Monster Monpiece is heading west, losing some loli cards


Idea Factory playing it work-safe

Wow. I suppose this is truly the flipside of advocating for more diversity in videogames. After all, there's always the chance that a new type of game might not be something you're into, or even something you dislike.

That said, there's something genuinely encouraging about the idea that companies feel confident enough to start releasing games that even a couple of years ago would be considered unsellable, or even toxic in the English-speaking market. One of those games is definitely Monster Monpiece, Idea Factory's PS Vita card-battler, distinguished mainly by its heavy use of "monster girls", which are moe-fied depictions of various fantasy and mythical beasts. Oh, and powering up cards involves stroking your touch screen in various lewd ways. That's probably the more prominent fact about the game.

Still, Idea Factory International do think that the game's mechanical depth is enough to overcome the potentially...distracting elements of the presentation. But not all the elements of the presentation, for the game's western release will be cutting some of the more lascivious card art from the game, out of concern for western culture and the acceptability of certain imagery. I'll let Idea Factory's statement lay out the reasoning below. In the meantime you can check out some of the to-be-cut images for yourself (link NSFW) and decide if they're really worth getting the axe.

Idea Factory International is fully aware of the concerns expressed by fans, so we would like to inform everyone about the censored images in greater detail.

Monster Monpiece is a card battle game, in which players summon various “Monster Girls” onto the game’s battlefields and then fight their opponents. These cards—meaning the “Monster Girls”—are able to be powered up by exposing themselves (taking off their clothes) via the level-up features called First Crush Rub and Extreme Love. We kept the same number of cards in the game as the original Japanese version, but replaced some of the higher level Monster Girl images with the “less exposed” lower level versions of the corresponding Monster Girls due to some intense sexual imagery. The number of censored cards is about 40 out of the approximately 350 card images available in the game. This means that over 300 cards are left untouched from the original images. That said, each card that has had its image removed will still have the same number of levels for the player to increase, but the higher level card images will be the same as the lower level, even though they have leveled up and have become more powerful. We would like to emphasize that the game’s playtime, the game’s system, and the game’s features are all the same as the original Japanese release, and players can level up their Monster Girls to the highest levels as well, again, matching the Japanese release.

This was a very difficult decision since we work very hard to satisfy our fans and want to bring the same content being offered in Japan. However, Western society is not as lenient as that of Japan when sexual images are involved—especially images of humanoids that appear to be younger than a socially acceptable age. The borderline of what is “acceptable” will always be extremely gray and vary from person to person, but as a responsible company working in the U.S., we had to make the difficult decision that we did. We sincerely apologize for those who do not agree with any level of censorship, but we greatly appreciate your understanding with the decision we have made.

About the rating differences between North America (ESRB, Mature) and Europe (PEGI, 12):

The reason for the difference in these ratings is simply the difference in the rating system between ESRB and PEGI. We received a Mature rating for Monster Monpiece from the ESRB with the censored material we submitted. However, for PEGI, and with the same material assets for their review, they rated it 12+ because of the minimal amount of violence shown in the game. We appreciate your understanding with these rating differences.

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



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