According to Gamemeca (via tipster Sang), the committee denied the game a rating, which means it cannot be released in the country. Any retailer selling imported versions would be breaking the law. (It’s unclear now the committee could stop the selling of digital versions on various PSN accounts.)
When the Game Rating and Administration Committee rejects a game, it provides detailed reasoning why the game was turned down. The committee cited Game Law Article 32 Section 2-3, stating, “There is a concern for societal disruption due to amplified portrayal of crime, violence, sex and etc which in turn would incite criminal behaviour or copycat crimes.” The game was scheduled to be released this September.
The assumption has been that the reason why Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is banned is due to a recent murder case in which a 17 year-old young woman was arrested for allegedly murdering and dismembering an 8 year-old girl. A game about kids killing kids might be too close to home.
An investigative news program called We Want To Know covered the case, and as tipster Sang points out, the show recounted how the suspect supposedly discussed morbid acts on Twitter with others, including how to remove human flesh from bones.
The caption reads: “You will be living together in this school now. The only way out of here is to become a murderer and survive the academic trial. It doesn’t matter how you kill.” [translation: Sang] [Image: Imgur]
The show used a Danganronpa parody to explain this online group, even though these Twitter users don’t seem to be part of the Danganronpa community or even connected to the game in anyway.
Because the game was recently used in this way and because this gruesome crime was so recent, could this be why the game didn’t get a rating?
Website This Is Game contacted the committee and asked if the decision was based on this recent crime. A spokesperson for the committee told This is Game (via Sang), “The decision was based on the game’s content. We did raise concern about copy cat crime and whatnot, but the rating was not denied just because of that. We determined that the game had crossed the line where it was difficult to allow this in society.”
Previous entries in the series have been released in South Korea, receiving an “Adults Only” rating. In December 2015, for example, a localised version of Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls was released in South Korea.
The game’s publisher Sony Computer Entertainment Korea has seven days to file a reply to the committee’s decision. “We are currently discussing internally on how we should respond to this,” SCEK told Gamemeca.
[Thanks Sang for the tip!]