Home EA executive says Japan’s ratings board was unfairly hard on Dead Space remake

EA executive says Japan’s ratings board was unfairly hard on Dead Space remake


  • EA exec criticizes CERO's rating for Stellar Blade, contrasting it with Dead Space's remake treatment.
  • Stellar Blade, with its provocative elements, got a CERO D rating without censorship, surprising fans.
  • Despite similarities in violence, Dead Space remake was unrated, leading to accusations of bias.

Stellar Blade’s rating by Japan’s Computer Entertainment Rating Organization has drawn pushback from an Electronic Arts executive with implications that publisher’s game, Dead Space’s 2023 remake, faced an unfair double standard.

The criticism comes as Stellar Blade known for its stylish presentation, violence, and a provocatively dressed female protagonist, cleared CERO rating without losing any content to censors.

Fans anticipating the PlayStation exclusive action adventure had been concerned Stellar Blade’s presentation would be controversial enough that the ratings board would demand changes. Not so. Stellar Blade was given a CERO D rating, the second strictest in that country, which permits anyone age 17 or over to buy the game.

But Dead Space’s remake was not even given a rating when it was reviewed last year, meaning that game is unavailable for sale, at least officially.

Japan’s ratings board can seriously alter a publisher’s sales plans

Shaun Noguchi, Electronic Arts’ general manager for Japan, took to X to complain their game got comparatively heavy handed treatment for having roughly the same level of violent content.

“The Stellar Blade demo was really fun and absolutely action packed,” Noguchi said on Sunday, according to a translation. “However, CERO, you denied our Dead Space a rating because it included cross-sections of severed body parts and internal organs, but here we have both cross-sections and insides on display [in Stellar Blade] passed off with a CERO D rating. I find this hard to accept.”

Dead Space, first published in 2008, is a sci-fi survival horror game in which the player protagonist does battle with hideous space monsters, using a laser cutting tool in some cases to dismember his foes before they can attack. The game is rated M (17 and older only) according to North America’s Entertainment Software Ratings Board, and PEGI-18 by Europe’s Pan European Game Information.

Stellar Blade is published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and developed by South Korea-based Shift Up, which went on social media over the weekend to say the game had passed review in all territories with no censorship. The PlayStation 5 exclusive launches on April 26.

A recent demo of the game released in March posted some surprisingly strong playership numbers, even rivaling Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s demo performance and suggesting PlayStation has a big hit on its hands.

Featured image via EA Motive

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Owen Good
Gaming Editor (US)

Owen Good is a 15-year veteran of video games writing, also covering pop culture and entertainment subjects for the likes of Kotaku and Polygon. He is a Gaming Editor for ReadWrite working from his home in North Carolina, the United States, joining this publication in April, 2024. Good is a 1995 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 2000 graduate of The Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, in New York. A second-generation newspaperman, Good's career before covering video games included daily newspaper stints in North Carolina; in upstate New York; in Washington, D.C., with the Associated Press; and…

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