Godfather II game banned in UAE

Controversial game withdrawn from UAE retailers, reasons for ban not given

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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  April 14, 2009

Electronic Art’s Godfather II video game has been banned in the UAE in the same week that Electronic Arts (EA) launched the game in North America and Europe.

The Godfather II game, which features scenes of nudity and swearing, has been banned in the UAE, EA’s PR representative in Dubai confirmed to Windows Middle East, just after the game was released at the start of April.

EA’s representative says the reasons for the ban have not yet been disclosed by the UAE’s National Media Council, which is responsible for deciding whether or not video games are suitable for distribution in the UAE.

Two of the UAE’s most prominent video games distributors Red Distribution and Marketing and Pluto Games are currently not distributing the game, but the game had found its way onto the market briefly, and was sold through a Dubai Virgin Megastore branch before being withdrawn in the past three days, Windows has discovered.

Godfather II is described by Electronic Arts in a press release sent out earlier this week as a game that “takes all of the drama, action and family values from the classic Godfather films and brings them into an interactive experience. This means that players have to build and invest in their family, manage their rackets, takeover crime rings and even reach out to corrupt officials – all through the revolutionary Don’s View”.

The game was not well received by games media however, with reviews calling it “a sub-par GTA [Grand Theft Auto] clone/resource management fest” by the likes of UK’s PC Format magazine.

GTA IV was banned in the UAE last year owing to it featuring strong violence and drug use, which is not in keeping with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates. Other prominent games that have been banned in the UAE include God of War and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

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