Attacks force video game makers to purge images of destruction

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

LOS ANGELES -- Video game makers have decided to purge images of destruction involving New York from new releases following the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center.

They also announced Monday that they would postpone the debut of terrorism-themed adventures.

Activision indefinitely postponed release of its PlayStation game "Spider-Man 2 -- Enter: Electro" a day before it was to hit stores because the superhero battles villains atop skyscrapers resembling the World Trade Center.

A redesigned game will be available by the holidays, said Activision president Ron Doornink.

Ubi Soft Entertainment said it would delay release of "Tom Clancy's Rogue Spear: Black Thorn." The game, originally set for release Oct. 9, will hit stores only after themes similar to the terror attacks on New York and Washington are removed.

"Any events involving planes and terrorism will be the first thing we look at eliminating," said Cassie Vogel, Ubi Soft spokeswoman.

The company wants "to avoid stirring emotions unnecessarily and unwillingly offending the public," she added.

Altered skyline

Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. has said it will erase the World Trade Center from the skyline of its upcoming "Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002" -- a series so realistic that some student pilots use it for training.

And copies of Electronic Arts' war game "Red Alert 2" are being altered because the cover depicts the World Trade Center and New York skyline in flames.

Because the game hit shelves more than a year ago, Electronic Arts is also offering retailers the chance to trade old covers for new ones, spokeswoman Trudy Muller said. The game, which involves warfare in models of real cities, will not be altered, she added.

The terrorist attacks prompted Electronic Arts to suspend "Majestic," a game involving murder and sabotage that is played through the Internet, for one week. The game resumed Tuesday.

Many in the entertainment industry have reviewed upcoming products in the wake of the terrorist attacks.

The record label 75Ark changed the cover art for anti-capitalist rappers The Coup's new album "Party Music" because it featured the World Trade Center towers exploding.

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