Releasing in the second quarter of 2014 for PlayStation Vita is a rather unique video game called Monster Monpiece.
Developed by Compile Heart (Hyperdimensional Netpunia, Mugen Souls), the upcoming title is a digital card battle game in which the player summons various "monster girls" onto the game's battlefields. Those girls then fight the player's opponents.
While fairly innocent sounding, the controversy lay in how the girls power-up and become stronger. They do thisby exposing themselves (in other words taking off their clothes) through the use of in-game mechanics called "First Crush Rub" and "Extreme Love".
While the game mechanics are staying the same, the artwork being used for some of the monster girls are. According to the game's publisher, Idea Factory, the decision is due to "intense sexual imagery."
In a statement emailed from the game publisher, the decision for censoring the North American and European versions of the game are explained and defended:
"We kept the same number of cards in the game as the original Japanese version, but replaced some of the higher level Monster Girl images with the "less exposed" lower level versions of the corresponding Monster Girls due to some intense sexual imagery. The number of censored cards is about 40 out of the approximately 350 card images available in the game. This means that over 300 cards are left untouched from the original images. That said, each card that has had its image removed will still have the same number of levels for the player to increase, but the higher level card images will be the same as the lower level, even though they have leveled up and have become more powerful. We would like to emphasize that the game's playtime, the game's system, and the game's features are all the same as the original Japanese release, and players can level up their Monster Girls to the highest levels as well, again, matching the Japanese release."
The statement continued, touching upon the differences between the West and Japan when it comes to the fictional sexual representation of females:
"This was a very difficult decision since we work very hard to satisfy our fans and want to bring the same content being offered in Japan. However, Western society is not as lenient as that of Japan when sexual images are involved-especially images of humanoids that appear to be younger than a socially acceptable age. The borderline of what is "acceptable" will always be extremely gray and vary from person to person, but as a responsible company working in the U.S., we had to make the difficult decision that we did. We sincerely apologize for those who do not agree with any level of censorship, but we greatly appreciate your understanding with the decision we have made."
While no exact release date has been revealed for the game, the ESRB has rated Monster Monpieceas "M for Mature" in the USA.