No Kim Jong-il in Homefront, Deems Japanese Ratings Organization
Much like the fairly recent Medal of Honor debacle with the naming of the insurgent faction in the game (who shall forever remain nameless due to the impending heart attack you will have after hearing its name), a recent story about the yet to be released Homefront has many similarities. The only difference is where the censorship is happening, and who is forcing it on the work.
Having the premise of a North Korean invasion of the United States, Homefront was most likely going to contain Kim Jong-il or some caricature of him (specifically, his son controls the empire established in the game world). Being that North Korea’s militant motives are still a fairly touchy subject, it would make sense that the Japanese publisher/distributor of the game, and the Japanese Computer Entertainment Ratings Organization (CERO) wouldn’t want to provoke anyone that is still in power. According to AndriaSang, the image of Kim Jong-il has been completely removed from the Japanese version of the game, as well as any mention of North Korea as a malicious military superpower.
It’s a very touchy situation, and I can understand why the Japanese government-affiliated organizations and publishers wouldn’t want media that pokes fun at or over-satirizes heads of state. I guess it’s because videogames are serious business, but in a world where Team America or that episode of South Park with the image of Muhammad in it exist, I can’t help but think that having incumbent politicians in fictional, or satirical media would have little to no effect.