As a Chinese game developer,lets talk the legal restrictions on game content in the US and Europe.

I’ve been thinking about a few questions.
1 《 BiOHAZARD resident evil》 series broke out in the United States, each of us killed a zombie is an American, they killed zombie,But ,would American people think they killed the zombie are American zombie,you and the zombie both the American citizens?

《The assassin creed 》player could control assassin kill the sixteenth president Abraham Lincoln ,did Americans accept it?
2 would Germans play 《call of duty - World War II》? would German players use allied forces to destroy Nazi Germany?
3 American landmarks could be blown up in the game, such as the symbol of the United States, Statue of Liberty, The Pentagon, the White House.
would American players feel unhappy?

4, would Japanese players control allied forces to eliminate Japanese soldiers in 《call of duty - World War II》?
What was the legal restrictions on game content in the United States and Europe? Where could we inquire about these laws and regulations?

If I made an amazing game as an independent game developer, could I be invited to visit EPIC headquarters building? Is Amazon can buy in a EPIC T-shirt? And the Unreal LOGO can always remind me to work hard .:slight_smile:

I want to know what kinds of the game I cant touch.

I am sorry to write here, I cant open the answer center,I am only looking for an answer from here.

Who/what you destroy in a game is part of what I’ll call the “content”. Whether content is legal is separate from whether it is offensive to people. The law in the USA is clear that all of the game content you mentioned is allowed. (Your game’s content is considered your “speech”, and the government is not allowed to censor your speech). So you can make a game that offends or upsets people, and it will still be legal and allowed.

In Germany it is a bit different. For example there are some laws restricting a game from depicting certain Nazi things. I don’t know much about the details, but game-makers who intend to sell in Germany either avoid including that kind of imagery, or they make their German version of the game slightly different from the other versions, where the restricted imagery has been replaced with something that is similar but not Nazi.

I don’t know about the laws in the other countries you asked about.

Whether something offends people depends greatly on how it is presented. For example, plenty of Americans like games where you kill zombies regardless of whether the zombies are Americans, because becoming a zombie can happen to anyone. But if it was a game where your reason for killing the zombies was because they were Americans, not because they were zombies, then many Americans would think that was hateful. It would still be legal, but a lot of people wouldn’t like it. Blowing up American landmarks is very popular in American movies, but it is normally used to show that the bad people/monsters/disasters are very powerful, so it would work ok if it was a multiplayer war game and you got to choose which country you were playing, but it wouldn’t work as well for many Americans if they were given no choice except to be the force attacking America. To clarify, many Americans would be ok choosing to play as a foreign country and attacking America and blowing up American landmarks if they had a choice of country to play as, but many of the same people would be less comfortable with a game that gave them no option but to be a foreign country attacking America. Unless it was presented in a thoughtful way, or if you played as alien invaders from space rather than a real-world “enemy”, or any of a number of other factors…

Those are simple generalizations but it can get fairly complex which things offend people and why. Knowing whether something will offend (or more importantly - knowing whether people will really like something) often requires a lot of cultural understanding. Because you are a Chinese developer, you presumably have this cultural understanding for a lot of China, which is a very big game market. Many American game developers would like to target the Chinese market but do not have as much cultural understanding of China as you do. So I think that rather than competing with foreign games on their home ground where they are strongest, you might have better chances of success by designing a game for China, taking advantage of you having knowledge that other developers don’t have.

There aren’t any legal restrictions on games from the U.S. as far as I’m aware. At least certainly not with regard to the subject matter you suggested above. Now other countries it might be different. In Modern Warfare 2 terrorists pretty much caused the destruction of D.C. and the obliteration of the White House. But I don’t recall anyone getting offended by that at all, we’re dealing with a fictional story. Though if I’m not mistaken Russia didn’t take too kindly to the level where you play as an undercover agent (U.S.?) and gunned down civilians in an airport with the aforementioned terrorists. Which to be honest I can see their point of view on that, though I don’t think the developers had any nefarious intentions behind it that was simply a major catalyst in the story. I don’t remember if they outright banned the game, or had that level stripped from it.

thanks J.Fisher and SE_JonF

That’s actually an interesting question - particularly since most of us might not be consciously aware of the effective restrictions in our country, since we internalized them.

For example, a game where you play a KKK member, and have to kill as many black people as possible, and the entire process would be presented in a positive context within the game, would almost certainly receive major backlash in the United States, to the point that it would not be very different for you as a developer from if it was banned in the first place. The same would apply to a game where, instead of killing people, you have to rape them.

So, while there is no real “banned content” in the United States, you should probably stay away from any content which is racist or non-consensual sexual. Even consensual sexual content might get you into serious trouble if it’s too explicit. Aside from that, I believe you can do pretty much everything you want (even a hypothetical Holocaust Tycoon might be ok, although I am not entirely sure about that).

As for Germany, a “Holocaust Tycoon” would definitely be banned, as would be any other one-sided positive depictions of Nazi actions. Intense visual violence might also get you banned. For example, in Red Alert 1, all soldiers in-game were replaced with cyborgs. Similarly, in Command&Conquer Generals, suicide bombers were replaced with rolling bombs.

So, depending on what you want to do, you would have to adapt your game to the Germany market, but probably not in a way that it significantly changes the content of the game. And Nazis are ok, as long as they are not the good guys.

I am curious what this looks like in other countries?