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World premiere event and press junket for »Beyond: Two Souls« in Paris / Game gets censored in Europe

Beyond Two SoulsOn the occasion of its upcoming worldwide release, a special premiere for »Beyond: Two Souls« was held at the Le Grand Rex in Paris last Wednesday. Aside from the invited guests even casual fans and gamers had the chance to get tickets for this event by entering various contests or buying them at advance booking offices or websites like Fnac. Quantic Dream's Co-CEO Guillame de Fondaumiere opened the evening with the introduction of composer Lorne Balfe, Kadeem Hardison, Willem Dafoe, Ellen Page and his partner in crime David Cage, who subsequently took over the microphone and delivered a speech to the audience in the packed theatre. As a special gesture, every game designer, concept artist, sound editor and developer involved in the videogame were brought up to the stage where they received their deserved applause. The event then continued with the screening of some footage and cut scenes, and a panel discussion, comprising Cage and the four stars of the evening. They talked about the development process, but also the challenges and experiences surrounding the ambitious and unprecedented project before a few selected spectators were allowed to ask questions. Parts of the event were streamed live on YouTube for everyone to watch, by the way. The video was removed shortly after though because it was "too long" according to the platform's guidelines.

Beyond: Two Souls World Premiere in Paris on October 2, 2013

» Beyond: Two Souls - World Premiere - Red Carpet Interview (10/02/2013) «

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(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 2:13 min | Dimension: 640x360 | Size: 18,1 MB)
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» Beyond: Two Souls - Press Conference & World Premiere (10/02/2013) «

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» Beyond: Two Souls - World Premiere - Opening (10/02/2013) «

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» Beyond: Two Souls - World Premiere - Panel (10/02/2013) «

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(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 42:41 min | Dimension: 640x360 | Size: 349,0 MB)
Credit to Les Illuminati.

One day prior to the premiere, Ellen arrived in France's capital city to join Cage, Balfe, Hardison and Dafoe in a press junket at the Fnac Saint-Lazare store and an inventive press conference at Quantic Dream's motion capture studio for the local media. Unfortunately, relevant video footage either hasn't been published yet or is mainly in French. In this respect, I didn't see the sense in sharing interviews, in which most of you would understand the answer, but not the preceding question. But I still hope that more stuff will show up in the course of the release of »Beyond: Two Souls« in the next couple of days. While the Tiny Canadian headed for home on Thursday, David Cage and Willem Dafoe kept themselves busy and journeyed on to Rome for a presentation of the game at the Exedra Hotel. But don't worry; Ellen will continue her promotion tour later this month as well. She has already announced that she will be in Japan, where the psychological action thriller hits stores on October 17.

Beyond: Two Souls Press Junket in Paris on October 1 and 2, 2013

Out of nowhere, a rumor popped up at the end of September claiming that the European version of the game will be censored. Since many have been profoundly disappointed by Sony's censorship policy in the past, there was a great outcry within the PS3 community and some people even cancelled their pre-order without knowing further details. The ensuing discussion was exacerbated by SCE Uncut on Tumblr, where information from different sources was gathered. It took almost a week to get a comment from Ross Alexander, Beyond's European Product Manager at SCEE, on the EU Playstation Blog:

There are only two amends between the EU and US versions of the game, amounting to about 5-10 seconds of gameplay that’s not been removed, just edited slightly to be in line with a PEGI 16 rating.

For BEYOND we wanted to make the game available to as many people as possible, hence applying for a PEGI 16 rating. The 5-10 seconds I mention above would have upped our rating to a PEGI 18, so it made perfect sense to make these two VERY minimal changes to get our planned 16 rating.

I can assure you that this does not affect the game’s story at all, and that if you didn’t know these scenes had been amended, you wouldn’t even notice.

Hope the above helps to allay your concern.


VideoGamer picked up the story on October 1 and received an official statement from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe:

"We can confirm that three minor aesthetic changes were made to the PAL version of BEYOND: Two Souls. These changes are purely cosmetic and do not affect gameplay or the overall story. The modifications were made in order to meet the requirements of regional ratings boards in the PAL region, and with the full support of the development team who do not feel that the title has been compromised in any way."

PEGI CensoredIn the end, it was much ado about nothing. The question still remains, however, as to why Sony was struggling to make a statement and deal with the cuts openly. At the same time, there is a similar issue concerning the in-game dialogs and texts/subtitles. For instance, many people wanted to know if the UK version will be multilingual and come with more than one language. But Sony refuses to provide information on this matter down to the present day. This is probably to reduce the amount of imports and push the sale of local copies. However, such a behavior is anything but customer-friendly considering the price ranges from 40 to 70 or even 80 Euros within the European countries that have adopted the PEGI (Pan European Game Information) rating system and therefore usually get the same or almost identical editions. Although the game is scheduled to be out during the latter part of this week, word is that it was already available for sale at retailers this past Saturday. This could be an indirect consequence of the incident that happened on October 2 though. Somehow a release group was able to get their hands on a final copy of the game and leaked it on the internet. That is very inconvenient, but I'm sure it won't have a major impact on sales figures. Many people have been eagerly waiting for this game for months, have pre-ordered their copy a long time ago and are now looking forward to holding the final game in their own hands. It is highly improbable that a true gamer will do an about turn on the home stretch. In this spirit, happy gaming and enjoy the world of »Beyond: Two Souls«!

Beyond: Two Souls

Date: 10/08/2013 - 22:29:13 Posted by Dominik
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