So following the announcement of Criminal Girls: Invite Only being confirmed for an English release, NIS America also listed a disclaimer that certain portions of the game had to be edited, leading to an outcry from many fans that the game had been censored.
The game has gotten such a negative reception by many due to its controversial punishment mini-games that it has even been officially banned on NeoGAF, an honor usually only reserved for games that explicitly have sex in them.
To be clear, this game does not have literal sex in it, i.e. visual penetration, but it does have the aforementioned extremely suggestive mini-games where you can spank, grope, and even electrocute the girls.
Apparently, this is just way too much for some people to handle, as the line seems to be now drawn between fans who want the game fully uncensored, and naysayers who are calling those fans literal pedophiles.
So did NIS America really censor the game? Well, in an official response to Niche Gamer, it appears they have, but only slightly:
“A key part of our localization philosophy is keeping games as true to the original as possible when we bring them to the West. Unfortunately due to rating issues and regional regulations, we sometimes have to work with our developers to make minor changes to game content.
These decisions are never made lightly, and whenever we do make them, it comes after working closely with the various rating boards as well as the developer. Making the changes necessary to release some of our more niche titles in the West is not, and never has been, an attempt at making the game more appealing to a larger audience. We know that censoring a game would lose just as many fans as it may potentially bring in.
For Criminal Girls, the changes the developer is making do not change any of the core game play mechanics. They are modifying the amount of fog that remains in some scenes as well as removing the Japanese audio from those same scenes.
Ultimately, our goal is to make games available to our fans in the West, and to keep those same games as close to their original as is possible. Regrettably, without changes, some games would not be able to be released here—as is the case with Criminal Girls: Invite Only.
We apologize for this situation and we hope that you will stand by us as we continue to bring as many creative, fun, and exciting products as we possibly can. Thank you for your support.”
NIS America also reached out to address this in their forums, reiterating that they’re simply adding more steam to obstruct the view of the girls, and simply removing the various audio clips of the girls moaning, screaming, and so on.
So what do you guys think? Should censorship be an all or nothing type thing? Should the game have even come to the West, if it had to be censored in some form?