1992 Neo Geo Game Just Had Its "Taiwan" Names Removed

Illustration for article titled 1992 Neo Geo Game Just Had Its "Taiwan" Names Removed
Screenshot: LilMaker

Baseball Stars 2 was released on the Neo Geo in 1992 (one year after the greatest baseball game ever made, with which it has a lot in common), and for the last 28 years has been just fine with teams like the “Tokyo Ninjas” and “Spanish Galleons”. The “Taipei Hawks”, however, have just been removed from a console version of the game following an update earlier this week.


As noted on this Reddit post and this Twitter thread by users, an update for the PS4, Xbox One and Switch version released in 2019 had removed the team names (and country flags) for both the “Taipei Hawks” and the “Taiwan Dragons”, while leaving all the other names like the “Seoul Dragons” in place.

(The game is also available on Steam, but on that version, which is slightly different, none of the teams have place names).

This 2019 console version of the game was ported by Japanese studio Hamster Corporation, but the rights to the game are held by publisher SNK, which in 2015 was purchased by Chinese company 37Games.

At the same time, it appears that another SNK-published title, Art of Fighting 2 on the PC, received a similar update this week, where a depiction of the controversial “Rising Sun” Japanese flag was replaced with a white flag that says “KARATE”:

Illustration for article titled 1992 Neo Geo Game Just Had Its "Taiwan" Names Removed
Screenshot: @Foxhack

The edits come a week after the first Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War trailer was edited to remove a reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.


Jamie White

I wish I didn’t live in a world where I really could see the “White Terror” happening all over again. But I am literally watching it unfold before my very eyes, and it’s absolutely being supported by greedy governments and corporations in the West who care so much more about China’s potential for commerce than another countries freedom and safety.

Hong Kong and Xinjiang are just stage 1. They’re already testing Taiwan’s airspace and India’s borders. They will keep pushing until someone pushes back, hard.

As it is, the pandemic temporarily prevented me from starting my new life in Taiwan but in the meantime China hasn’t been sleeping (or recovering even apparently) and instead has repeatedly (almost daily now) been flying jets into Taiwan’s airspace and passing laws in Hong Kong unabashedly, whilst the rest of the world is too distracted and preoccupied to notice or do anything about it. So I’m facing starting a life in what might one day become a warzone or be occupied by a genocidal dictatorship...

What a time to be alive.