It’s enough to make some Ukrainian gamers want to hit something.
WB Games, a branch of the U.S. Warner Bros. entertainment company, has canceled the release of its video game Mortal Kombat 11 scheduled for April 23 for the Ukrainian market, upsetting the Ukrainian gamer community.
“We have canceled the release of Mortal Kombat 11 in the Ukrainian market to ensure that we are compliant with local laws within that country,” the support service of WB Games, also known as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, told PlayUA, a Ukrainian gaming website.
WB Games did not specify which Ukrainian laws it is trying to comply with. The company has not yet replied to the Kyiv Post’s request for further comments.
However, the gamer community suggested that WB Games canceled the release of Mortal Kombat 11 to comply with the Ukrainian law “on the condemnation of the communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes, and prohibition of propaganda of their symbols.”
The special edition of Mortal Kombat 11 for Russia features a bonus costume for one of the characters – Kold War Skarlet – a red trench coat with Soviet red stars on the cap and muzzle. Ukraine is included in the “Russia” region on most gaming platforms.
If this is the case, it is unclear why WB Games was unwilling to separate Ukraine for the “Russia” region and remove the problematic special content from the game that would be released in Ukraine.
WB Games said they could review their decision to cancel the release of Mortal Kombat in Ukraine if there are changes in the laws.
“Our decision may be further reviewed based on changes to the laws. We apologize for any disappointment this might have caused,” WB Games told PlayUA.
In contrast, another video game publishing company Bethesda Softworks has altered a substantial part of the video game series Wolfenstein in 2014-207 to remove Nazi imagery, such as swastikas, to comply with Germany’s bans on Nazi and communist symbols.
Swastikas were replaced with another symbol and the mustache of Hitler portrayed in the game was removed. Since 2018 the ban was lifted from video game content in Germany.
Mortal Kombat 11 was pulled from the Ukrainian Steam and Play Station Store online gaming shops in April. Those who have already paid for the digital versions will receive full refunds.
Mortal Kombat 11 is a fighting game with “Mature” rating on The Entertainment Software Rating Board. It is only suitable for persons ages 17 and older due to intense violence, blood and gore.
The game is planned for release on PS4, Xbox One and PC platforms.
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