Publisher Kalypso Media has confirmed that the Thai Board of Film and Video Censors has approved the local release of Tropical 5with gameplay scenarios that may be too close to the real military coup that hit the country in May.
In his announcement, Kalypso notes that the Ministry of Culture only stated that “certain content of the game is not appropriate for the current situation” in the country. However, a spokesman for Thai distributor New Era told the AP the government was concerned that “some of [the game’s] content can affect peace and order in the country.” Prior to the coup, both Tropical 3 And Tropical 4 were released without incident in Thailand.
Since its launch in 2001, the tropical series has players taking on the role of “El Presidente” and ruling an island nation with an iron fist or a soft, tourist-friendly hand. As Kalypso noted in a statement, the gameplay in the “Junta” expansion pack for the previous release Tropical 4 largely mimics the militaristic takeover the country experienced earlier this year. “This [ban] It sounds like it could have come from one of El Presidente’s own edicts of the game,” Kalypso Media Group Global Managing Director Stefan Marcinek said in a statement.
Since the military junta came to power in a bloodless coup in May, Thailand’s military junta has cracked down on media criticism of the new government, drawing international criticism from journalists and freedom of expression groups. The government reportedly briefly blocked Facebook’s operations in the country as it allowed citizens to protest the takeover online, though the social network was up and running again after half an hour.
Late last year, China banned EAs Battlefield 4 after the release of the “China Rising” expansion, citing “content that threatens national security and is about cultural invasion.” Russia recently gave an adults-only rating to generally kid-friendly Sims 4 under a law that criminalizes promoting same-sex relationships to children, although the game is not outright banned in the country.
Countries such as Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have previously banned a number of games for excessive violence, sexually suggestive content or, in the case of Germany, Nazi symbolism.