The Callisto Protocol (opens in a new tab), the meaty, goopy space horror game from former Dead Space devs, has been canceled in Japan after a thumbs-down from the country’s Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO). In a statement posted to Twitter, the game’s team says it will cancel the Japanese edition of the game entirely instead of making the necessary changes to soften the board on ratings.
The statement is, of course, in Japanese, but we can provide a basic translation. It reads, “The Japanese version of the Callisto Protocol has been canceled. Right now, it cannot pass the CERO rating,” before going on to say that the team decided that making the changes required by CERO “would not provide the experience that players waiting”, so the game won’t release in Japan at all.
As you’d hope, Japanese players who pre-ordered the game will receive refunds, but it’s a shame the game has reached this impasse with Japan’s ratings board. The statement doesn’t go into the reasons why CERO turned its nose up at the game, but it wouldn’t be too surprising if the game’s gratuitous violence bothered regulators. CERO is known for its sensitivity to bleeding and cutting, and The Callisto Protocol has both in spades. (opens in a new tab).
Whatever CERO’s reasoning, the responses to the tweet announcing the cancellation are full of Japanese gamers upset by the news and displeased with CERO. More than a few are slyly wondering if the overseas editions of the game still have Japanese language options, which would be one, slightly laborious way for dedicated fans to still get their hands on the game despite CERO’s rejection.
They’ll get their answer when The Callisto Protocol releases a little over a month from now, on December 2nd, via Steam (opens in a new tab) and the Epic Games Store (opens in a new tab). Until then, you’ll just have to somehow endure a life where you’re not hounded everywhere you go by tenacious masses of decaying flesh. (opens in a new tab). Actually, now that I think about it, maybe CERO has the right idea.