Sony Australia Attempting To Halt MotorStorm Apocalypse Distribution

Earlier this week we got word that Sony were delaying the launch of MotorStorm Apocalypse in the UK out of respect for recent events in Japan. Distribution in Australia was already set in motion, meaning that you can buy MotorStorm Apocalypse in stores today, but we've got word from Sony Australia that they are halting further shipments, and pulling all advertising campaigns for the game.

A Sony spokesperson sent us this statement:

Further to the recent events in Christchurch, New Zealand, we are shocked and saddened to see the impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and our thoughts are with all those affected. We are very conscious of the underlying theme in MotorStorm and are doing everything we can to be as sensitive as possible to the situation. A number of steps have already taken immediate effect including the delay in distribution of the product in New Zealand. In Australia, the game is already in distribution, however we are ceasing any further shipments and have pulled the total marketing launch campaign in consideration of both of these recent tragic events.


Comments

    This has got to be the must stupidist thing Ive read today.

      You are the stupid one... as a lot of sharks will use the victims' name to sue Sony for big bucks

        No competent court would ever find in favour of someone trying to sue over something so trivial. So I guess that makes YOU the stupid one?

    What's with all the delay and banning of games in Australia these days. Yes I know the timing on Motorstorm: Apocalypse could be seen as bad, but these guys did not see what happened in either NZ or Japan happening when they made the plans.

    I know we are meant to be all sensitive to whats going on, but this is starting to get out of hand. Maybe the publishers of the game could donate a portion of each sale to the NZ or Japan rebuilding charities or something, but to push the game's release back or not release it at all (Which I could see happening in this overly PC age) is stupid.

    IT'S JUST A GAME PEOPLE!!

    This is...I don't...what? Is this a joke? It's a joke. NO COMPANY CAN BE THIS DUMB THIS HAS TO BE A JOKE.

    SONY IS HALTING SHIPMENTS OF THEIR GAME TO AUSTRALIA FOR THE SOLE REASON THAT WE ARE NEAR NEW ZEALAND SERIOUSLY WHAT THE SHIT

    Better to be seen as overly sensitive than risk being seen as completely insensitive.

    This has got to hurt
    Poor gamers in NZ looking for a distraction via a kick arse racing game of craziness and they ban it to show them respect??

    This should get them back for all the piss they give us over our government telling us what games to play.

    As we know from experience, the quickest way to stop something coming into the country is to simply get it RC'd. Then ring customs and ask if it's ok to import it.

    I'm actually a bit surprised by this. Considering the type of game this is, it doesn't make much sense to me. However, I would not be surprised if they were to hold up the showing of Battle Las Angeles. When you look at the ads for that movie, some of the scenes really look like some of the devastated areas, and it also involves Tokyo in the movie. Considering what happened with Spiderman around the time of 9/11, I just keep waiting for them to say something about this one.

    Perhaps maybe a smarter ploy at marketing. I know they do respect whats happened there, but the issue will still stand there weeks if not months after it happened. So when is the "right" time to allow it back

    Damn. This is bad for everyone. Bad for the consumers, bad for the publisher, bad for the retailer, and worst of all, heart-breakingly bad for the developer.

    My thoughts are with Evolution Studio's employees today.

    Surely by deciding when the "right time" to release it is, that will be more insulting to those affected? Essentially by releasing it later, you're saying "right, that's enough mourning for you people, HTFU and play some Motorstorm"?

    I don't know about you, but I play video-games to escape the stresses of life, and Sony are trying to deny us this ability? ouch.

      Yes! I'm almost contemplating rushing to stores to buy the game to support the devs, since this game not bringing in $$$ could really hurt their employment for no other reason than sheer bad luck.

      I'm not going to say anything about the tragedy in Japan but a UK developed game being distributed in Australia being affected sounds overly PC IMO. Meanwhile other mediums (film, books) will get away with showing quakes n tsunamis without being pulled from stores. Consistency please?

    Well, I can certainly see where they're coming from. Plastering advertisements everywhere portraying an earthquake-ravaged urban landscape days/weeks after scores of people died from earthquakes in urban areas might not be the best thing. Even if the earthquake didn't strike here, many Australians have felt its effects.

    Really people, do you want to race on the Waves Of Mutilation track after watching the Tsunami footage? Get over it, it's just a game. Go spend some time with your families and enjoy them while you can.

    Guys in the UK sony has pulled the game from shelves.

    It's called being sensitive to issues. Japan is in the midst of the biggest natural disaster in history
    and it was based on an Earthquake. You really can't ship this game while this disaster unfolds with a clear conscious.

    It's also not the only game that is delayed. Tons of games have been delayed out of Japan, as well as this Disaster Report 4 has been flat out cancelled 2 months from release (with a major financial hit for hte publisher).

    Look beyond the delay and think about how fortunate you are to not be stuck in the nuclear and tsunami zones right now. It puts everything in perspective.

    It's not about trying to avoid headlines, surely the media generally (ACA etc excluded) are not that stupid. Its' about respecting the fact that the content of the game could be seen as insensitive given current events.

      I wonder if Ubisoft is going to do something with I Am Alive in response to Christchurch/Japan..

        I've sooner wonder if Ubisoft have been doing anything with it to begin with...

    I just don't see how a racing game, can be seen as insensitive. Did a car cause the earthquakes or something? lol

    Sorry when did natural disasters become an "Apocalypse" Last time I checked there was no fire or brimstone involved in fact I'm pretty sure god has nothing to do with the events.

      Well if you want to be pissy and anal about it, I'd say Japans catastrophe is pretty apocalyptic to them at the moment... but hey, you tell them otherwise?

        I think he has taken the word by its religous meaning, ie "The end of the world".

        I think the Japanese people will be the first to tell themselves that this is not apocalyptic in the sense that this is not the end of all things. As a human race and as nations we have always had horrific incidents and it is our ability to bounce back even from these most dire of circumstances that mkaes us who we are. Sure it is terrible and horrifying but I am positive the Japanese people will rise above this and continue on.

        Also this is Dean but logged into my fiance's facebook.

    I though this game involved racing through collapsing ABANDONED cities. I mean should we get rid of all the Stalker and Fallout games too since many people are worried about nuclear disaster?

      Hello mr strawman argument

      1. The fallout games are already on shelves

      2. If fallout was due out this week or soon you can bet a billion dollars it would be delayed

      3. Its' about products due now. It is not appropriate to ship this stuff when the real world has these issues going on. The same thing would count for films.

    This is totally ridiculous.

    IT'S A VIDEO GAME

    Besides, they didn't make KILL ALL EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS BECAUSE THEY SUCK: THE GAME. It's a damn racing game. Why deny people a racing game because they're afraid of the slim chance of negative press? Slim chance because every time a Motorstorm game gets released, barely anyone notices. They're acting as if Motorstorm is as high profile as Halo or something.

    The most of ever heard about Motorstorm: Apocalypse is from stories about Sony pulling it from shelves.

    But on the other hand, if they're doing this to actually get more people to notice the game, then they deserve to burn in hell.

      Holy shit I laughed so hard at that game name.

    Guys the game is set during a earthquake with people running and buildings collapsing....

    You race during an earthquake with buildings collapsing, give me a break if you really think this is appropriate at the moment.

    i have played it and i can tell you it is not appropriate to ship right now at all.

    Ha Ha I just bought the game an hour ago =) now i feel better that i spent my last 90 bucks on a game that may not be on shelves for a while lol. Still its pretty stupid.

    Sony are dumb shits. Glad I sold my PS3 (jack of all trades, master of none console)
    But total respect to all those going through such terrible times at the moment

    WOW at some of the comments here, there has always been alot of praise for the maturity of the Kotaku AU community, but there are some pretty horrible comments, the city in MS:A is not just abandoned ruins.

    The city actually still has life and the racing takes place during various natural disasters. From the Wiki page.

    The city that the Festival takes place in is enduring the throes of a massive natural disaster, causing the man-made structures in the city to visibly deteriorate. As players race through the tracks, the tracks can change in real-time; bridges can buckle and twist, buildings collapse and rifts open up beneath the vehicles as they drive.

    A new challenge in Apocalypse are the introduction of people who will try to interfere in the event. The city houses two factions who will vie for survival. These groups will try to impede the progress of the racers. They will loot from broken buildings, break into fights on the streets, steal cars and try to slam racers off the road, and attack racers with their firearms. A private military company will attempt to enforce order and their involvement will also create obstacles for racers to overcome (such as an attack helicopter firing missiles onto the track).

    The premise of the events in the game are at the extreme level of what could happen on this planet, currently we've had 2 events in the last month that have devastated whole countries to a similar scale.

    None of this matters to us, as it didn't hit this country. Imagine in a crazy world that Flooding Sim games were all the rage and one was due to be released after Brisbane and the surrounding areas were hit with floods. Would we care then, would the game being released be considered insensitive?

    We all complain that companies are all about making money and as much as possible, I think Sony (whose head office is in Japan remember) should be applauded for showing some moral conscience and attempting to do something, rather than nothing at all.

      If they were really so righteous, they'd delay the game in the US too. It's still slated for an April release in North America.

      Anyone with half a brain who stumbles across visions of earthquakes in Motorstorm would think it was a heck of coincidence and move on. Sony are bowing to the kneejerk, uninformed opinion who would actually get offended by this trivial game. Pre-empting a Fox News backlash by idiots is the worst thing they can do because only idiots would have a real, honest problem with this game. It's on par with EA changing 'Taliban' to 'Opposing Force'.

      The dev team didn't cause the Japan/NZ earthquakes. They made a game ages ago with earthquakes in it. Denying racing game fans the chance to play Motorstorm is not a courageous act by Sony. It just pisses gamers off. How does that help the victims of natural disasters?

      Motorstorm: Apocalypse has nothing to do with the recent tragedies in the world. Sony should stand by their product and donate tons of money to disaster relief instead.

        Obviously it pissed you off, for a start were you honestly going to purchase the game in the first place, or are you simply trolling for fun. I mean if you are intending to, then go out to your local game store and buy it, initial shipments still made it to the store and stores are selling it. Your enjoyment of the game won't be effected.

        Other gamers have that ability to do so, I'm a gamer and I'm not pissed by this announcement at all and during my lunch break I saw the game on the shelves for purchase.

        As for Sony donating money for the relief, they have already started...

        http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/03/gaming-giants-giving-millions-for-earthquake-relief/

        Nothing to sneeze at there only a couple of days after the tragedy, perhaps they will donate more in the future, maybe they will announce that part of the profits from the game will be heading to Earthquake victims also.

          Different opinion = trolling? Really?

            Maybe, maybe not... just looking over the first two comments you made, with CAPS and all, seemed like there was either a lot of anger behind it or it was done for shits and giggles.

            If it's not then perhaps that's what I don't understand why you are so angry about this, as if Sony themselves are personally doing this as an attack on you, or from simply stopping you getting the game.

              I'm only pissed off when game companies make dumb decisions for stupid reasons. Or in fear of stupid people. The fact that I don't actually care about the Motorstorm franchise is beside the point. With all the rubbish we have to deal with in our daily lives, the steady release of something as harmless and awesome as video games should run smooth as silk, layoffs and lawsuits not withstanding.

              Don't come at me like you're doing the world a favour by delaying this game from the sensitive eyes of people who wouldn't care about it anyway. This game is only controversial to morons. Just shutup, release your game and stand by your decision be a part of the most exciting and innovative entertainment business on the planet.

    Bought my copy. Good luck, dev team!

      Dev teams is owned by sony and sony is not going to sack them all because sony made a decision.

      geez

        Look, we've established your opinion on this, just move on with your life. And so what if I still wish the dev team good luck with a new title launch? Are you saying I shouldn't?

        GEEZ

        Oh and don't misinterpret my purchasing the game now as a sign of lack of compassion. I completely understand delaying the release of the game (I think it's a very respectful decision). I work at a TV network and have been seeing some pretty bleak internal footage of the events unfolding (more of that from the Christchurch quake though).

    Meh, the demo was pretty shit anyway. I didn't enjoy the floaty controls much.

    i have a few good games to play at the moment, i dont mind waiting a while for this one.

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