Predictable. And in more ways than one. According to Microsoft, Gears of War 2 won't be seeing a release in either Germany or Japan, thanks to the game's level of violence and gore. Seeing as the first one wasn't released in Germany, that's no surprise. But Japan? Why isn't it being released in Japan? The first one was, despite its "Z" (adults only) rating, and it did pretty well for a Western game, selling over 30k units. Heck, Microsoft even held a Z-rated party last year celebrating the fact they release adults-only games. So what gives? The announcement, made to Edge, says only "We can confirm that Gears of War 2 will not be available in Germany or Japan indefinitely". Note there's no mention of a ban, just that the game won't be made available. So, again, if Gears 1 did relatively well in Japan, why not release Gears 2? Here's an idea: maybe it's because "Not for Germany/Japan/Australia" is the hottest new marketing tool for 2008, as nothing gives a violent game more sizzle in countries it's not being banned in than word it's being banned (or, in this case, "not released") somewhere else. Confirmed: No Gears of War 2 for Japan [Edge]
The source is sketchy at best — the Japanese site still exists, and 1UP got a reply of 'no comment' as per usual [www.1up.com] . Wouldn't be too surprising if it got stopped though, considering it wasn't shown at TGS in the Z-rated booth either.
The voiceover for the JP version is supposed to be top-notch, so people are lamenting over that already. At least both the US release and Asian versions should work on JP 360s — it's already a common procedure over there to get the imported versions since official JP releases usually come months later, with translation efforts that are often shoddy at best.