Censorship Is Back On the Menu for Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
When Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore was announced earlier this year many people were initially dispirited to see that it would probably carry forward the censorship of the Western release of the game, and that this time the Japanese audience would be subjected to this censorship too. The Japanese release is integral in this instance, because the Japanese game release will apparently have English support, so any uncensored Japanese release would allow English speakers access to an uncensored version of the game. The game’s debut trailer was made for Japanese audiences, and it depicted scenes from the censored Western version of the game, so this left people concerned that the Western version of the game was now serving as the base for all versions of the game.
Several weeks ago TDT reported on our flagship TSM podcast some rather more optimistic news for the game. Atlus had put up some screenshots on the game’s Japanese site, and they were apparently taken from the uncensored original Japanese release of the game. We were very happy to report that there would very likely be an avenue to English language ownership of an uncensored version of the game. Unfortunately, it is now our unenviable task to report that this sunny outlook has since deteriorated. The uncensored screenshots which had been posted to the site have since been replaced with censored versions. This almost certainly means that all versions of the game will be censored when it releases in January of 2020. Oh well.
Craven Blizzard Shits the Bed in Service to China
This was just about the worst week that Blizzard could have chosen to throw their unconditional support behind Chinese authoritarianism. Already this week South Park has been banned in China and categorically scrubbed from the entire Chinese internet because of the release of the episode Band in China (a self-fulfilling prophesy), and then the NBA followed-up by throwing their own people under the bus for tweeting out an insipid platitude to the Hong Kong democracy protestors. Hot on the heels of these events competitive Hearthstone Player Ng ‘blitzchung’ Wai Chung had just won a tournament, and used his post-match interview as a platform to draw attention to the plight of the Hong Kong protestors. Not only did Blizzard ban blitzchung for 12 months and strip him of his winnings, but they also fired both of the interviewers who were present on the offending stream, whose only offence was being adjacent to pro-democracy wrongthink!
Of all the weeks this could have happened! The preceding events of the week had already primed Americans to be super sensitive to Chinese encroachment on US liberties, so when Blizzard performed this servile act of craven brown-nosing they were instantly condemned by everyone from private citizens to the nation’s political leaders, and a Blizzard boycott gained huge traction on Twitter. Blizzard has since softened their penalties. The banning of blitzchung will now be for six months rather than a year and he will be allowed to keep his earnings, also the two interviewers are now only suspended for six months, and so they can presumably get their jobs back after that time(?) – regardless, fuck them! Blizzard may have been shamed into softening their stance, but the original intent is still more than evident. Moreover, any sanction is too much for the mere act of voicing support for democracy protestors. Blizzard are doing the Chinese censors jobs for them, and are projecting Chinese power beyond Chinese national boarders, and into the homes of American citizens. So fuck them. 5% Chinese ownership has led to Blizzard 100% betraying the ideals of their domestic market. This is likely to be the setup to one hell of a Blizzcon, where Blizzard will attempt to control the speech of their paying consumers to avoid offending delicate Chinese sensibilities.
European Layoffs as Sony Californian Centralisation Continues
On the very same day that the Playstation 5 was announced directors from Sony California travelled to Sony of Europe for a massive restructuring. Sony of Europe did not even know that the Playstation 5 was going to be revealed. A large number of European Sony employees were fired, and the remainder had to be re-interviewed for their jobs. This is on top of a year where many Sony of Europe employees have already been let go. The tyranny of California continues. Now is a really good time to pick up a Nintendo Switch.
In other Sony news, TDT recently reported on TSM about how Shawn Layden appeared to have been forced out of Sony, and hopefully speculated that he might have been forced out due to the disaster that Sony of California has made of the Playstation brand. It turns out that it had nothing to do with this, and instead there has been a protracted corporate war waged between Shawn Layden and Jim Ryan, with Jim Ryan winning out. As a result of this the Sony studios are allegedly in a state of chaos in the lead-up to the PS5, with an anonymous dev from a major third party studio frankly stating:
This is the least amount of clarity we’ve ever had on a new console this close to transition. I believe that the [global restructuring] is exponentially exacerbating the already difficult process of transitioning to a new generation. And now we’re getting nervous. Very nervous.