World War II Battleship Game Angers Players In South Korea

At this year's E3 gaming expo, 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.

Some compare the Rising Sun flag to the Nazi swastika — a symbol which has been removed from games in the past, including games localised for Japan.

"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]


    I don't understand why you'd get rid of the flag if it's historically correct. I'm sure WWII shooters have the swastika because it's historically correct.

      Happens all the time... it's the same how the swastika is scrubbed on games released in Germany.

      They'll prolly just scrub the flag for the "Korean" region and keep it as is for the rest of us.

      I don't quite understand either. What do they do about films, text books, documentaries, museums and all the other places and forms of media which would contain potentially offensive historical imagery. Sensibilities are becoming more delicate every day.

        It's all rather ironic that things like this have to be censored, when it was regime's like the Nazi's that wanted to censor everything (or burn it)

    40,000 people found a way to complain about a flag in a video game aiming for historical accuracy?

    This is silly, there has been Rising Sun flags since the old Call of Duty and Medal of Honor games hasn't there?

    I think its the cultural background and history. The Japanese were VERY BRUTAL to the people of Korea, China and South East Asia. Some would say more so than the Nazis. Throughout history the Japanese have done a lot of damage to their image in that region. Many still hold very deep hatred towards the Japanese military and even it's people.

    My wife's family (she is Malay) still keeps the crab pots that the Japanese soldiers put her grandfather and his brother in. They put you in the cage at low tide and leave you there in the hot sun and wait for the tide to roll in so you drown, oh and they don't remove the body, its left there as a message to others. It is a reminder to them of their loss and the suffering they endured under the Japanese occupation.

    So you can expect some outcry over what the flag stood for - Brutality, Murder, Rape and destruction. Just saying "hey, it was war" is not going to cut it when you talk to anyone directly affected by the Japanese Imperial Navy / Army.

      By that logic, we shouldn't have war games either.

      I don't see how that should result in its removal, so long as it isn't myopically glorifying the Japanese forces. Atrocities have been perpetrated throughout history, and they should be presented in the cold light of day with all attendant horror, not swept under the rug. Of course, if you're going to include these elements in a creative piece, you better be damn sure you're presenting it with the respect and gravitas it deserves (which, to be fair, videogames often don't).

      Last edited 06/07/13 11:17 am

        Coming up next: removal of the US flag for its association with a brutal expansionist military regime and its history of firebombing, internment camps, and the mother of all atrocities: the use of nuclear weapons on a civilian population.

        Wait... they're not removing that flag? Huh. Weird. I guess you only get to pick on the countries which lost.

    The difference between me and South Korea apparently: If I find something that offends me (very rarely) , I wont petition to have it changed. I just wont give it my time/money and move along.

    I prefer my method.

      I owuldn't say that it is a difference between you and South Koreans but rather you and large number of other internet users. Pretty sure it wasn't the South Koreans complaining about ME3 ending or racism of Resident Evil 5

    What disgusts me is they still use that flag for there Navy

      Yeah, that's pretty dark.

    I'm sure they don't have any issues with seeing a Nazi flag or they wouldn't complain if the Korean military were being glorified. It's a fucking game which is historically accurate. Half the people who were in the Japanese Navy are not even alive now. They should worry more about their fellow North Koreans instead of crying over a video game. They should simply not buy the game if it offends them. War is war and its in the past - get over it Korea, you are not the only people affected by war.

    Have a cry little babies. History is history. Trying to change it is just rediculous. Trying to convince yourselves this never happened is pathetic. It's a flag for fucks sake!
    It's bad enough that most games deny that the Nazis even existed just to make the fucking Jews happy. Fuck off bleeding hearts.

    Wargaming; PLEASE, PLEASE don't change your game for these whinging idiots. They need to get over it.

    If it's so offensive give it an R18+ rating.

    If we deny what happened and try to erase it from the history books then it sets a precedent for the same things to happen in the future. Denial never solved anything.

    All you idiots saying "get over it", next time there's a controversy over somebody flying the Confederate flag at a football game or wearing the KKK hood to a party, you'll say "get over it", right? Because, of course, you'd be hypocrites otherwise.

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