The Rule of Rose controversy has spread down under. The horror game had been receiving plenty of bad press in Europe in the last few weeks, culminating in the cancellation of the game's European release by publisher 505 Games late last week. Today, 505's local distributor has confirmed that Rule of Rose's Australian and New Zealand release has been similarly cancelled.
Distributor Red Ant Enterprises told GameSpot AU that it had been informed by 505 that Rule of Rose ''would not be released in Australia or New Zealand at this time." Red Ant had originally scheduled the game to be released locally in February 2007. Red Ant product manager Nichola Bryan said the game had not been submitted to Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) for approval.
Rule of Rose received plenty of bad publicity in Australia over the past weekend, with mainstream newspaper articles carrying quotes from family organisations decrying the game because of its violence. Earlier last week, morning chat show Sunrise featured a panel debating whether the game should be banned.
Violent and sexually explicit games have had a patchy history down under. The OFLC has previously refused classification for games like Reservoir Dogs, Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, and Narc. Games without ratings cannot be sold in Australia.