Well, that's a bummer.And we all know what a bummer it can be to offend Muslims. In fact, regardless of whether or not the offense is accidental, intentional, real, or perceived, it can be an extremely fatal bummer.
One of the fall's most anticipated video games for the PlayStation 3, Sony's "LittleBigPlanet," had to be yanked from shelves at the last minute Monday because it might accidentally offend Muslims.
"One of the background music tracks that was licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Quran," Sony said in a statement Monday. "We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused."Translation: We were trying to show how multi-cultural we are by throwing in music with a little Arabic in it. Please forgive us, and don't attack us or burn down any of our international offices. We remember the Mohammed cartoon riots, and we have learned.
The piece of music in question is "Tapha Niang" by the Grammy-winning Malian musician Toumani Diabaté, who sings and plays a West African stringed instrument called the kora.See, Mali doesn't have massive international holdings for some strict Sunnis to burn down world-wide. Also, some strict Sunnis have found that many Muslim countries are full of firearms, and that sometimes their victims shoot back.
Devotional music doesn't raise eyebrows in many Muslim countries, including several in West Africa including Mali, but it's a no-no for some strict Sunnis, who frown upon instrumented music of any sort.
"LittleBigPlanet" had been scheduled to hit shelves in North American [sic] on Oct. 21, the day after Sony's surprise announcement."LittleBigPlanet" had been scheduled to hit shelves in North America
Sony plans to get the game back on shelves the week of Oct. 28, though quantities may be limited since the entire stock of existing PlayStation 3 discs will likely have to be junked and replacements hurriedly printed.Undoubtedly, Sony's marketing department is working furiously to find a use for all of that now unsalable stock. One possible solution: Scrub the printing off of the printed side, buff it to a shine, and make a hanging disc mobile to sell to college students for use as a trendy decoration. As long as the kids don't get drunk and try to put any of the discs into their PlayStation 3, everything should be just fine.
The game, developed by the British studio Media Molecule, was first announced in early 2007. Players manipulate a cute sock-puppet-like figure called "Sackboy" (or "Sackgirl") around a fantasy world that they can expand upon and share with other players.Strangely enough, as with movies, you can capture a larger part of the overall market by creating more all-inclusive family friendly products. We'll see if the executives stick with this marketing concept.
After nearly a decade catering to young, male hardcore gamers, Sony is trying to capture some of the demographics dominated by Nintendo's family-friendly Wii, which far outsells both Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 by appealing to children, older players and women.
USMC 9971 OUT