Omega Labyrinth Z will not be released in the United Kingdom due to its ‘promotion of the sexualization of children,’ the Video Standards Council Rating Board said in a statement.
The D3 Publisher-developed dungeon RPG marks the first time a game has been banned in the United Kingdom since Manhunt 2 in 2008.
Being “banned” means that the game has been refused a rating, which in turn means that it cannot legally be sold in the country.
The United Kingdom is the fifth country to ban the sale of Omega Labyrinth Z. The game will also not be released in Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.
Omega Labyrinth Z first launched for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in Japan in July 2017. It is due out in North America and Europe (excluding the aforementioned countries) this spring.
Find the full statement from the Video Standards Council Rating Board below.
Omega Labyrinth Z is a dungeon crawler game for the PS4 and PlayStation Vita. It was submitted with a provisional PEGI 16 rating for depictions of erotic or sexual nudity. The game is set at the ‘Anberyl Girls Academy’ and legend has it that a holy grail exists that can grant any wish. It is hidden in one of the ancient caves that is located somewhere in the school grounds. A group of female students set out to explore the caves with the aim of finding the grail.
This game contains strong sexual themes and nudity. Throughout the course of the game the player is required to take part in a series of mini-games which feature frequent female sexual nudity, eroticisation and sexual innuendo. The player is required, on occasion, to sexually arouse the female characters by touching their intimate areas via a touch screen or by using the analogue thumb sticks.
The player can choose to interact with any of the playable characters. One of the girls, in particular, is very youthful both visually and vocally, thus reinforcing the salacious nature of the game.
Most of the gameplay is typical of this style of game. The violence in the game is non-realistic and of a minor nature towards both human and fantasy characters. When an enemy is defeated the player-character gains experience points and when they have gained enough experience points they level up which causes their breasts to grow a cup-size. In this game, bigger breasts mean bigger stats (such as higher attack, and more health points). Throughout these levels various items can be collected including swords, shields and underwear. These items can then be used to equip the characters. This element of the gameplay typically makes up ninety per cent of the game.
There are numerous mini-games which feature sexually explicit and ultimately problematic content. Examples include:
The player touches certain points on a female character’s body to arouse them. A successful action will activate a “shame break” where parts of their clothing come off revealing more of their bodies. The female characters respond with varying degrees of sexual innuendo and arousal.
The player places honey on the girls’ bodies. A fantastical dog-like creature then proceeds to lick the honey off their bodies which causes them to become aroused. Like the previous mini-game, when they reach a certain level of arousal parts of their clothing fall off or vanish. As the dog licks at the honey, the girls respond with sexualised language. In both this mini-game and the previous one, if their breasts or thighs are touched a jiggle animation will be shown. Selecting the correct area on their body during a “shame break” will also result in the ‘E-spot’ being activated and the character will respond with heightened pleasure.
A crystal can be placed between a character’s breasts. The player must then fondle and rub the breasts together in order to identify what is in the crystal. The crystal itself has a clearly phallic quality to it. The player controls the breasts with the analogue sticks or touchpad. There is also a variation of this mini-game where the player can make a fairy-like character rub herself up and down on the crystal with accompanying moans of pleasure.
The hot-spring mini-game allows the player to fondle the girls’ breasts. There is no other interaction in these scenes. Before starting the scene, the player can select which female they wish to interact with and choose their breast size. For taking part in this optional mini-game the characters are cured of all ailments and receive stat boosts.
The VSC Rating Board has ruled that the video game, Omega Labyrinth Z, will not be issued a UK Certificate of Classification.
This refusal is relevant to physical product only (disc, cartridge, etc.) Under the terms of the Video Recordings Act (1984), the VSC Rating Board is required to consider the likelihood of any game causing harm to the user and, subsequently, to wider society by the way in which the game deals with and portrays images of criminal, violent or horrific behaviour, illegal drugs and human sexual activity. The grounds for this decision are as follows: – The likely harm being caused to a viewer or potential viewer, e.g. children or young people.
The game is explicit in its setting within a “school” environment and the majority of the characters are young girls – one child is referred to as being a “first year” student and is seen holding a teddy bear. The game clearly promotes the sexualisation of children via the sexual interaction between the game player and the female characters. The style of the game is such that it will attract an audience below the age of 18.
There is a serious danger that impressionable people, i.e. children and young people viewing the game would conclude that the sexual activity represented normal sexual behaviour. There is a constant theme of sexual innuendo and activity throughout the game that suggests behaviour likely to normalise sexual activity towards children. As a means of reward gained by successfully navigating the game, the player has the means to sexually stimulate the female characters by using either a hand held remote device or touch screen software.
The VSC Rating Board believes this content in a game, which would have strong appeal to non-adult players, is an issue which would be unacceptable to the majority of UK consumers and, more importantly, has the potential to be significantly harmful in terms of the social and moral development of younger people in particular.