Video Game Movie Pixels "Censored" to Appease China – Report

The just-released video game movie Pixels was going to feature numerous scenes in China, including one where the country’s iconic Great Wall was partially destroyed by video game characters, but these never made it into the film film due to fear they would cause “some sensitivity.”

That’s according to leaked emails from Sony Pictures obtained by Reuters.

A 2013 draft for the Pixels included the Great Wall destruction scene, but it was cut. The movie still shows other famous places such as the Taj Mahal in India and the Washington Monument being destroyed.

Pixels sees a variety of iconic gaming characters, including Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, attacking earth after misinterpreting arcade games as a declaration of war against them. It stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, and Josh Gad as “Arcaders” tasked with saving the world.

In the leaked emails, Sony executives said they feared the movie might not be approved for release in China had they been kept this scene, and another where China was suggested to possibly be responsible for the alien attack. Yet another scene contained a reference to a “Communist-conspiracy brother.”

All of these scenes were ultimately cut. Sony Pictures China chief Li Chow said in a December 2013 email to senior Sony executives: “Even though breaking a hole on the Great Wall may not be a problem as long as it is part of a worldwide phenomenon, it is actually unnecessary because it will not benefit the China release at all. I would then, recommend not to do it.”

Also at this time, emails show that Sony executives were keen to move a car chase scene involving Pac-Man from Tokyo, Japan to Shanghai, China. However, Li Chow also shut this down, citing potential “sensitivity” concerns.

“As to relocating the Pac-Man action from Tokyo to Shanghai, this is not a good idea because it will involve destruction all over the city and may likely cause some sensitivity,” she wrote. “In other words, it is rather hard to say whether it would be a problem because the unwritten rule is that it is acceptable if there is no real intention in destroying a certain building or street and if it is just collateral damage. But where would you draw the line?”

Sony Pictures declined to comment specifically, but did explain that, “There are myriad factors that go into determining what is best for a film’s release, and creating content that has wide global appeal without compromising creative integrity is top among them.”

Pixels opened on Friday as the No. 1 movie, generating $9.2 million on Friday alone. Critics, however, have not been kind to the film, directed by Harry Potter and Home Alone‘s Christopher Columbus.

Looking for more video game movie coverage? Check out this image gallery to see all the video game movies currently in production–and there are lots.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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The Verge Review of Animals: the slow loris

This column is part of a series where Verge staffers post highly subjective reviews of animals. Up until now, we’ve written about animals without telling you whether they suck or rule. We are now rectifying this oversight.

The slow loris’s large, glossy eyes make it look a little like the model on which all Disney princesses are based. Its wide, inviting stare and fuzzy belly suggest it’s cuddly. But be warned: It may be adorable, but it’s also venomous.

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Author: Loren Grush

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Check Out This Teaser Image for Castlevania Lords of Shadow Dev's Next Game

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow developer MercurySteam has posted a cryptic teaser image that hints at the studio’s next project.

On the developer’s homepage, you can see the image above with the words, “Status: Exploring new worlds, fighting strange creatures, discovering new heroes. Expect news soon.”

Back in 2010, MercurySteam worked with Kojima Productions to create the first Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, an action-adventure take on the vampire-hunting franchise. The studio’s most recent game was the follow-up Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, which received praise in GameSpot’s review for its enemy designs and “beautiful gothic architecture.”

While it’s apparent from the teaser image that the next project will take a more sci-fi inspired bent, no other details about the game or what company will publish it have been made available. But given that the European games convention GamesCom is fast approaching, we expect to hear more details soon.

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Author: Justin Haywald

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Hulk Hogan Will Not Appear in WWE 2K16

Hulk Hogan will not appear in the next version of the 2K’s professional wrestling franchise, WWE 2K16.

Hogan made headlines earlier this week when the WWE severed ties with the wrestler for allegedly using “racial slurs in a conversation caught on a sex tape.” (via CBS News)

A representative from publisher 2K wrote in a statement to GameSpot, “We are highly respectful of the way that our partners choose to run their business and manage our partnerships accordingly. We can confirm that Hulk Hogan will not appear in WWE 2K16.”

The WWE has since removed Hogan’s photos, articles, and merchandise from its website.

In a statement to, Hogan offered up an apology for his behavior, stating, “It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it.”

Hogan’s earliest video game appearance was the Commodore 64 game MicroLeague Wrestling in 1987. However, he is probably better known as the cover star of the first officially licensed WWF game, WWF Wrestlemania for NES in 1989.

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Author: Justin Haywald

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China officially ends ban on video game consoles

China is finally scrapping its 15-year ban on video game consoles. According to a statement from the country’s Ministry of Culture, companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft — among others — will now be allowed to manufacture and sell video game consoles anywhere in the country. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news earlier today.

Game consoles were first banned in 2000 due to fears that the devices — and the 3D worlds produced by them — had a negative effect on the mental and physical development of children. Last year, China eased those restrictions by letting game console-makers operate in an experimental 11-square-mile area in Shanghai, known as the free trade zone.

China has a choice to make: PS4 or Xbox One

But even…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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The Dota 2 International isn't until next week, but there are already 4,875 people tuned in to the stream

The fifth edition of The International Dota 2 Championships is set to kick off next week, filling the internet with wall-to-wall multiplayer battle action. It’s going to be the most lucrative e-sports tournament yet, with a prize fund now surpassing $17.4 million — but if you want to get a real sense for how excited people are for it, there are already nearly 5,000 viewers watching a placeholder stream for the event. A lightly animated tournament logo, accompanied by looping ambient music, is all that’s on offer right now, with a comments stream filled with questions about when The International begins (some of them serious, most of them ironic).

The first real action for the tournament will be on Sunday at 9AM Pacific Time, with…

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Author: Vlad Savov

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Amazon reportedly plans to open physical grocery stores in Silicon Valley

Amazon might soon have a brick-and-mortar presence in your community. The online retailer is planning to test a new service that lets you pick up fresh groceries and other items from a physical location, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

According to the paper’s sources, Amazon (through a subsidiary) has signed paperwork for a retail location in Sunnyvale, CA and plans have already been approved for it to build out an 11,600-square-foot warehouse with eight car stalls for pickups. Planning documents submitted by a third party developer call project “a blended customer shopping experience, as it leverages both an online shopping platform and the traditional brick-and-mortar retail experience.” After placing an order, you’d get…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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NBA 2K16's Biggest Soundtrack Ever Revealed

2K Sports has announced the full tracklist for upcoming professional basketball game NBA 2K16.

Selected by veteran producers DJ Mustard, DJ Khaled, and DJ Premier, the soundtrack spans more than 50 songs across six in-game playlists. Altogether, it comes out to the “most expansive musical collection in NBA 2K franchise history,” 2K Sports said in a statement.

Take a look at the full soundtrack below, which includes songs you probably know as well as brand-new songs written specifically for the game.

NBA 2K16, the story for which was written and directed by Spike Lee, launches September 29 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. Preordering the game lets you play a few days early.

The game features three cover stars: Stephen Curry, James Harden, and Anthony Davis. Game covers are distributed at random, but every game box will come with inserts for all three. You can also buy a special edition of NBA 2K16, which features basketball legend Michael Jordan on the cover.

What do you make of the tracklist? Let us know in the comments below.

DJ Premier Playlist

  • Custom Track: Papoose Prod. By DJ Premier, “Hold the City Down”
  • Gang Starr (feat. NYGz, H. Stax), “Same Team, No Games”
  • Nas, “Made You Look”
  • Living Colour, “Cult of Personality”
  • Jeru The Damaja, “You Can’t Stop The Prophet”
  • Custom Track (Instrumental): DJ Premier, “Bum Bum Bum”
  • Ramones, “Blitzrieg Bop”
  • NYGz, “Policy”
  • DJ Premier & Bumpy Knuckles, “More Levels”
  • PRhyme, “U Looz”

DJ Khaled Playlist

  • Custom Track: DJ Khaled (feat. Ace Hood, Vado, Kent Jones), “365”
  • DJ Khaled (feat. Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Baby, Lil’ Wayne), “We Takin’ Over”
  • Ace Hood, “Hustle Hard”
  • Rick Ross (feat. T Pain), “The Boss”
  • Jay Z, “Where I’m From”
  • Custom Track (Instrumental): DJ Khaled, “Black Rims”
  • Wiz Khalifa, “We Dem Boyz”
  • Ace Hood (feat. Future & Rick Ross), “Bugatti”
  • Nas, “Represent”
  • DJ Khaled (feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross), “All I Do Is Win”

DJ Mustard Playlist

  • Custom Track: DJ Mustard (feat. RJ), “You Don’t Want It”
  • J Cole, “Rise and Shine”
  • Fergie, “L.A. Love (la la)”
  • Imagine Dragons, “I’m So Sorry”
  • M.I.A., “Y.A.L.A.”
  • Custom Track (Instrumental): DJ Mustard, “Ball at Night”
  • MGK, “Till I Die” (Cavs Version)
  • Drake, “0 To 100”
  • Iamsu!, “I Love My Squad”
  • Santigold, “Disparate Youth”

2K Classics Mixtape

  • Gnarls Barkley, “Going On”
  • Friendly Fires, “Skeleton Boy”
  • LCD Soundsystem, “Time to Get Away”
  • Santigold (feat. Spank Rock), “Shove It”
  • OneRepublic, “Everyone Loves Me”
  • RJD2, “Clean Living”
  • ZION I, “Ride”
  • The Flaming Lips, “The W.A.N.D. (The Will Always Negates Defeat)”
  • Hogni, “Bow Down (To No Man)”
  • The Chicharones, “Little By Little”

Around The World

  • Rael, “Vejo Depois”
  • Calvin Harris (feat. John Newman), “Blame”
  • Zedd (feat. Selena Gomez), “I Want You To Know”
  • Emicida & FeFe, “Bonjour”
  • Ana Tijoux, “Vengo”
  • Major Lazer (feat. MO & DJ Snake), “Lean On”
  • Club Dogo (feat. Arisa), “Fragili”
  • AM444, “Lies” (Jay. Soul Truth Remix)
  • Bag Raiders, “Shooting Stars”
  • Dynamic Duo & DJ Premier, “Aeao”

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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