Nintendo Switch

Zen Studios Comments On Censorship In Pinball FX3 DLC

It seems a lot of owners who purchased the additional downloadable content for Pinball FX3 noticed that the Medieval Madness, Fish Tales, and Junk Yard tables have been censored in someway with removal of pieces of the original artwork such as the covering up of some scantily clad women and bloody swords, etc. ArsTechnica covered this earlier in the week and have since had a statement from Zen Studios VP of Publishing Mel Kirk who explained that the censorship took place to enable them to keep the family friendly rating, as Mel says that it’s ultimately a family series of games.

“We pride ourselves on Pinball FX being a very family-friendly game,” Kirk said. “People expect a specific type of game associated with certain types of content. I’m not going to jeopardize all those relationships, all that history, all those families that play the game for some bits of artwork.” The ESRB did not review the original artwork or demand any changes to it before the alterations were made, Kirk said.”

“We’ve been penalized ourselves by the ESRB previously,” he said. “We made some mistakes. We can’t afford to be caught again.”

“Kirk also acknowledged that other Williams games added to Pinball FX3 in the future would probably need ratings-related alterations as well. In Champion Pub for instance, a simulated gambling mini-game might have to be removed entirely.”

“In extreme cases like this, something Zen has considered for a while is, is there another iteration of Pinball FX that can exist?” he said. “It’s a completely different game experience, it has more mature content, it can have blood and guts, there can be more mature themes, simulated gambling. That is something we’re actively talking about internally right now… It’s really just a matter of how much we want to focus on this. Does it bother us enough that people are mad at us?… It’s a vocal minority, but nonetheless they’re very important and we want to make them happy too.”

“For all the hardcore players that don’t like what we’ve done, we have just as many people saying thank you for doing this, because now my kids can play too, and they now know these games,” he said. “If the artwork and some of the things that are more mature are super important to people, we’ll hear them and we’ll try to make those available, maybe under a different label or a different game. But FX3 is a family-friendly game.”

“I have daughters myself that are 8 and 10 and I’m so excited that I can let them play Medieval Madness and not worry about some of the things that are in there that they’re not ready for.”]

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31 comments

  1. Why can’t people leave original artwork alone when it comes to video games ? No matter what people say or do they’re going to “offend” somebody ! Grow up people get the hell over it ! People are who they are for a reason trust me it ain’t to fucking offend your asses my God. If it’s gonna offend you don’t buy it problem solved but don’t strip it away from players and people who enjoy original art work please . Thank you

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  2. When I was a kid, my grandparents took my brother and I to the beach all the time and we never gave a fuck about the scantily clad women. I also never gave a fuck whenever I was injured or took a blood test that there was blood.

    Its called everyday normal shit.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. haha i knew people were gonna get mad over censorship in a fucking pinball game. what’s the matter snowflakes, did you get butthurt over them taking out your anime titty girls?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Typically, censorship in video games cuts across both sides of the aisle to busybody moms sheltering their children. I mean, I could see someone on the left get upset that this censorship is body shaming the female form or upset that not censoring it was objectifying women with images depicting unrealistic body standards. But honestly, censoring nudity and obscenity has historically been a right leaning movement, particularly out of the church base. In fact, the term “puritanical” specifically has its roots in religious objection, which isn’t quite what you’d think of with SJWs. There has certainly been plenty of censorship in games catering to the group you’re talking about, but nudity isn’t really one of those. As for why the devs are catering to those folk, it’s more likely that they’re ONE OF THOSE FOLK. Trust me when I say the VAST majority of game devs affiliate with the left.

        I know it feels good to cluster a group of people you see online and hate them like you would an opposing sports team, but try to keep these things focused and defined appropriately.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. If you were concerned about being family friendly, why were these type of things in the game in the first place? The censoring wouldn’t have been needed if you had used different art.

    If these girls were in what were essentially bikinis, what was the point in censoring that? What? You don’t think kids see that shit at beaches or public pools? lol Fox Kids and 4Kids had these same retarded ways of thinking, too. Can’t say blood, show blood, can’t say death, show someone dying, can’t allow references to peeing or pooping (but fart jokes are apparently acceptable), etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They art is present in the original pinball table that the game is replicating. It wasn’t originally in the video game and then removed.

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      1. Like I said below, pick a different pinball machine if the machine had art they felt wasn’t family friendly. It’s still censorship as they changed the original art to be more family friendly. It doesn’t matter if it wasn’t in the video game first. If I make a pinball machine with naked women in it and someone comes along and changes the art to where the women are clothed before putting it in their game, they still censored the original art that I had created.

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      2. I’m not arguing for censorship and I fully appreciate the idea of maintaining the integrity of the artwork. As a dad, I get it though. I don’t love depictions of smoking, for example, and it looks like that was a lot of the changes they’re making. The appropriate choice is an options toggle for a PG and a PG-13 mode.

        I use this software on a digital pinball table build, and I love the idea of porting over real tables. The problem is that now if I have a pinball table setup for my kids to bring friends over and play, I want some measure of control over content because I’m far more careful with what other parents kids are able to see under my watch. Just because I feel something is appropriate for my kids doesn’t mean it is for someone elses. A lot of these things were built to grab mens attention in bars back in the day. That gets tricky if you’re a dev trying to introduce the genre to a younger audience.

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      1. And? If the original pinballs had something they felt wasn’t family friendly, they should have gone with different pinball machines. There are plenty of pinball machines that aren’t “offensive.”

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  5. lol, just checked my old PS3 copy of Williams Pinball Hall of Fame, which has Medieval Madness, rated e10+. Just checked the PS4 disk release of Pinball Arcade, also with Medieval Madness, also e10+. Checked Pinball FX3’s rating on Nintendo.com… e10+

    Good call, I don’t think Zen could keep their family friendly image with a rating bump like that. Also it looks like that Farsight Studios lost their rights to the William tables on Pinball Arcade, so you can only get these censored tables for now.

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  6. With stuff like this I don’t know why they don’t just release the game censored or whatever, but then make it where you can register or request a simple dlc code to unlock the uncensored art for those who want it. I don’t know how you can prove age but I’m sure they could think of something.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I never get why people go up in arms about this kind of stuff. I personally don’t care in games where it doesn’t impede my progress or gameplay in some way, shape, or form.

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  8. Kids play GTA and COD. Just stupid to censor some pieces of art most people wouldn’t even notice because of the possibility some kids might see. Ridiculous.

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