Privates likely to be denied Live release

By Joe Anderson, Sunday, 23 May 2010 17:59 GMT


Microsoft looks set to deny an Xbox Live indie title a release on 360 as it’s set inside the vagina and rectum.

The game, named Privates, has been developed by British firm Zombie Cow with funding from Channel 4, who planned to market it as educational.

Privates, however, looks set to be denied release on 360 at least, with Microsoft saying:

“This game has not been submitted to our pre-publication peer review process, and it has not been approved for distribution on Xbox Live Indie Games. We have guidelines in place that closely track requirements of content ratings boards worldwide and, among other things, prohibit the publication of strong sexual content.

“While we haven’t seen this game, we can confirm that if it is consistent with the description we have seen on the Internet, this game would not pass peer review and would not be permitted to be distributed on Xbox Live.”

Zombie Cow founder Dan Marshall feels his game could be used to indirectly promote safe sex through its dealing with condom use, and says it was written to follow the Personal, Social and Health Education guidelines of the British government’s National Curriculum.

“The whole thing is essentially aimed at teenage boys,” he told Seattle PI.

“That said, we’re doing it in an entertaining, funny way, so it’s approachable by people of all ages. It’s a really interesting project.”

Marshall is not worrying now about Xbox approval, as the game will be released for free on PC by Channel 4 in either case.

“It’s one of those bridges we’ll just have to cross when it comes to it,” he added.

“There was always going to be a risk it won’t pass Peer Review, but obviously we’ll do whatever we can to get the Xbox version out. It’d be a shame if a huge number of teenagers missed out on some quality gaming and vital education because of some abstract, cellular-level innards and pubic hairs.

“The feedback I’ve had so far suggests it shouldn’t be a huge problem, and I’m sure the guys doing the peer review will judge it fairly and accordingly based on a thorough playthrough of the game. Although the content nudges the boundaries of the XBIG terms, I’m pretty sure we’re acceptably within them – particularly when the educational value of the title becomes apparent.

“When we’ve got a beta build, we’ll talk to Microsoft about it and see what they say, but it’s a little too early to start worrying about that sort of thing now.”

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Dan Marshall


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