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Sony reportedly cancels Rise of the Ronin launch in South Korea

Sony reportedly cancels Rise of the Ronin launch in South Korea

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No official reason has been given, but speculation surrounds director’s comments about divisive historical figure


Image credit: Team Ninja/PlayStation

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Update, February 14, 2024: Sony has issued a statement to GamesIndustry.biz confirming Team Ninja’s upcoming game will not be released in South Korea.

“Rise of the Ronin for PlayStation 5 was never officially announced for release in Korea,” a spokesperson told us. “We can confirm that the title is not going to be sold/published in South Korea in any form (physical/digital).”

Original story, February 13, 2024: The South Korean launch of Team Ninja’s upcoming PlayStation 5 exclusive Rise of the Ronin has reportedly been cancelled.

Korean community website Ruliweb, spotted by Eurogamer, reported that Sony Interactive Entertainment Korea confirmed the game will not be released in that market, either as a boxed release or via the PlayStation Store.

The news follows several reports by Korean outlets that the game had been pulled from Korea’s PlayStation Store and almost all promotional videos have been removed from Sony’s PlayStation YouTube channel for Korea.

GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to Sony for confirmation and comment.

According to Ruliweb, Sony did not give a reason for cancelling the launch but it’s believed to be connected to comments made by the game’s director Fumuhiko Yasuda regarding 19th century scholar Shōin Yoshida.

Yoshida taught many of the leaders of the Meiji Restoration, which brought imperial rule back to Japan, and was a key figure in an 1873 debate as to whether Japan should conquer Korea. While this was decided against at the time, Japan later took control of Korea in 1910 and occupied it for 35 years.

As such, Yoshida is a controversial figure in Korea and his inclusion in Rise of the Ronin has sparked criticism.

In a behind the scenes video promoting Rise of the Ronin, Yasuda compared Yoshida to Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, saying: “I wanted to depict his teachings and his life from the moment I started working on Rise of the Ronin. He wasn’t just a philosopher. He insisted on the importance of taking action.”

Rise of the Ronin is due for release on March 22, 2024, and was a key title in PlayStation’s most recent State of Play.

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