Japan Cannot Pretend Kim Jong-il Is Dead

Earlier this month, it was revealed that first-person shooter Homefront was going to be changed for Japan. Today, the game's Japanese publisher finally explained why.

As Kotaku previously reported, the Japanese version's most recent trailer now features a warning that this game is a work of fiction, yet still depict North Korean flags, as does the Japanese box art. Kotaku contacted Spike to confirm whether the Korean flags will remain in the game, but did not receive an answer regarding this issue. However, today Kotaku Japan attended a briefing in Tokyo that outlined the changes in the Japanese version of Homefront.

Kim Jong-il still appears in the Japanese version of the game. Spike showed the first level of the Japanese version, and in it, there are propaganda posters with Kim Jong-il's picture and his name. What was cut was Kim Jong-il's image and name in the opening movie. The reason for this apparently is that it states Kim Jong-il is dead — he's not. The reason for this is to comply with Japan's Computer Entertainment Rating Organization, which has provisions against how real people are portrayed in games. It is fine to depict Kim Jong-il and North Korea in the game; however, it doesn't jive with CERO to say Kim Jong-il dies in 2012 (which is what the game does), and apparently opens the game up to libel in Japan.

Thus, in the opening cinematic trailer, Kim Jong-il's name and likeness are stricken. However, his image and name do appear in the game. North Korean flags also continue to appear in the game. The other tweak is the name of some Achievements and Trophies. The game's Japanese publisher has been listening to fans and is trying to stay true to the game, which has political content that could be considered risky in Japan. But besides these tweaks, the game's actual content, Kotaku Japan says, is "exceedingly close".

敵は海外版でも北朝鮮じゃなかった!! 『HOMEFRONT』日本版の詳細が判明 [Kotaku Japan]