At this year's E3 gaming expo, Wargaming.net showed off its latest PC title, World of Warships. The game's new trailer pissed off some gamers in Korea. Here's why.
In the trailer, you can see the Japanese Rising Sun Flag, which was flown during World War II. Obviously, because of what happened during the war, the flag still angers many in South Korea as well as in other parts of Asia.
The Korea Herald reports that group of Korean gamers were so upset by the Imperial flag's inclusion in World of Warships, it collected a petition with approximately 40,000 signatures in protest.
Keep in mind that even today the Rising Sun flag appears on Asahi beer cans, the Asahi Newspaper, and Asahi taxi cabs. The flag is still the official ensign of the Japanese Navy. That doesn't make the flag or what it is associated with OK, it's merely a fact.
"We will be removing the Rising Sun flag from the game in the future," a moderator wrote on Wargaming's official forum. "There has been quite a bit of discussion recently regarding this sensitive topic and I hope this clears some of the confusion."
Even though World of Warships is set during World War II, there is a precedent for this: Last fall, Apple would not approve a naval combat game because it had the Japanese wartime flag in it.
Wargaming, which is based in Belarus and is also known for World of Tanks, is keeping the Rising Sun flag in the Western versions of the game, with the rationale that the Japanese Imperial flag is not outlawed like the swastika is in some places in Europe and Latin America.
Rising Sun flag in online game angers Koreans [The Korea Herald]