Callisto Protocol cancelled in Japan after devs refuse to make ratings board changes

The Calliso Protocol
(Image credit: Striking Distance Studios)

The Callisto Protocol, the fleshy, goopy space horror game from former Dead Space devs, has been cancelled in Japan following a thumbs-down from the country's Computer Entertainment Rating Organisation (CERO). In a statement posted to Twitter, the game's team says that it's going to cancel the game's Japanese release entirely rather than make the changes necessary to mollify the ratings board.

The statement is, understandably, in Japanese, but we can provide a basic translation. It reads, "The Callisto Protocol's Japanese version has been discontinued. At present, it cannot pass the CERO rating," before going on to say that the team decided that making CERO's required changes would "not provide the experience players expect," so the game won't release in Japan at all.

As you'd hope, Japanese players who pre-ordered the game will be getting refunds, but it's a shame the game has reached this impasse with Japan's ratings board. The statement doesn't get into the reasons CERO turned its nose up at the game, but it wouldn't be too surprising if the game's gratuitous violence disturbed regulators. CERO is notorious for its sensitivity to gore and dismemberment, and The Callisto Protocol has both in spades.

Whatever CERO's reasoning, the replies to the tweet announcing the cancellation are filled with Japanese players upset at the news and dissatisfied with CERO. More than a few are slyly asking if the game's overseas releases still have Japanese language options, which would be one, slightly laborious way for dedicated fans to still get their hands on the game despite CERO's rejection.

They'll get their answer when The Callisto Protocol releases a little over a month from now, on December 2, via Steam and the Epic Games Store. Until then, you'll just have to somehow cope with living a life where you aren't pursued everywhere you go by tenacious mounds of shambling flesh. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe CERO has the right idea.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.