There is a rumor going around online that the upcoming zombie survival game, Dying Light, could be delayed in order to remove some scenes due to sensitivity regarding the recent terrorist attacks in Europe. The rumor came from Hardcore Gamer, and it sounds like it is far from confirmed. According to the rumor, the recent attacks that have taken place have caused concern among the developers that certain scenes in the game need to be changed and/or removed. Online gaming stores have new release dates for the game. Amazon France is listing the release date as March 31. The gaming store fnac has it listed for a February 27 release. The game was originally due out in Europe on January 30. I really hope the game will not be delayed. The game should not be delayed due to censorship.
I do not want to put much stock into these rumors until an official announcement is made. Techland, Warner Bros. Interactive and the game’s official website have not yet made any announcement regarding a delay in the release date. The official release date in North America is still listed as January 27. On one hand, I can understand the desire to be sensitive to the victims of terrorist attacks. On the other hand, I do not believe in this form of censorship. The game is not intended to offend or provoke victims of terror. The game is a work of fiction. It shows a scenario where zombies are running amok in a fictional city. No matter how “realistic” the game comes off, it is still a work of make believe. Artists should not be intimidated to censor a fictional work of art due to the unfortunate recent and horrific terrorist attacks.
Times are changing. Recently, hackers intimidated theatrical release of the film The Interview, after threatening terrorist attacks and invoking 9/11. Ultimately, the film was still released online and for a limited theatrical release. No terrorist attacks came as a result of the film’s release. The film still made millions of dollars through tickets sold and online revenue. The comedy depicts a fictional version of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom two reporters are tasked with assassinating. North Korea publicly decried the film and showed support for the hackers who demanded the film’s release be cancelled. The FBI linked the cyber attacks on Sony Pictures to North Korea, although there are suspicions the Sony hacking scandal was an inside job. Regardless, theater chains and Sony should not have bowed to the threats and intimidation. If it starts with a comedy like The Interview, where does it stop?
Maybe the situation with Dying Light is not the same. However, the game should not be censored as a result of ultra-sensitivity and political correctness. As of now, Dying Light is scheduled for a January 27 release for the Playstation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC. The European and Japanese release is set for January 30. The Australia release is scheduled for January 28.