Modern horror games have pushed the limits of the genre over the past few decades. As graphics improve, games have become more violent, bloody and traumatic for players. These changes have meant ratings difficulties for some games, like the upcoming Resident Evil Village. As Capcom revealed in a statement to its Japanese audience, the game will be heavily censored in Japan to comply with Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) standards.
The changes include removing decapitations of humanoid characters, removal of some undefined scenes that CERO prohibits, and reduced overall gore. Despite these changes, Capcom assured fans there was “basically” no difference between the versions releasing overseas and the ones releasing in Japan.
In the statement, per Alex Aniel, the company also revealed the game will be released in two different versions in Japan — CERO Z (18+) and ZERO D (17+) versions. It’s currently unclear how these versions will differ, or if both will contain the outlined censorship.
Capcom JP confirms that JP ver. of Village (Z & D) differ from the NA/EU ver. in the following ways:
– No decapitations
– Less blood shown
– No scenes that CERO prohibits
— Alex Aniel (@cvxfreak) March 5, 2021
CERO standards are particularly strict and are designed to reduce obscene violence or explicit content. Earlier last year, The Last of Us Part II ran into similar issues with sex scenes, as well as depictions of gore and dismemberment, being removed from the Japanese version of the game entirely.
Similar standards apply to depictions of gambling, extreme horror elements, drinking, drugs and foul language despite the existence of a ‘CERO Z’ rating, equivalent to R18+ in Australia.
It’ll mean the versions of Resident Evil Village released in Japan will feature alternative, less violence cuts — but due to the potential for spoilers, we won’t know exactly what changes have been made until the final version releases.
Given the PS5 isn’t region-locked, users in Japan will still be able to grab the international version of the game by purchasing it overseas or switching to the international version of the digital PlayStation Store, but it won’t be available for sale anywhere in Japan.
Resident Evil Village is set to be released on PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on May 7.
Stay tuned to Kotaku Australia for all the latest news and announcements as we get closer to the game’s release date.