Idea Factory Explains Monster Monpiece Censorship

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

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Monster Monpiece Feature

Today, via press email, Idea Factory International sent us an explanation of why Monster Monpiece was censored for its Western release:

Idea Factory International is fully aware of the concerns expressed by fans, so we would like to inform everyone about the censored images in greater detail. Monster Monpiece is a card battle game, in which players summon various “Monster Girls” onto the game’s battlefields and then fight their opponents. These cards—meaning the “Monster Girls”—are ableto be powered up by exposing themselves (taking off their clothes) via the level-up features called First Crush Rub and Extreme Love. We kept the same number of cards in the game as the original Japanese version, but replaced some of the higher level Monster Girl images with the “less exposed” lower level versions of the corresponding Monster Girls due to some intense sexual imagery. The number of censored cards is about 40 out of the approximately 350 card images available in the game. This means that over 300 cards are left untouched from the original images. That said, each card that has had its image removed will still have the same number of levels for the player to increase, but the higher level card images will be the same as the lower level, even though they have leveled up and have become more powerful. We would like to emphasize that the game’s playtime, the game’s system, and the game’s features are all the same as the original Japanese release, and players can level up their Monster Girls to the highest levels as well, again, matching the Japanese release. This was a very difficult decision since we work very hard to satisfy our fans and want to bring the same content being offered in Japan. However, Western society is not as lenient as that of Japan when sexual images are involved—especially images of humanoids that appear to be younger than a socially acceptable age. The borderline of what is “acceptable” will always be extremely gray and vary from person to person, but as a responsible company working in the U.S., we had to make the difficult decision that we did. We sincerely apologize for those who do not agree with any level of censorship, but we greatly appreciate your understanding with the decision we have made.

They also give a brief explanation of the difference between the PEGI and ESRB ratings:

About the rating differences between North America (ESRB, Mature) and Europe (PEGI, 12): The reason for the difference in these ratings is simply the difference in the rating system between ESRB  and PEGI. We received a Mature rating for Monster Monpiece from the ESRB with the censored material  we submitted. However, for PEGI, and with the same material assets for their review, they rated it 12+ because of the minimal amount of violence shown in the game. We appreciate your understanding with
these rating differences.

Whether you agree with the censorship or not, you have to give them credit for being open and honest about the process, at least.

Source: Press email

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.

  • Keichi Morisato

    it is still unacceptable.

    • Yggdr5

      I agree. Censorship is censorship and they didn’t have any real reason (laws, ratings) for it.

  • Pedro Rosas

    Only someone who is buying the game for the sexual content would get pissed at something like this

    • Guestofsomesort

      As if there was any other reason to play it.

  • Steve Baltimore

    Well personally I hate censorship of any kind, but they have been open and honest about this entire process. In my book that means a lot. We cannot change how our culture views things. These changes occur over time and we will just have to deal with it the best we can until that day comes.

  • sal ace

    i think these games should be played as they are and no content should be removed. i just disagree with removing anything from a game. the game was meant to be played with all the content or else it would not have been in the game from the start.

  • Vincent

    So, how much Japanese would you need to know to be able to play this game? (In it’s native Japanese of course, just import the uncensored version.)

  • Tyrannikos

    The way I see it, this game was meant to give the player some kind of sexual pleasure. Yes, there is a card battling system and story, but honestly, those areas are usually light in a game with these kinds of aesthetics. Removing what is appealing to the target demographic could damage sales.

    On the flip, there is probably still PLENTY of stuff left in the game for those buying the game for said sexual pleasure. The game also may have gotten an AO rating if not censored, which is typically a death sentence.

    Two sides to the coin. I think it sucks that they censored the game (it sucks when any game is censored), but we may not have gotten it at all if they didn’t make that choice. It’s a slippery tight rope to walk. Personally, I don’t envy the people that have to sit down and make these decisions with an unbiased and level head. I’d get fired immediately for refusing to censor a game when, from a business perspective, it’s probably the right choice.

    • Thanatos2k

      I don’t think AO is a death sentence anymore, ESPECIALLY when so many games are digital distribution only. The reason AO was a killer was because stores like Walmart would then refuse to stock the product, destroying potential sales.

      When that threat no longer exists, what is holding them back from releasing a digital-only AO game? I’m just waiting for someone to go for it.

    • Kusabi

      Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have a policy preventing AO-rated games from being published on their systems. So no. No one’s going to “go for it”.

  • Thanatos2k

    I mean, it makes sense and all, but only if they were angling for a T rating. When you have it rated M, just leave everything in.