An official list of video games currently labeled by Japan's Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) as “Z” has been released to the media, indicating that the games are not suitable for players under the age of 18 and are Japanese government-regulated.
The games will be displayed separately from other game software, and will require proof of age upon purchase, according to a Yomiuru Online report, and the new 'Z' label is part of CERO's new rating system
for video games sold in the country, which has just come into effect.
Currently, only eleven games have received the Z rating, including a high percentage of Western-developed games and three titles from Rockstar's infamous Grand Theft Auto franchise, Grand Theft Auto Double Pack
, Grand Theft Auto Vice City
, and Grand Theft Auto III
for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Also identified for the new rating are both The Getaway
and The Getaway: Black Monday
for the PlayStation 2.
Other games to fall under the new ratings scale include Western titles Driv3r
and Max Payne
, as well as Japanese games Killer 7
, and Berserk
, plus D3 Publisher's gory Japanese budget titles Simple 2000 Vol. 61: The Oneechanbara
and Simple 2000 Vol. 80: The Oneechanpuru
The new Japanese rating system is, in fact, somewhat more complex than the existing one, with five new ratings labelled A, B, C, D and Z. A is equivalent to the current CERO All rating for all ages, B is for CERO 12 for ages twelve and over, C for CERO 15, and the D rating is for ages seventeen and up – of which there was no previous equivalent. The Z rating is equivalent to CERO 18, which, despite its similarity in age restrictions to the D rating will, unlike the other ratings, be regulated by the government.