Much has been made of Ubisoft’s decision to cut scenes from the console version of South Park: The Stick of Truth in some territories outside of the USA and it’ll come as no surprise that one of the show’s co-creators wasn’t best pleased about it.
When talking to Metro, Matt Stone said: “We’re talking about 30 or 40 seconds out of the whole experience but we wanted people to know exactly where the line was: this is what you couldn’t see but for some reason the rest of the world could and we have no idea why. It’s not cool – it’s lame, ridiculous and stupid.”
As any console owner interested in the new South Park RPG probably knows by now, the scenes of anal probing and abortion minigames have been replaced by region-specific placeholder stills. These were at least were still designed by Parker/Stone: “We weren’t going to change the content, so we’ve written little cards to explain what is going on, what they’ve censored, and made a joke out of it.”
You can understand Stone’s frustrations as the game has taken years to come about after a lengthy and turbulent development -remember the game started out as a THQ title- while he and fellow South Park creator Trey Parker, are able to turn around a TV episode of South Park in under a week. Having played the game myself (and thoroughly enjoyed it) I’m struggling to see why it has taken so long either.
The whole censorship issue seems like an odd one. Initial thoughts that Ubisoft were simply saving local certification bodies the bother of asking them to cut the material were scuppered when we saw the PC version release uncut in the same territories.
So why bother cutting them? Well, it’s certainly gathered its fair share of headlines and free publicity for the game. So in a way, well played, Ubisoft. From what I’ve gathered from my fellow EU gamers, we’re not that bothered about the missing scenes as we can get through the day without looking at anal probings. Well, most of us.