The Chinese Ministry of Culture has launched a scathing attack on Sega’s recently released Football Manager 2005, claiming that gamers have protested against the fact that Tibet, the Taipei region of Taiwan and the Hong Kong Macau region are included in the game as separate countries, which is against Chinese law. You couldn’t make it up.
The Ministry has gone further, however, by not only publicly attacking the game, but also going after the people that import and distribute it – in fact nobody who has the game available for people to play is safe – in the shape of fines being levied against them, and copies of the game being confiscated.
So how could Sega make such an error? They didn’t. Keen to quell a potential PR nightmare, Sega have concluded that the only way the game has caused a stir is because the copy the Chinese are playing is the English-release, obtained either through piracy or other unauthorised means. Sega further attempted to placate the government in a statement that tried to emphasise that they wouldn’t make such a foolish error. It read “To give Chinese consumers the best football management game experience, Football Manager 2005 is being localised into simplified Chinese. We will follow the correct submission and approval process within China and look forward to feedback from the Chinese authorities on any modifications that may be required.”
Through the midst of all this, the game itself has been a critical and successful release, becoming Sega’s fastest selling game ever in Europe. You can catch our review here.