Darren Waters

Little Big Planet's global delay

  • Darren Waters
  • 17 Oct 08, 19:40 GMT

The imminent launch date of Little Big Planet has been put on hold - globally - because of issues around the use of some background music.

According to a release from Sony: "During the review process prior to the release of LittleBigPlanet, it has been brought to our attention that one of the background music tracks licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Qur'an.

"We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologise for any offence that this may have caused. We'll confirm the new launch date shortly."

Every copy of the game in the world will be recalled from retailers and replaced. It was due to be released on 24 October.

It's not immediately clear what the "offending" phrases are.

From what I understand the delay will not be too great. But given a massive marketing campaign for Sackboy and the game was about to be unleashed this is obviously a blow to Sony on the eve of what was expected to be a triumphant release of Little Big Planet.

The game has had a rapturous reception from critics and has picked up a rare 10 out of 10 score from the respected games magazine Edge. In its review, it described it as a "daring, transcendent, maginificent piece of work".

It also pushes the game back into an extremely congested release slate of other tites. I don't think the game will be affected to greatly by the delay but it's an embarrassment for Sony and less than ideal for Media Molecule, whose rise and rise from near unknown developers to world beaters had been smooth to this point.

I'm meeting with Media Molecule on Monday so will get the latest on the delay.


  • Comment number 1.

    The offending phrases were:

    1- "?? ??? ????? ?????" ("kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death').

    2- "?? ?? ????? ???" ("kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish').

    So even discounting the religious implications, they're not very appropriate phrases to utter in the presence of cute and cuddly Sackboys and girls!

    However it looks like Sony is keen on minimising the delay; at least in North America it will only mean a 1-week delay according to Sony's official blog:

    "We will begin shipping LittleBigPlanet to retail in North America the week of October 27th. Sorry for the delay, and rest assured, we are doing everything we can to get LittleBigPlanet to you as soon as possible."

  • Comment number 2.

    I feel very bad for Media Molecule and Sony Computer Entertainment London. They are a great team of people who have worked hard to create what will no doubt become one of the most revolutionary, entertaining and genre-defining video games ever. Next week was going to be a great occasion in the gaming world, now it will be overshadowed by controversy - which will almost certainly be blown out of proportion and hijacked by stupid people everywhere. The intolerant will damn MM's/Sony's intolerance. Ah, the circle of life goes on...........

    I look forward to the articles in the right wing press. Every time someone wants to blame gaming for society's ills, this incident will be raised. Sorry, Sackboy.

  • Comment number 3.

    Yeah, it's a great shame that such an unfortunately thing slipped by unnoticed until the last minute. It must have really put a dampener on thing at Media Molecule and for those involved at Sony, when they should be enjoying their well-deserved moment of fame.

    I don't think it will be too damaging in the long run; it was clearly a mistake and not intended to, nor obvious that it would, offend anyone (unlike the Danish cartoon fiasco). Sony were quick to act and "do the right thing" as soon as they were made aware of peoples' concerns, and that should be something they are praised for.

  • Comment number 4.

    The "offending" song has been on iTunes for two years. As yet, I can find no evidence that the composer has been villified by religious groups for recording and profiting from this song, which is supposedly in contravention of Islamic law.

    Quite how this is an embarrassment for Sony, Darren, is beyond me. The only embarrassment is that, once again, westerners are terrified of causing offence where none is intended but a lot is created by a tiny minority of very misguided people. A very sorry state of affairs.

  • Comment number 5.

    I'm so sick of religion....and censorship

  • Comment number 6.

    The original poster on the European Playstation forum's (Called Solid08) who raised his concerns about the song lyrics had suggested that maybe Sony should consider releasing a patch for the general release of the game so as to remove the potential offensive song from the game, so as not to offend people of the islamic faith. I'm doubt they had ever intended the game to be delayed, at such a great expense to Sony with all the scrapped copies going in the bin. However, it is somewhat ironic, that he actually had the full version of the game, way before the rest of the general public as the level he was discussing in which the song appeared is only in the 'Full' retail version. So, he ends up playing the game, while the rest of us who simply can't wait for the release, have to wait even longer to get our hands on a copy. The other ironic part of it, is that he says it's against Islam for the Qur'an to be spoken when set to music, despite the fact that the original artist who sang the song is a devout muslim????

  • Comment number 7.

    This is political correctness gone mad. Whatever next...... banning the cross from the st. george's flag because it's a strong symbol for christianity???? Where will it stop??? When will we all stop bowing down to every single religious pressure group that voices it's unpleasure at something insignificant? I thought we lived in a tolerant free speaking society..... doesn't appear this way from this article. If you don't like the fact that the game contains these phrases then don't buy it, problem solved.

  • Comment number 8.

    And yet Sony refused to do the same when Christians complained about the use of Manchester Cathedral in Resistance: Fall of Man. Even after the Church of England and religous leaders from Manchester Cathedral asked Sony to remove the game from shelves and change the content, all they got was an apology.

    Double standards much!

    Don't get me wrong, I agreed with Sony over their handling of Manchester Cathedral issue. They should have just done the same here and not pulled the game.

    What a dangerous precedent this sets, what happens now ? do we need to setup some kind of religous games review board with representation from every religion, so they can give all games the all clear before release! If so I guess it's back to Space Invaders and PacMan then, thats if it doesn't offend anyone of course.

    I'm sure the world has gone mad.

  • Comment number 9.

    A link to the song on You Tube for those who whuld like to listen to what's caused all this fuss.....
    I've listened to it, and although I don't understand the lyrics, I actually like the song, and think it would of worked well in Little Big Planet.

  • Comment number 10.

    You can listen to the 'Questionable' song here.....
    I actually quite like the song, albeit that I don't understand the lyrics. I also think it would of worked well in the so called 'Safari' levels for which it was originally destined.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    PR stunt? The game has received rave reviews and is in high demand. How do you create more demand? You decrease availability. Just like the sold out Wiis at Christmas.

  • Comment number 13.


    I'm glad someone else has noticed this discrepancy, but I think that Sony were wrong about Manchester Cathedral. In that case Sony knew perfectly well what they were doing. They sent in someone to take (legal) photos of the cathedral, and then got artists to create images from those photos so that they had no financial or legal obligations towards the owners of that building.

    If someone had used a scene which was plainly the inside of my house as the model for a brothel in some GTA clone, then I'd be pretty upset. And, if all the game makers said was, "Well, you can't prove that we have done is against the law. Tough." then I'd be rather cross. Eventually Sony said, "OK, you're a bit upset, Sorry if we hurt your feelings." They still didn't go around releasing any patches!

    But, crucially, they knew exactly what they were doing in the first place. They could have used some other background for the scene, but didn't. A moment's thought must have shown them the probability of giving offence. They just didn't think there was any reason not to offend the people whose property they were abusing.

    It's another one of the (lengthening) list of Sony's sins.

  • Comment number 14.

    "And yet Sony refused to do the same when Christians complained about the use of Manchester Cathedral in Resistance: Fall of Man. Even after the Church of England and religous leaders from Manchester Cathedral asked Sony to remove the game from shelves and change the content, all they got was an apology."

    That's because in today's world, it's perfectly OK to offend Christians and blaspheme against the name of Jesus... but God forbid anyone say anything to offend Muslims!!

    Yes. Double standards indeed! Maybe we Christians should be slightly less willing to roll over and let the world walk over us, in the same way that (some) Muslims should calm down, get off their high horses and just accept that people are different.

  • Comment number 15.

    Religionists do not have the right not to be offended. If you've ever tried to challenge such an individual on what they actually think, you'll be amazed that, for many of them, it's the first time they've given their [typically] parentally- and culturally-inherited beliefs any thought at all. And they are wont to make things up on the spot!

    Actually, this isn't amazing at all as religion deliberately imposes a veil (pun intended) of obfuscation and 'mystery' around core beliefs.

    That a religionist could be offended by a piece of music [in a video game] does not surprise me. Such a person is free to approve or disapprove of *anything* within the context of their belief system which lends itself to idiotic, reactionary rants with no basis in fact or rational argument.

    That said, Sony is a business so I don't blame them for moving to replace the music. If this were my business, I would do the same (it's about making money, after all).

    Any mullahs / priests want to come out and say why this music would have been a problem for them? I'd love to hear your arguments.

    [Re the Manchester Cathedral episode, is this the same, peace-loving C of E that provides chaplains to the British army? It can't be, can it?]

  • Comment number 16.

    Ah well, thats one less title for me to worry about this week!

    What with Far Cry 2 and Dead Space out on Fri getting the 3 would have been a bit indulgent esp after getting Bioshock last week.

  • Comment number 17.

    "From what I understand the delay will not be too great. But given a massive marketing campaign for Sackboy and the game was about to be unleashed this is obviously a blow to Sony on the eve of what was expected to be a triumphant release of Little Big Planet."

    Come on, you must realise that this in no way will be damaging for Sony.

    1/ The game will always be fantastic.
    2/ They have gained respect from Mulsim the community.
    3/ The game is being talked about in every mainstream media outlet, everyone know about this game, original copies of the game are already going for silly money on ebay, and it's a must have title.

    This is a blip for sure, but it's going to work in Sony's favor I am sure of that.

  • Comment number 18.

    You have to applaud Sony for reacting so well, i give them great respect for this

  • Comment number 19.

    This is getting ridiculous. I need to state before I type the rest that I am an atheist. I have no problem with the concept of treating religious views with sensitivity, but why must it be so biased. I recall the outrage from christians regarding the film "The Excorcist" and yet this was released regardless. Fine - I have no problem, but treat Islam the same way. I am growing increasingly frustrated about the way that we are supposed to bend over backwards to accomodate Islam in what is not hostorically an Islamic nation. If this game is offensive to muslims, I suggest they do not purchase it.

  • Comment number 20.

    What annoys me most about this story is not Sony's continued lack of respect to religion, but the inconsistency in its response. Issuing an apology and correcting the oversight is the right thing to do in this case, whatever the financial ramifications, but what happened with the 'Resistance: Fall of Man' game (

    No correction was made there, no recall and barely so much as an apology. They merely attempted to take a (shaky) legal position on the issue, stating that they did not necessarily need legal permission to recreate Manchester Cathedral for a scene involving a bloody massacre, and that it was not photography or video imagery used, only virtual recreations.

    This was not the issue, it was not like Manchester Cathedral was looking to defend its intellectual property and claim its cut of the profits. It wanted it removed for being wholly offensive!

    Yet there is far less of a legal reason to remove the Koran phrases in this case (not that i am justifying its moral use), so why the inconsistency in the responses? Why do Sony feel it is OK to offend Christians with bloody death scenes in their places of worship, but not OK to offend Muslims by setting religious texts to music?

  • Comment number 21.

    Lets be honest, to patch a game to change a song is far easier than taking out a whole level or even editing it.

  • Comment number 22.

    We all know it is perfectly OK to be offensive to Christians - after all they have been told by their Founder to "turn the other cheek". Have Muslims be told to do that? Too often they are prepared to "take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them"! Therein lies the dilemma for businesses around the world. Too many organisations are allowing themselves to be morally blackmailed by Islamic fundamentalists and are bending over backwards not to give any offence to such people even when no reasonable Muslim would be offended. However it is open season on Christianity.

    The solution to the problem is for Christians to boycott businesses who wilfully offend their faith or employ double standards such as Sony have in this case (quotes from the Koran versus Manchester Cathedral). But in boycotting they MUST inform the company that they are doing so and WHY they are doing it. We can all survive without Sony's new game.

  • Comment number 23.

    Muslim here. I've discussed this with other Muslims and none of us care. We would have been totally fine with the verses being in the game. When will people stop bending over backwards to the extremist/fundamentalists? I hate them so much. They make all us normal Muslims look bad.

    I believe the reason Islam is sucked up to is because there is a fear of terrorism. In other words the view is that if we offend Islam something bad will happen, but if we offend Christians nothing bad will happen. This is a sad way of thinking and shows that we are losing the War On Terror.

  • Comment number 24.

    Whilst no-one seems to want to say it, the fact remains that the crucial difference between the Manchester Cathedral controversy and this is that the makers of Manhunt are unlikely anytime soon to find themselves targetted with death threats and arson attacks by extremist Christian elements. Can you imagine the all-out cultural war that would have resulted had Sony set that shootout in a Mosque?

  • Comment number 25.

    I agree with you justjj78, but why the inconsistency in stances?

    Why did the Cathedral have to force an apology out of Sony, whilst Sony were dancing around legal issues and a "we haven't done anything wrong" mentality, whereas in this case a letter was sent and an immediate apology and retraction issued?

  • Comment number 26.

    Don't fall for it.. there is no such thing as a 'muslim community'.. there are billions of muslims, its like saying there is a Christian community or a human community.

    Basically some troll on a forum or in a think-tank wants to provide a bit of provocation, he doesn't speak for the billions of people (muslims and non-muslims), of which many in the world are in poverty and cannot even afford food let alone internet access to be aware that this game is apparently offensive to muslims.

    Actually, its more likely that most don't care, or would probably welcome it (I've not heard it, the youtube link is down).
    There are plenty of eighties/nineties movies with Koranic verses being used for effect, and that was never an issue.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm British agnostic, I live in Britain, and the last time I checked, I was subject to British law, not Islamic law. Last time I checked, British law wasn't based on Islamic law.

    So why should Islamic law be defining when I can / can't play a game? Personally, *I'm* offended that I'm being subjected to a law that I did not vote for, or choose to submit myself to.

    If I was less decided on buying the game, then this would be enough to make me leave it on the shelf.

    Although with the reported production delays on the sackboy toys, to what extent are Sony using this an excuse to allow them time to catch up?

  • Comment number 28.

    Couldn't Sony have offered a downloadable patch so that any persons who may have found it offensive could disable the track?

    Pulling all the games and effectively censoring the piece of art that was originally included seems a bit over-the-top to me...

  • Comment number 29.

    I think jonarob (#12) has hit the nail on the head. If you look carefully at most stories about "x was banned because it was offensive to Muslims", you find that they are completely bogus (there's a good article about this phenomenon at

    I am confident that 99.99% of Muslims would agree with muzza1923 (#23) and not be in the slightest bit offended by the soundtrack.

    Isn't it a bit suspicious that this is all in response to just one anonymous post on a web forum? Not only that, but the "official" response from Sony was not, as reported by the BBC, on the LittleBigPlanet website, but just in a blog. It's also worth noting that "solid_08", the person who complained about the the lyrics, thought it was perfectly OK to post a web link to the song. A bit suspicious if he's really as offended by it as he makes out.

    So yes, I think the whole thing is a big (and apparently successful) publicity stunt. Now, BBC, how about doing some real investigative journalism and getting to the bottom of this?

  • Comment number 30.

    ee__1234 says:
    "Don't fall for it.. there is no such thing as a 'muslim community'.. there are billions of muslims, its like saying there is a Christian community or a human community."

    Exactly! I see myself more as part of the Turkish community than any Muslim community. There are many interpretations of Islam but the one's that make the news are the extreme/fundamentalists one's that piss everyone off.

    I want my LittleBigPlanet!!!

  • Comment number 31.

    I actually think this is a good thing for Sony.

    Firstly there's the publicity that this generates.

    Secondly, what Sony has been shown to do is act positively to cut out a possible inflammatory situation which I'm sure will be appreciated by all (Muslims and other religious groups alike).

    Sure, the short term is that those desperate to get there hands on this game (e.g. Me) will have to wait a little longer. But in the long term this will be highlighted as a positive for Sony being pro-active.

  • Comment number 32.

    Regarding the issue with the Cathedral in Manchester in Resistance, Sony did apologise for that incident. Unfortunately it was integral to the game and couldn't have been removed easily. With LBP, it should be a simple case of deleting a sound track.

    I'm agnostic and don't think that most Muslims would react badly to this article in the same way that I'd expect Christians to react in the same way. It's only if Sony had ignored the issue that I'd expect some annoyance regardless of religion.

  • Comment number 33.

    This is the right thing for Sony to do.

    They didn't mean any offence, they just didn't think. If they wanted to use an Arabic song in their soundtrack, they should have thoroughly checked the lyrics/words.

    For people to say 'if Muslims don't like it, then don't buy it' is simplistic. If we ignored these things, it would just get worse for us.

    The Qu'ran is precious to us. We don't expect it to be precious to non-Muslims, but that doesn't mean we can just stand back and see it mis-represented or exploited.

    RevolutionBlues hit the nail on the head:

    "The intolerant will damn MM's/Sony's intolerance."

  • Comment number 34.

    did the person posting the coment about the so called religious content have an illegal pirate copy if so he or she should have been prosecuted

  • Comment number 35.

    As a believer in the Norse Gods. I am offended at the blatant disregard for my religion in Too Human on the Xbox 360.

    Ban this filth!!!


    You might see in my sarcasm, that I'm starting to get rather sick and tired in people with religious beliefs smothering and opressing my non religious ones.

  • Comment number 36.

    I'm offended by the delay with this game. I was looking forward to playing it on Friday, and now will have to wait another couple of weeks.

    Why couldn't those people who'd get offended just wait for a patched version to come out, and leave the rest of us who don't care about these fairy stories (whatever religion it happens to be) just get on with our lives?

  • Comment number 37.

  • Comment number 38.

    Religious war looms...

    I find the comments:

    "1- "?? ??? ????? ?????" ("kollo nafsin tha'iqatol mawt", literally: 'Every soul shall have the taste of death').

    2- "?? ?? ????? ???" ("kollo man alaiha fan", literally: 'All that is on earth will perish')."

    rather offending. Please recall all copys of the Qur'an all over the world.

  • Comment number 39.

    As a deeply commited Muslim I take absolutely no offence at this. Actually, I'm rather intrigued that it would be included in the game. It's also obvious that a Muslim had a hand in creating the track since non-muslims rarely can find audio files of the Qu'ran in Arabic.

    There have been plenty of other "blasphemies" going around and nobody has been complaining about them. Also, this track has been on iTunes for a couple of years and yet I see nobody complaining.

    In fact, I havn't heard of any muslim complaining about LBP's track, so it's just the developers and/or publishers being needlessly fearful of the nutjobs as a result of the "piglet incident" and the Danish cartoons.

    Political correctness has gone mad in this country; the voices of sensible people are being drowned out by the fearmongering cries of nujobs.

  • Comment number 40.

    Ok so lets look at the facts.

    The ease to patch a game like this to block the song and substitute in a new one isn't that much work.

    For the game to be released on Monday there would have been stocks all over the world and recalling all would be a huge logistical nightmare.

    So they delay the game, make a patch and then bring it out.

    The question is, publicity stunt?
    That's all.

  • Comment number 41.

    Its about time people and corporations as big as Sony stopped running scared from trouble makers.

  • Comment number 42.

    offending people is my right,
    it is also a pleasure,
    it is your weakness to be offended by what others may say,
    there will always be somebody that will be offended by any little thing,
    in truth most religions are pretty offensive,
    the jews, muslims and christians are some of the most hateful racist people out there,
    and most of their ideas are offensive as well,
    but who cares, i'll let you life in ignorance if you let me live my life in sin,

    just keep religion out of politics, out of the real world, and out of my life and we can all get along,

  • Comment number 43.

    Muslim here. I am no extremist but I abhor having any Quranic verses played within Music. Why can't be people simply respect the beliefs of others? Needless to say, I am also against the use of the church in that other Sony game. All this altercations can be easily solved by respecting the beliefs of others. It is as simple as that. Definitely, Sony can always create games without offending the beliefs of others. Also in response to muzza1923, I am a Muslim too and I would be offended by that and if that makes me extremist, so be it. Just because you are not offended doesn't mean every other Muslim who is offended is an extremist.

  • Comment number 44.

    Political correctness gone mad? I don't think so. I'm an atheist and I would have been deeply DEEPLY offended if this religious tripe was being uttered in a game. I'm glad Sony have decided to remove these vile phrases from a game that is put forward for children and free-thinking adults like myself. As for that cathedral in Manchester, I actually went visit it to see if it was just like the game! It was! It won't make me worship non-existent deities though.

  • Comment number 45.

    Another example of the Western world running scared of the Muslim extremists. Who gives a Shiite if a few Muslims would offended? It's only a few words out of a fairy story after all.

  • Comment number 46.

    What seems to been missed in the reporting of this /problem/ is that this song is dedicated to the song writers brother.

    Muslims shout jump and we ask how high.

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    Hmm, I hate this sort of thing.

    Sony is a company that writes games where you massacre monsters, aliens and what ever.... WW2 games that may well offend Nazi's, Jews and who knows who else...

    And a game gets pulled because of 2 sentences that are actually fiction, just like the games Sony write, because they might 'offend' a few narrow minded people.

    I'm sure endless massacring offends more people than those few words will.

  • Comment number 49.

    I don't wish to repeat much of what has already been said; for the record I am an athiest.

    However a little digging online provides instant and interesting results regarding music and Islam. Check out the three following articles claiming that there is nothing prohibiting music in the Koran, only in supplementary, and often regarded as heretical 'hadith'.

    Personally I love listening to Qawwali style music, which is Islamic devotional music (though without direct reference to the Koran I believe).

  • Comment number 50.

    I wonder why the sound designer chose to include it, or was he/she just unaware of what it was and chose it as ambience? It would be interesting to hear but the YouTube link is now dead. Good marketing for the game though.

    On a part related note, a lovely example of religious verse in music, in this case in film, is the use of Hindu scripture and prayer in the third part of the Matrix trilogy. That's an example where the sound designer or probably more likely composer has done well with the words seeming to fit.

  • Comment number 51.

    Re the issue of why this game was recalled and Resistance Fall of Man wasn't over the Cathedral issue:-

    With LittleBigPlanet, we're talking of a tiny bit of the soundtrack, which is easy to replace/remove if necessary - it's not really a vital part of the game, and as such the game will be re-released in just a couple of weeks.

    Manchester Cathedral in Resistance, however, was used as part of the game's story mode - removing this meant completely redesigning the level of the game, which could have taken months to design, model, programme and then test, in order to replace with and 'inoffensive' version.

    So you see, the recall of LBP is not really a case of Sony 'favouring' Muslims over Christians or anything, it's just a case of feasibility. I'm sure that if fixing the offensive material in Resistance were to only take a couple of weeks, they would have done just that, but it would have been practically impossible.

  • Comment number 52.

    May I point out, again, that those of you who think Media Molecule or Sony were wrong or insensitive to include this song in LBP should ask themselves this:

    "Why aren't I complaining to the Muslim musician who has put Qur'anic phrases to music in direct contravention of Islamic law and who has had it on sale on iTunes for over two years for personal financial profit?"

    If a crime (sic) has been committed, it has been committed by Toumani Diabaté and not Media Molecule or Sony. Go and complain to him. Go and demand he be respectful of Islam. Go and ask him to remove his song for sale on iTunes. He created the offending song; MM/Sony just liked it and put it in their family game; what a terrible offence!

    I can still find NO evidence that this Islamic artist has ever been criticised by Islamic moralists for breaking Islamic law. Funny that.

    PS - moonfru1t,

    When I said "The intolerant will damn MM's/Sony's intolerance" I was actually attacking religionists (the intolerant) for accusing Sony of so-called (i.e. not real) intolerance, i.e. of utter naked hypocrisy.

    As I once said in an essay, as a young man:

    "Organised religion. Where the intolerant demand perpetual tolerance from the normally tolerant of their repeated intolerance."

  • Comment number 53.

    Another divisive religious media event. Too many times we see religion being used as an excuse to do something or not to do something. There seems to be no tolerant middle ground. Is this a direct insult to someone's religious belief, always, someone will always take offensive to just about anything. I think Sony have made an easy Marketing decision to put their product in the limelight, for fear of the numbers not looking good. The last thing people should be buying is luxury consumer goods in our media driven economic downturn.

    Shame on you Sony!

  • Comment number 54.

    #51 You say,

    "Manchester Cathedral in Resistance, however, was used as part of the game's story mode - removing this meant completely redesigning the level of the game, which could have taken months to design, model, programme and then test, in order to replace with and 'inoffensive' version."

    I agree that removing the scene would have been difficult. However, its place in the game shows that Sony must have planned its impact carefully, they "made sure they had the necessary permissions." In other words, they checked with their lawyers that they could get away with it. Or, in yet other words - THEY KNEW EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING. And did it anyway.

    As an agnostic, and a believer in free speech, I have no problem with them, or anyone else, offending the religious with their words or their images.

    What I do object to is them using other people's property without saying what they are doing, or asking proper permission in the first place. "Excuse me, we want to use the inside of your building as the setting for a big knife fight in our next blockbuster game. Is that OK with you?"

    Nope, it's "We're Sony and we can do what we please, and if you don't like it, you can ..." Fill in the rest for yourself. Eventually they said, "Sorry if your feelings are hurt. Now go away."

    No, I'll bet the latest thing is a PR stunt, perhaps they think it will improve their sales in the middle east. Perhaps they are really are frightened of a Muslim backlash - attacks on warehouses or whatever. But Sony giving in to an attack of conscience for having offended someone's sensibilities? Perlease.

  • Comment number 55.

    Would it be to much to ask for there simply to be a separate 'haram' version to be released?

    I can empathise with offended muslims..I get a lot of offense myself, being gay ( mainly from muslims and the other faithful, too! :) ). I don't for a minute agree that one should forced to accept offensive material into one's home, but you should not force your opinion on someone else, who may consider you offensive.

    The main point I'd like to make is that this is a secular western democracy, if people wish to quote from any book, of whatever origin, they are free to do so. They are also free to pick holes in the holy book of another. It's fine, just answer the offense with more free speech. That's speech, not beatings or arson, ok?

    The second point? It's fine for the faithful to call me an abomination and suggest various creative methods for my disposal. Much as I am irritated by such views, you have the right to express them. Much like "Family Guy" that tries to offend just about anyone. Those of you who I have met are brilliant human beings, like candles in the dark of night. Please, respect the fact that our offensiveness and obnoxious jests come simply from a fear of your strength of conviction.

    This is, truthfully, a case of the secular against the faithful. By all means, give the faithful what they desire, but do not force it upon all.

  • Comment number 56.

    hmmmm.. this is a tricky one, as i think everyone seems to go out of their way to either get angry or get offended about this. I think that its important to remember this is a family orientated, kid friendly imaginative game and that the MM guys are creating highly original content that excites and delights. i'm pretty sure they probably heard the music and thought 'cool, that'll go really well with this level and create a nice atmosphere' but they didn't get the meanings as there is no hint of what they mean within the song. can any no-muslims here actually say that they would have understood the lyrics in the song if the game had been released? most of the people commenting will never play the game, which is a shame, as its one of the most original titles in years, but i don't think that if chappy in testing hadn't noticed the lyrics anyone would have known the difference. before we codemn, actully consider, is this really a huge deal to non-gaming, non-muslim and those who seem to be readily looking to complain about anything.. If you are a muslim, ok this could cause some offence but again i wonder how many would play the game and actually recognise the offending content. Sony can do what they like, its their product and at the end of the day if they think it will improve sales they will do it.

    with regards to the resistance: fall of man game, you actually shoot aliens in manchester.. isn't that different? In independance day (which was on channel 4 the other night) they blew up many major monuments on a rather grand scale, did they have the appropriate permissions to do this? Why do we even care? lol
    i wouldn't say having the cathedral in the game adds to realism, as unless you've ever been to manchester, you wouldn't know the difference. And then of course your shooting aliens..

    Go pre-order Little Big planet as its going to be a rewarding gaming experience with or without this one track.

  • Comment number 57.

    I think the main reason why sony felt they had to change it was because of fear of any sort of backlash.
    I doubt it was for any financial gain, seeing as they had to destroy and reissue millions of blu-ray discs. For publicity? The game had already been splashed all over the news beforehand.
    They clearly decided to make a clean cut and be done with the whole issue sooner rather than later. Anyone who is surprised by their reaction should look at what happened with the incident over the muhammed cartoons. The outrage that caused was unbelievable. I think its a testament to the devotion they have to their faith. People wonder why the secular world treat the muslim faith with a degree of caution.

    Ps. - To the people who keep moaning about why sony would put such a song in their game, it wasnt sony it was the developer. Media molecule is a british game developer who, im sure, didnt even realise the meaning of the song and picked it because it sounded good.
    You could even say that they picked it to give the game a more multicultural feel.

  • Comment number 58.

    From the sleeve notes for the Symmetric Orchestra Sleeve.

    8. Tapha Niang
    This is another version of Mali Sadio, but the Senegalese singer Moussa Niang sings it in
    Wolof, as a tender tribute to his late brother Moustafa Niang. ‘Let’s accept death as we do birth’. By using the voice of Moussa here in Wolof, and by adding the sabar drums and
    some mbalax flavour, we want to show that Mali Sadio doesn’t just belong to Mali, it
    belongs to different peoples and places in West Africa. The accompaniment starts out in a very classical style but then it goes off in a whole new direction.

  • Comment number 59.

    #43: If you say you'd be offended by Quranic verses played with music, I believe you. I think that's daft, but I absolutely respect your right to hold that belief.

    But here is a genuine question for you. Do you think it's reasonable for your views to cause Sony to spend millions recalling the product (assuming they didn't plan it all as a publicity stunt, which actually I wouldn't assume)? Wouldn't it just be perfectly OK for you not to buy the product?

  • Comment number 60.

    The phrases translated as:-

    'Every soul shall have the taste of death'


    'All that is on earth will perish'

    are just statements of fact.

    What is so special about them?

    We will all die at some point. Whether we are religious or not death is the only guaranteed event in our lives and for all living things.

  • Comment number 61.

    "43. At 7:05pm on 20 Oct 2008, Abassey wrote:

    Muslim here. I am no extremist but I abhor having any Quranic verses played within Music. Why can't be people simply respect the beliefs of others?"

    Because the very thing you find offensive causes a reaction that I find offensive. Unfortunately, this is an inescapable situations. A lot of religions and religious people seem to believe they have a right not to be personally offended, but some of those beliefs that religions preach, I find incredibly offensive...
    1)The anti-gay rhetoric of the major religions
    2) The church fighting over the role the role of women in the church,
    3) The rights of women in general in all religions, such as the right of a woman over her own body and in particular the Islamic idea that they should cover up so much because I cannot be trusted and only their husband should be able to see them.
    4) The idea that "God is on our side" in times of war.
    5) The Catholic church's lies about HIV in Africa, and the promotion of these lies about how condoms fail to protect you.

    I find these things offensive, but some religious people will cling onto their "right" to this offensiveness. There seems to be a religious belief, across all religions that their beliefs in a higher God allows them to offend, but not be offended against. Its hypocricy of the highest order.

  • Comment number 62.

    @ peej2k You're totally right

    @ others
    When it comes to sony and double standards (Resistance cathedral), I think the common view of most people is that christians are "pushovers" when it comes to blasphemous materials. Its not that they don't complain about those sort of things, it that no one really cares because what are they going to do? Christians gave up on holy wars hundreds of years ago, and over time became more lenient (to a point). I don't recall ever hearing of a suicide bomber being christian. Maybe they don't care as much?
    Maybe they should wake up and realise that the only reason religions were ever created was due to their ignorance about the world

  • Comment number 63.

    @ tuksta

    Clearly it's not double standards. Anyone with any ounce of technical knowledge, or has seen/played both games should be able to tell truth fromt he fiction may people are spouting here.

    Resitance Fall Of Man:

    Game already out on the market for 6months before anyone complained. The Manchester level, in which the cathedral appears is a large level, and integral part of the game, "patching it out" was clearly not a trivial task

    Little Big Planet:

    A song. Work required to edit it out: trivial, game not yet launched, so it's clearly possible to recall it.

    Anyone drawing any similarities are clearly on mind altering drugs, or are basically Sony haters looking for an argument.

  • Comment number 64.

    Other than the original gamer who pointed out that the music track quoted the Qu'ran, who exactly has complained ?? Nobody as far as I can tell; and if the track has been available on iTunes for 2 years witthout comment, I fail to see where the controversy is ?? The danger with stories such as this, is that an imaginary 'enemy' is created where there is none. I'm sure I'll be reading a whole load of misinformed and inflammatory headlines about how Muslim extremists demand that LBP be 'banned', when the truth is that Sony are withdrawing the game of their own choice.
    The Islamic spokesman quoted in the story only responded to Sony's decision.
    People can read parallels with their failure to act over Resistence : Fall of Man, but that's down to Sony, and Sony alone.

  • Comment number 65.

    Re - Post No 61

    Peej2k6, nice post. I wish more people could be as understanding and insightful with regards to the failings of major global religions - including their own.


    M ( an atheist, for the record ).

  • Comment number 66.

    @ mgillespie

    I wasn't implying that they were having double standards i was merely pointing out the fact that christians aren't treated with the same caution as other religions. Sony even conceded to the fact that they didnt have the correct permissions to use the cathedral, hence their apology. This is not just with sony, in most walks of life.

    I totally agree with the fact that they couldnt change the game because it was too big a part. Its just that they shouldn't have been frightened into changing LBP for the sake of not uspsetting a (assumed) minority of muslims.

    Oh by the way, sony is one of my favourite companies and i am an agnostic.

  • Comment number 67.

    Another chapter in our lives - lets just move on to our next controversy - and let the games begin!! \:-)

  • Comment number 68.

    I hope they recycle all the wasted copies responsibly. Otherwise what a load of nonsense over two lines that nobody would probably notice so long as the gameplay was captivating enough.

  • Comment number 69.


    I reckon I have more than an ounce of technical knowledge so that would seem to make me qualified to comment.

    Yes, at purely a technical level you are quite correct. Patching one song pre-release on Little Big Planet is hugely easier than patching an entire level out of Resistance Fall of Man. That's in software development terms though, rather than logistics which I'll come to later.

    Unfortunately though, the technical argument seems imho to strengthen the argument for double standards being applied, not diminish it.

    As has already been pointed out by a number of posters, the Resistance Fall of Man level in Manchester Cathedral is an integral part of the game, which will have been worked on for many months by numerous people. Now clearly I have no idea if one person, many people or nobody ever asked the question "Hang on, do you think we might not be taking this a bit far basing a shoot out level inside a model of an actual Cathedral?" but obviously the corporate response if it was asked was "no problem, not an issue".

    Little Big Planet, 1 person asks a similar question regarding the Koran references which are quite obviously an innocent mistake on the part of the developers and the eqiuvalent reply appears to be "OMG, sorry for potentially causing you offence, we've been so stupid, let us recall the millions of CDs from our warehouses and retail outlets around the world, destroy them all and remove any last traces of the offending item".

    Now I'm sorry, but if that's not double standards I don't know what is.

    Someone else hit the nail firmly on the head in an earlier posting. Can anyone really imagine Sony publishing Resistance Fall of Man with the shootout set in The London Mosque for example rather than Manchester Cathedral? Anyone?

  • Comment number 70.

    If Muslims find it offensive then do they have something to confess about their religeon and sacred book?

  • Comment number 71.

    to all the people who have posted about muslim references in other games, in the old PC game Swat 3 there is a hostage situation inside a mosque where you have to burst in and kill all of the bad guys, and i have never heard of any complaints from the muslim comunity ever and got very frustrated with the game on the hardest level setting and just shot everyone in the building

  • Comment number 72.

    I respect sony for what they did, changing the contents of the game with the way things are going nowadays but to be honest, its all got out of hand. This is a game for families and children 3 and up, delayed for two weeks which is alot in the games industry, because of about 10 words lol.

    And to every1 who thinks this is a publicity stunt from sony: think about it, what good would it do them? surely all the copies of LBP that they have to bin cost more than they are going to make from the publicity?

    Its not like they were discriminating anyone is it? 10 words from a single song in the background of one level in a game that has limitless levels? Sung by a muslim himself? Im only just 14 and even i understand that this is a just a mistake by sony, they didnt exactly intend to hurt anyone did they? and the same with resistance, they werent playing down god or anything were they? and i wouldve had the game for my birthday aswell if it wasnt delayed!!!

  • Comment number 73.

    @ raven2751 - It's not actually a mosque in Swat3 (one of my fav games btw) its a russian orthidox church, ie. a Christian church. Not sure how that makes it any better though.

  • Comment number 74.


    tuksta, we all have to honest with ourselves now. Religeon believes it is above society and people, Christianity is coming around to the idea that humor is quite an effective way of bonding between different cultures, hence why alot of Chrisitians now own The Life Of Brian where they once demanded it was banned forever.

    Now, Islam needs to catch up for it looks like the most immature religeon of them all, and all other religeous and non-religeous people are beginning grow tired of the general attiude coming from i9t's religeous leaders.

  • Comment number 75.

    thats true but i wasnt making a comment i was just correcting a fact. The context that the game used the church was definately not humorous.


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