Horror as UAE gamers to miss out on Dead Rising 2

Media council rules "extra violence", as well as scantily clad female zombies, makes it unsuitable for UAE audience.

A new horror-themed video game in which players fight against a zombie outbreak has been banned in the UAE, its distributor said yesterday.

Paul Johnson, the product manager at Pluto Games, said the National Media Council ruled that Dead Rising 2 featured "extra violence", as well as scantily clad female zombies. As a zombie-slasher title, it does have "a lot of blood and a lot of dismemberment. It's quite gruesome", Mr Johnson said.

But games contaning just as much violence have been released in the UAE, and there should be more transparency about the standards used to judge them, Mr Johnson said. "What is 'violence' and what is 'extra violence'?" he said. Game distributors are unlikely to bring games that blatantly violate cultural norms, he said. The game was released this week by Capcom and has been receiving largely positive reviews.

Video games that have been banned in the UAE include the space opera Mass Effect 2, the fantasy role-playing game Dragon Age, and Darksiders, a game based on the biblical story of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Various iterations of the Grand Theft Auto series, as well as God of War, a series of games in which the protagonist battles Greek deities, have also been banned. However, such bans are often ineffective, because the titles are available for download, and some grey-market dealers sell the games illegally.