Tropico 5 is a cheerfully satirical game about a faux-democratic banana republic. According to Thailand's censors, it is also a potentially dangerous work that could threaten the country's peace and order. In response, the country's military junta has barred the game from release.
And to think, I didn't pick up on any of this in my review (opens in new tab) .
The news, reported by Associated Press (opens in new tab) , is that the country's film and video censorship office has blocked sales of the game. According to Nonglak Sahavattanapong, of Tropico 5's Thai distributor New Era Games, the office feared that "some part of its content might affect peace and order in the country."
In the game, you play as a ruling dictator; holding mock elections and diverting public money to your Swiss bank account. Or not. You can be as ruthless or benevolent as you please. I murdered a grandmother for being a rebel leader, then smuggled rum to a prohibition USA.
Thailand has been ruled by a military dictator since May, when General Prayuth Chan-ocha staged a coup and overthrew the democratically elected government. Maybe it's self-evident why the new political heads would want to suppress a game in which rebels can rise up against an oppressive and militaristic regime.
"We are disappointed to hear that Tropico 5 will not be released in Thailand." said Tropico publisher Kalypso's global managing director Simon Hellwig in a press release. "Tropico 3 and 4 both enjoyed successful releases in the country and although the Tropico brand does have a realistic political element to it, the scenarios and content are all delivered with a certain trademark tongue in cheek humour."