigPlanet Undergoing Self-Censorship

October 17th, 2008 by

Today sees another casualty of game localization as LittleBigPlanet is being delayed to remove passages from the Qur’an. Sony had this to say about the offending passages:

“During the review process prior to the release of LittleBigPlanet, it has been brought to our attention that one of the background music tracks licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur’an. We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence that this may have caused.”

Regrettably, Sony’s unspecific language makes it sound as though the passages were removed because they were offensive in and of themselves. Fortunately, Gamasutra found the motivating post on the Playstation Europe message boards before it was removed. The user’s complaint follows:

“We Muslims consider the mixing of music and words from our Holy Quran deeply offending. We hope you would remove that track from the game immediately via an online patch, and make sure that all future shipments of the game disk do not contain it.”

LittleBigPlanet has an unusually strong focus on merging multiplayer with user-generated content, so it’s unsurprising that the new game wants to endear itself as broadly as possible. Nevertheless, it’s always a shame when a game’s original art design suffers ad hoc revisions. Here’s hoping the LittleBigPlanet experience is undiminished.

Edit: Evidently the shipped but unreleased copies of the game are going on Ebay for $250. Get ‘em while they’re hot!


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