Here’s why The Callisto Protocol has been banned in Japan


The Callisto Protocol surely is one of the biggest video game releases of the year. Made by some of the people who were behind the Dead Space games, some people have taken to calling this “Dead Space 4” – a game which was never actually made as developer Visceral Games was shut down by EA back in 2017.

But despite the fact that a Dead Space remake is coming early next year, many see The Callisto Protocol as the true spiritual successor of the 2008 survival horror classic, and no doubt expectations were sky high for the game, which is made by developer Striking Distance Studios.

The thing is, this blockbuster AAA game is not getting the stellar review scores that were expected of it – its Metacritic score currently stands at 76 for the PS5 version of the game, which is something of a disappointment no doubt.

The game seems to focus more on action rather than horror, and generally fails to live up to the original Dead Space according to critics. Plus, the PC version of the game has shipped with some technical glitches according to some. Also, the game’s middling scores have hit publisher Krafton were it hurts, with its shares taking a plunge in the stock market as a result…

What’s clear, though, is that this is a brutally violent and gory game, something that the Japanese ratings board (CERO) has chosen to ban the game in the Asian nation, citing Callisto’s excessive violence as the main reason for this.

Apparently, developer Striking Distance has refused to censor its game, not wanting Japanese gamers to play a compromised version of it, and so the game won’t be going on sale in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The game’s gory content (which includes dismemberment and impalement amongst other things) was apparently too much for CERO, which upheld the ban upon Striking Distance’s refusal to alter the game for the Japanese market.

But developers having to tone down violence and gore in their games is not an uncommon thing in Japan, as the Japanese versions of Capcom’s Resident Evil games aren’t quite as violent or bloody as their Western counterparts.

Whether this kind of censorship is good or not is a matter of debate, though, but the sad thing is that Japanese gamers won’t be able to lay their hands on what undoubtedly is one of the biggest video game releases of the year.

Read more: The Callisto Protocol trailer showcases the game’s prison setting