NIS America Responds to Censorship Claims for Criminal Girls: Invite Only

criminal girls invite only 07-11-14-1

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?



Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic

  1. TiamatNM
    July 12, 2014 at 12:00 am

    I think the game may have gotten past some of the rating boards uncensored but not others. They’re trying to make a version that will be “safe” in multiple Western regions with a one size fits all version. I can see how that makes sense money wise but it still sucks. It would be interesting to know what the response of each board was but I guess we’ll never know.

    I don’t have a strong opinion on whether it should come over at all or not. I won’t be getting it because of the censorship but I don’t have a very high opinion of Imageepoc so it wasn’t a hard decision for me. Most people won’t care enough to be deterred. On the plus side, at least they didn’t cut the minigame entirely. Maybe fan backlash from Mugen Souls series made them try a bit harder to keep as much content as they could.

  2. R353ARCH
    July 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    I love NISA and view all their localized games as a recommendation. Over editing, or censoring, makes me feel they aren’t 100% behind the concept of their games, especially if they are developed by their parent company.

    I’m hard pressed to call foul on this, but would like NISA’s mission statement to be making games available in English and staying true as possible to the original. If that can’t happen then focus on a different title, if possible.

    It’s not my company to run, I’m not a shareholder, but I do buy their games along with a bunch of others who also want the full experience.

  3. R353ARCH
    July 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    (pt 2) Personally I enjoy being weirded out or wondering what developers are thinking, (can’t believe they’re doing that in Japan!) but never really see the connection between pedo and the games and cartoons or anime.

    For reference, I’ve seen both Stewie’s (Family Guy) and Bart’s (The Simpsons) packages, but they’re still aired on primetime.

    And then there’s Xseed with the biggest package of all, saying all the right things to get my attention…

  4. nonscpo
    July 13, 2014 at 1:44 am

    Your probably right on people not being deterred by the censorship to buy the game. However with all the controversy games like this generate, one can only wonder why they even bother bringing the game in the first place if they clearly don’t believe in their product.

  5. Jeremy Lafferty
    Jeremy Lafferty
    July 30, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    I honestly hate censorship in any form whatsoever. It’s a product, not a requirement. If you don’t agree to what’s in the product, then don’t buy it. Quite simple. I dislike that this was deemed as needing to be censored, but I’ve come to expect this from our Puritan-esque rating boards. You can chainsaw or blow people’s heads off, but a ‘sex’ minigame with an anime girl? Instant no. However much I dislike censoring though, I will still buy this, because I understand NISA’s philosophy and want to support their efforts. Plus, I wanted to play Criminal Girls, lightly censored or no.

  6. Ninjagai
    November 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I’ll buy it just to smack annoying puritans in the face. Senran Kagura was good, so who knows.

  7. Daybreaker Rein
    Daybreaker Rein
    February 1, 2015 at 4:44 am

    I was quite curious about this game and to be honest, the concept of this minigame has sparked a bit more interest. It is a shame to see that they had to censor it, even if it is light or not. I guess for those who want the full experience can just import the original japanese version, which is one reason I really wanna learn kanji so I can do that (would totally not mind the extra costs to do so either).

    I have never been opposed to these kind of things, I mean hell Skyrim and Oblivion are chalk full of modders making sexy clothing mods and nude mods, everyone has their niche, and not everyone has to indulge in buying this or using mods that “spice up” gameplay. I agree too that people can have games like Evil Within where the death sequences are grotesque and filled with blood, but anything that even remotely seems “sex like” is immediately a no no because “think of the children!”, and that is ridiculous.

  8. FlawedIntellect
    February 3, 2016 at 9:46 am

    The ratings board is not so puritanical when Wolfenstein: The New Order can get away with sex scenes.

    The purpose of the ratings board actually isn’t censorship, but rather to protect games from people bitching that some games aren’t child-friendly.

    If anything, it’s the big console companies that exclude anything with an AO rating.