After protests, organized legal battles and a lot of fuss, Rockstar Games’ Bully has found its way to North American retail outlets. The game became available today for owners of the PlayStation 2 at a price of $39.99.
The title has gamers taking on bullies and unreasonable teachers at the fictional Bullworth Academy. Armed with a baseball bat and slingshot, Jimmy Hopkins must learn to survive in his new school.
And while attempts to block the game’s sale failed in North America, some European retailers are standing up to Bully and refusing to take part in that continent’s upcoming Oct. 27 release of the game.
PC World, Currys and Dixons are refusing to sell the title, per Games Industry.biz.
And, despite my usual anti-censorship stand, I have to say hats off to them.
The title, renamed Canis Canem Edit for European sales, will be available elsewhere, of course. The official statement from Currys acknowledges this. “We’re fully aware people will be able to buy this game elsewhere, but we feel this game is not appropriate for Currys’ family-friendly image. We have a good relationship with the game’s producers Rockstar, and look forward to working with them going forward.”
Now, that’s the way game protests should go down. Currys’ has a right to refuse to sell anything it desires. If it feels a game is too saucy for its shelves, so be it.
European gamers still have the ability to go out and get the title elsewhere.
Granted, it’s likely Currys and the others caved to pressure from special interest groups, but isn’t that a store’s job? To stock the items its customers want on the shelves and refuse those they don’t?
Sure the move by the three outlets might make it harder for gamers to get their hands on a copy, but the decision does not block anyone’s right to own, play or enjoy Bully.