Idea Factory Doesn’t Release Some Risque Games In The West Due To Gender Politics

Idea Factory International is known for publishing a lot of games from the Japanese studio, Compile Heart. Idea Factory have recently been releasing a quite a few of Compile Heart games here in the West on PC after they had successful runs on various PlayStation devices. However, even the president of the Japanese publisher had to admit that the gender political debate in North America — regarding female representation and the censorship of some ideas and depictions — have prevented them from releasing some of the more risque Compile Heart titles in the West.

In a quick interview with Operation Rainfall, the discussion briefly centered around Koei Tecmo and their announcement that they wouldn’t be releasing Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 in the West – for Europe and the Americas – due to the vicious gender political debates and attacks that some companies have become embroiled in for the way they depict fictional female characters in games.

Idea Factory president Haru Akenaga mentioned to Operation Rainfall…

“That’s honestly [Koei Tecmo’s] decision, but yes, sadly, [the topic of sexualization of women in games] has stopped us from localizing certain Compile Heart games. We don’t want to censor anymore because we know that’s not true to the original developed art.”

In this case, it’s self-censorship in a region to avoid having to deal with the company’s image getting smeared in the mud by media websites intent on making publishers and developers shamed for their choice in how they depict women in games.

Interestingly enough this kind of self-censorship is something that developers in the Middle East practice often. They do so to avoid media backlash or, worse yet, real life violence from religious zealots. Back on March 16th, 2015, Samer Abbas, co-founder of Play3arabi, had mentioned to Arabic Gamers…

“[…] we know that our culture is rather conservative, therefore and although we are not subject to governmental censorship we practise respect. We do not want to offend our gamers, by giving them a game that would stir nationwide controversy


“[…] we would sensor things such as sexual content and gambling because it would offend the majority of society’s traditional values, irrespective of religion.


“We have to draw a line somewhere, and we have to make decisions based on our society on what should be censored.”

It’s identical to Koei Tecmo choosing not to release Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 for fear of media backlash about the game being “sexist, creepy” and “misogynistic”; three descriptors that have become commonplace in most articles when the media reports about the Dead or Alive series in the past two years. And it’s also identical to Idea Factory choosing not to release their games in the west so as to avoid the cost of paying extra to censor out content from the original release.

NCSoft has recently undergone the same sort of scrutiny when Blade & Soul had various aspects of the content, quests and characters censored due to the localization team feeling as if some of the original content in the M-rated MMO, Blade & Soul, came across as “culturally insensitive”.


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

50 thoughts on “Idea Factory Doesn’t Release Some Risque Games In The West Due To Gender Politics

  1. Very, very disappointing. On the one hand these publishers are being very cowardly but on the other hand these foolish, whiny groups DO exist. I can’t believe they’re having this effect. I don’t want my region being held to “Middle-Eastern” standards for morality.

    It’s culturally insensitive to censor content in my opinion, I guess I don’t whine enough though.

  2. man i really feel bad about those arab devs

    i dont like that overall we get to experience less games because some people get offended at virtual despictions of women

    1. It’s a real shame what they have to deal with. One part of me felt sick how badly they’re being creatively stifled, while another part of me felt relieved that at least they’ve self-censored to protect themselves so they don’t have to worry about literally being beheaded for making a game that offends the wrong group of people.

      1. “while another part of me felt relieved that at least they’ve
        self-censored to protect themselves so they don’t have to worry about
        literally being beheaded for making a game that offends the wrong group
        of people.”

        Whilst I agree with what you said, I still think what they did is more of a ‘cowardly-chicken’ act than a being ‘being safe and protecting themselves’ act.

        The worst the SJWs/feminists can do is paint and smear them as a “misogynistic” and “sexist” company if they keep punlishing ‘risque’ games. Whilst I agree that can be pretty damaging, the flipside is that the games company will be respected by and have the entire support of real gamers.

        After all, SJWs/feminists are the minority.

        The solution to all this SJW/feminist ideology is for these little whiners to just piss off and make their own games. No-one will try to stop them or/and censor anything they put into their game.

  3. I’d much prefer to import an uncensored game than purchase it domestically censored. The ideal situation would be to purchase it domestically uncensored but SJW’s are more concerned with their feelings than freedom of expression. Therefor, I’ll continue to support developers internationally in their own markets rather than support censorship domestically.

  4. I really don’t understand why they wouldn’t release it here.
    are the SJWs going to visit them and beat them up?

    Beside of some angry twitter and tumblr posts nothing is going to happen. But hey, it’s their loss when they don’t want millions of possible buyers.

    1. You gotta look at the long game. This kind of BS can follow you for life. Look at what happened to Brad Wardell, receiving death and rape threats against his family for being perceived for being a sexual assault assailant based on misrepresented news articles from gaming blogs.

      Why would you even risk that if you have a family?

      Look at what’s recently going on with American McGee and his sister. Receiving death threats just because he’s neutral to #GamerGate? WTF kind of nonsense is that? No one should be receiving death threats for opinions about video games… NO ONE.

      These Japanese companies likely just don’t want to get dragged through the mud and have their image tarnished by repeated, negative publicity by Western media. Who wants the legacy of their company to be that they were a “creepy, misogynistic” company? All it takes is enough citogenesis to make it a reality in something corrupt like Wikipedia.

      1. So what you’re saying is, SJW is terrorists? Because that sounds exactly like terrorism, pushing people to behave the way you want “or else”.

      2. I don’t know if I would call them terrorist, but yeah… the behavior is kind of like that. I mean, Ben Kuchera threatening that EA dev who spoke out against the journos? Mark Kern getting threatened by VG 24/7 to back away. The former IGN/Gamespot journos basically telling Play-Asia their business could get cornholed if they didn’t rethink their position… I mean… I don’t know… what does that sound like to you?

        Sounds like hipster Mafia if you ask me.

      3. I would call them terrorists. Many a time have they made me and others I know fear for our safety and livelihood.

        They also have a long record of making all sorts of threats, including bomb threats. As far as I’m concerned, that’s clear-cut terrorism.

      4. I feel horrible for American Mcgee. Not only has he seen first hand where this kind of mentality leads, living in China, but combine that with the threats and his sister being MISSING (Unless more news has come out recently.), and yeah. The poor guy. The first Alice was my very first pc game purchased for my own home built pc for myself, not shared by the family. Then I learn the guy is a big time “Make your art how YOU want it” person. I have a huge amount of respect for the guy in terms of development. Sure not all his games hit the marks to be classics, but the Alice duo are great, and I actually like Grimm.

      5. Massive props to him for coming out and speaking truth in this climate… and it really is a horrible situation he’s in right now.

        I mean, think about that, though… we’re celebrating an artist being honest and speaking freely? It’s a real bad sign of the times when public honesty is now a rare and cherished act of bravery.

      6. According to McGee’s most recent update, the cops aren’t just “not doing shit”, they’re actively refusing to investigate now.because people criticized them for not doing shit.

      7. With regards to American McGee, it’s even worse now: apparently his sister (who lives in the Casa Linda neighborhood of east Dallas) disappeared under mysterious circumstances about a month ago, and the Dallas Police Department – to whom the incident was reported, along with the threatening messages – is now actively refusing to investigate because people publicly criticized their lackadaisical attitude towards the case.

      8. So this is what it’s come to, huh? Now they expect ‘Gators to put on a cape and become a real-life superhero too?

        Has McGee rolled out any sort of plan on how to proceed? Or is he going to wait on the assassinators of donuts and coffee to get off their lazy, failed-Jenny-Craig-diet arses?

      9. Well, one person I’ve spoken to has suggested seeing if we can get CopBlock involved in this; according to him, malfeasance like this is their bread and butter.

    2. I think JP people tend to avoid trouble instead of diving headfirst into it.
      There are some exceptions, of course, such as Kamiya who tell people off to their face and mock them. Everyone should be like Kamiya.

  5. I see you’ve been doing a series of articles on different kinds of censorship, if you’d like an example of this kind of bullshit happening in localization in the past, I’ve got a good example right here. In 2011, when TERA Online was localized by Enmasse Entertainment, they censored the Elin race by removing skimpy outfits and editing all the gear to be less revealing. Luckily, as the Korean developers started making more and more outfits for the Elin race (due to Elin being the most successful part of the entire game), Enmasse was forced to allow the outfits in. Currently there is a new feminist community manager, Danicia Prior, who is trying to censor incoming Elin outfits and is advising the team to not allow this kind of “filth” in. She was hired about a month ago, and she’s already done more than enough to fuck up the community than anyone ever.

    1. That sounds pretty awful. I haven’t been keeping track much of TERA but did hear about the female outfits being censored. Do you have any links off hand for proof? I can dive into the rest from there.

      1. If you’re really keen on seeing what an MMO under the grip of SJWs look like, look no further than the now-Free-To-Play MMO Guild Wars 2.

        For starters, ArenaNet had invited no other than Anita Sarkeesian herself to give a talk on diversity. Their (well, at first) community managers were all rabid SJWs and anti-#Gamergate.

        (Funny, most mentions of Anita’s visit to the GW2 devs’ offices were scrubbed clean–gee, I wonder why?–but I did find this from an ex-employee who didn’t wipe their Twitter ).

        On the other hand though, this feminist reign isn’t really as totalitarian as the SJWs wanted, as there has been MASSIVE pushback from both the community and the handful of devs sympathetic to GG that are working in the company. The layoffs and flood of resignations for the past couple of years may seem like the game is dying, but if you look closely, most of these employees quietly removed or replaced from important positions also were the ones at the anti-GG side of this controversy.

        In the game itself, the evolving overarching storyline called the Living Story had major reshuffling, with certain NPCs that were “paragons of diversity” shoved out of the spotlight, and themes that would at a certain point of view be interpreted as feminist ideas subverted by portraying the negative side of said ideology. (Perhaps there’s more to Felicia Day’s refusal to return to voice one of the iconic NPCs in GW2 than an issue of unequal salary? The whole “difficult to work with” rumors may be a flag.)

        So, while GW2 is still a “feminist-approved” MMO according to any SJW leanings will get you laughed at in-game at the very least.

        I’m actually a little regretful not archiving more evidence, but I’m not really that active in GW2 these days.

        If you happened to have been aware of this already, I apologize for the redundancy. Still, this may be interesting to look into as a case study.

      2. What the hell. Western devs need to stop inviting Sarkeesian all the damn time.

        Not that it matters for GW2. I tried it a little and thought it was absolutely terrible. Bots running everywhere, all the NPCs looking exactly the same, boring gameplay, etc.

        Sarkeesian isn’t going to save a sinking ship that she doesn’t even care about. She will just take its money and run for the hills, as always.

      3. I hate to say, but indeed, GW2 was one of the most dull games I have playing on my life.. everything was so generic and bland… staring at badly painted wall was more fun than that…

      4. I did not hear about this… thanks for the heads-up. Definitely something worth taking a look into assuming there hasn’t been a scrubbing of the history and a revisionist agenda put into place.

    2. I forgot who it was who said it, but “social justice warrior” is apparently seen as a very positive background for community manager positions. Probably one of the reasons why community managers tend to be raging SJWs.

      From what I’ve seen, the people that run around attacking others interests are usually hiding something extremely filthy about themselves. She’s probably into the kinkiest most disturbing stuff imaginable.

    3. Another example of SJWs ruining games for the rest of us. When I played, Elins were the most popular race among men and women I played with.

  6. Some people will say this isn’t censorship.
    But can anyone say this is ok?
    That they’re afraid of what the SJW will do to hurt them so much they get bullied into not being able to release the games they have, games they know their fans want ?
    Of course not.
    It’s disgusting.
    It’s third world oppressive level of retarded.

    1. Artists/creators/devs/companies can be publically pressured, harrassed, doxed, bullied and shamed to remove something they put in against their own free will.

      It’s called indirect censorship.

      And these authoritarian censoring feminist bastards know it.

  7. Idea Factory games are a interesting case here at home. I find them fun, especially the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, which is a ode and parody to the Japanese gaming industry… but my wife likes their games more than me! She finds way more comfortable to be surrounded by cute anime girls in pastel colors horsing around than playing as Tomb Raider or any other “strong female character” SJW like to shoehorn down own throats. Makes sense to me, all that pastel colors and girl chat around IF games might be “too sweet” for me, but it’s fair game for a girl’s world.

    It’s a shame they don’t release more of their games around here, my wife would have more interesting games to play.

    What get’s me more in all of this now is how SJW are saying this “isn’t censorship”. In the strict sense of the word, certainly, is not, but culturally speaking? This is the same thing puritanical Victorians did with porn in their time, or what conservatives in America almost did to Playboy in their early years. It’s cultural censorship, it’s the same entitled outrage culture conservative had for CENTURIES that many people FOUGHT hard against. It’s amazing that the “female liberation” is putting more and more shackles on artistic expression than the conservatives ever did.

    Maybe, finally, people will start to see what SJW and new wave feminists really want… to replace one “tyrannical rule” with another one, their own.

    1. “What get’s me more in all of this now is how SJW are saying this “isn’t censorship”.”

      SJWs/feminists operate by making sure artists/creators/devs/companies can be publically pressured, harrassed, doxed, bullied and shamed to remove something they put in against their own free will.

      It’s called indirect censorship. Anita Sarkessian and her brigade of SJW feminist retards are the experts at it.

      So the next time one of these bigoted little SJWs/feminists have the nerve to claim it’s “not censorship” just tell them what I’ve just explained.

      1. Even if it’s not “censorship”, it’s a bunch of unqualified, selfish, ignorant assholes policing everyone else in the world, based on little more than personal opinion, misguided beliefs, and oft disproven assumptions.

      2. Indeed. Censorship is censorship, even if it is indirect.

        Not only are they trying to destroy other people’s right to free speech, I believe at the root of it all is them trying to take away things that men enjoy.

      3. I’ll try next time then, though I don’t expect much, most of them are equipped with a Thick Skull that has +30 Resistance to Logic. It’ll most likely be critically ineffective.

      4. Not only the Thick Skull and +30 Resistance To Logic – the most powerful weapon they have by far is the Victim Shield. It manages to deceive, confuse and hypnotizes neutral characters into doing whatever they want for them. What a weapon that is.

  8. As long as they make a english-asia version and we import the game from their stores this should not be a problem, it’ll just cost a little more to get the games we want.

  9. In before SJWs insist that the interview is an “obviously false article” and cry that being blamed for their terrible behavior is “triggering” and “harassment”.

    Then they will argue that they don’t actually exist and have no power.

    1. Well countless media articles prove that they do. This small vocal minority comes into a hobby and fucks it up to the point where said hobby has to bend to their politics. We have seen it in sci-fi, comics, atheism, beginning to see it heavy in movies, and in gaming.

  10. I just hope they release games on PC then.

    Also, I hope there are localizers who do not accept censorship to man up and take up the rights to these games.

  11. Can you fix this clickbait article so that its actually correct? It’s not Idea Factory. Haru Akenaga is the president of Idea Factory International (not Idea Factory – a different company).

    Please do more research before making more clickbait articles that stretch the interview itself.

    1. Please do more research before making more clickbait articles that stretch the interview itself.

      ??? LOL

      Anyway, I added “International” at the end.

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