Has Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed Been Censored?

Earlier today, the PC version of Sonic & All Stars Racing transformed recieved an update which added a new character… however, eagled eyed players have also discovered another really strange change.

generalwinter

It’s removed certain aspects of General Winters character. Specifically, the Hammer and Sickle and the star which was on his vehicle.

Check out the above image, now compare it with this one.

winters

See the star on his tank, completely different.

So whats going on? Well… theres no official word on this change right now, however the removal of these images would certainly indicate that someone somewhere has looked at this and said ‘thats offensive’ and demanded it’s removal.

The question is who and why?

My theory, and again, this is just my theory since nothing official has come out to explain this change would be this… There are certain marketplaces in the world which have various rating boards and censorship boards which can ban or limit the release of certain pieces of entertainment. Because videogames can be a constantly changing and evolving media, which ASRT has been, it can fall under the rating/censors light again.

My guess… ASRT’s inclusion of communist imagery has made one ratings board complain and ask for it’s removal, threatten to pull the game from sales, or it even threatten to increase the age rating which would greatly limit sales… you lot still wonder why Bayonetta isn’t in the game?

Recently news has come to light to suggest that Sony’s ‘The Last of Us‘ has had it’s mutiplayer mode slightly censored/toned down’ due to the ratings board. And people in America had to do without the jokers full fatality in Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe.

From a business perspective I can understand it… however, as someone who doesn’t like censorship, I can’t say I’m too happy that he has been changed in this way.

So was anybody here offended by the General?

Source: Steam forums.

29 Comments

    1. And I’m offended that people still buy consoles when they could have a much greater sense of freedom and power on a PC. Please, don’t complain. If you bought a console, that’s your problem.

      1. I’m offended that you’re offended. 😛

        Although these days, I prefer to play games on my tablet.

  1. I’m just offended that the PC version gets all these extra characters that console versions don’t.

    1. Get a real platform and it won’t be a problem.

      You brought this on yourself by buying a proprietary computer with a company that dictates everything that can or cannot be put on it.

      Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony charge publishers thousands of dollars every time they want to release an update on their platform. It’s no surprise why the consoles get neglected and charged money for content that is free on an open platform like PC.

      If you don’t like not getting regular, free updates then buy a platform that doesn’t have a company who extorts everyone who publishes content on that platform.

      1. Buddy…you got alot of problems to fix-up. You still have to put up with mobile phones and tablets.

        So don’t let the arrogance get best of ya…pally.

    2. I think the reason that the dlc characters are not in the console version is because of two reasons

      1. The dlc characters are characters that are in PC only games.
      2. It might be harder for SEGA to get the characters on consoles (In which they might have to go through a couple of authorizations before hand) than on PC.

  2. Wow, they butchered this character. That stupid red star outline looks totally out of place.

    If I was Russian I would be very offended to see one of my nation’s historical symbols censored this way. Imagine if this was an American 13 colonies flag that they censored…

    This is insulting to Russian gamers and American gamers alike, because it insults our intelligence. Sega should be ashamed.

  3. When Sumo Digital said they weren’t done with SASRT, I didn’t think they meant this, and they probably don’t but come on! Since when was the PC the best in the console market? 😐

  4. Theres something I dont get… have you guys stopped giving a shit about Sonic Lost World? You know, Sonics next main game… because, well, footage of the whole casino act appears online and you guys dont even mention it. New exclusive trailer with awesome footage and music from SoS and absolutely nothing, why is that?

    1. Because they are busy with the convention you just mentioned. You do realize they’re running the event, so understand any news they’ll be dropping will be at a delayed pace due to um….they need to rest?

      Besides what are you doing here if all you want to hear is SLW news? Head to the forums if you want up-to-date stuff or do what every else is doing: wait.

      1. Well, I admit I was an asshole in the way I asked… :V
        But I still think its a bit weird thay they have been posting news about other things and not this, but whatever.

        @Chris: Thanks dude, I might check that page out later, not going to stop coming to the Sonic Stadium just because they skipped like two things, though.

    2. IKR, for example I just check gamestop and they show Mario & Sonic 4 already have a box art. Also they said Mario & Sonic 4 cost $60 while SLW cost $50?! WTF?!

  5. Will they also complain to the Unicode Consortium? Unicode has had a hammer and sickle character (☭) for years. ☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭☭

  6. Hogfather, don’t know if you noticed but the star by character select in the upper left is now gone too.

  7. It was removed because one user from the SEGA forums, RoOhDiNi, was complaining about how insensitive and offensive it was despite the character being portrayed exactly as he is in Company of Heroes, which includes the hammer and sickle.

    1. Which is stupid because this was an obvious trolling to begin with. Combined with anti-goverment and corporate feelings, and the meme worthy actions of Vladimir Putin, communist propaganda and imagery has started getting a re-surgency (if only because it’s a larger part of the whole 80’s revival movement). Granted, it’s mostly a love of the parody of Communist Russia and not so much the political movement itself. Think more Zangief and less Boris Badanaoff.

      Of course, SEGA being SEGA will always take the safe route and listen to every single little complaint as long as it keeps them from losing money. No matter how ridiculous.

      Also, a brief fact check: Bayonetta is NOT owned by SEGA. She’s owned by Platinum, SEGA only published her games. I know it sucks, because I would have liked her AND Jack Cayman from Madworld, but no dice. Now she’s published by Nintendo. Which is why everyone is screaming bloody murder.

  8. I’d be complaining about the inclusion of new characters to the PC version, but complaining rarely gets one anywhere and frankly, I don’t yet own the game anyway. It’ll come when it’ll come, I say.

    As for this censoring, I get the fact that, as a company, they made the right call to avoid losing profit and customers (as well as possible legal action), but it saddens me no company really has the guts to stand by one of their games and say “We’re not going to censor this. It wasn’t a problem in the game he was in that centered around this, so a little design on a tank as a nod to the franchise and character as a whole shouldn’t be an issue.”

    People need to stop getting upset…Even the swastika, something deemed more evil than the hammer and sickle, has more meaning to it than just Hitler’s campaign. It’s sad that symbols can only be seen for the evil they were associated with, instead of everything else.

  9. I think it had to do with Company of Heroes 2 being banned from retail stores in Russia, for featuring offensive stereotypes and Western standardization. With all that controversy, I guess that SOL had to play it safe, so they had to change those details, possibly by SEGA’s command, so that ASRT on PC wouldn’t be affected.

    Sure, it’s a weird replacement for the star and the Hammer & Sickle, but it’s for the best of ASRT’s reputation on PC.

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