Over on his blog, Xbox Live Germany's Boris Schneider-Johne breaks down the peculiar circumstances surrounding Dead Rising's
status in Germany. Earlier this week, reports
suggested that Germany's software rating organization, USK, had outright banned the title. Schneider-Johne explains that it's more complicated than that.
In Germany, a game can't be banned until it's released. And it's not USK that bans the game, it's Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (a.k.a. Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons) -- or 'BPjM' for short. But BPjM can't ban a game that's rated, so, in order for a game to be banned, USK must decide not to rate it. In other words, only 'unrated' games can be banned. But again, banning can't be applied until a game is released, and BPjM will only consider banning a title after a youth organization has applied for the ban. However, even if a game is banned, retailers can still sell it legally to adults, they just can't advertise the game. The catch is, Microsoft will not permit 'unrated' games to be published because it undermines the Xbox 360's built-in parental control system. So ... Schneider-Johne concludes, "Dead Rising
could be legally sold in Germany, but won't be published." Confused yet?