Microsoft has pulled Xbox first-party title Kakuto Chojin from shop shelves in the US and Japan, according to reports. The news about the beat-'em-up follows our exclusive revelation that the title will not see a release in the UK and Europe.
Apparently, the decision to pull the title from shelves has come as a result of concerns over certain religious references in the game that it's deemed some might find offensive. You may remember that Eidos recalled its stealth-action hit Hitman 2 for similar reasons.
Interestingly, Kakuto Chojin does not currently appear on the games listings on Xbox.com.
At the moment, the eventual fate of Kakuto Chojin in the US and Japan hasn't been made clear. The title's developer, DreamFactory, may rework the beat-'em-up and remove the potentially offensive material, with a view to Microsoft re-releasing the game in the two countries.
Following the posting of this news piece we have since been contacted by Microsoft.
A senior spokesperson for the company has informed us that the original press of the Kakuto Chojin disc contained religious chanting background sound that may have offended those of the Muslim faith.
Microsoft quickly moved to remove this from the game, thereby providing consumers with an amended product. Original game discs that were pressed were destroyed; but apparently a number still managed to find their way onto shop shelves. It is these copies of the beat 'em up that have been recalled.
"As a company, we value and promote diversity and remain sensitive to cultural and religious backgrounds," the Microsoft senior spokesperson told us. "We apologise for the mistake and have taken all appropriate actions to rectify the matter."
Unfortunately the spokesperson was unable to comment on the disappearance of Kakuto Chojin on the games listings on Xbox.com.