‘The Callisto Protocol’ cancelled in Japan as developer refuses to cut violent content

Outside of Japan, 'The Callisto Protocol' will release on December 2

The Callisto Protocol, the upcoming survival horror title from developer Striking Distance Studios, has been cancelled in Japan due to the developer refusing to censor the game’s violent content.

The news comes from The Callisto Protocol’s Japanese Twitter account, in a tweet that reads when translated (via Eurogamer):

“The Callisto Protocol has decided to stop the release of the Japanese version. As of now, the CERO rating cannot be passed. We have decided that we would no longer be able to provide you with the experience you need. We hope everyone in Japan will understand. If you have already pre-ordered, we will refund you.”


CERO, a rating agency based in Tokyo, has been remarkably stringent about censorship in games ever since its founding in 2022, and has been responsible for censoring games such as The Last of Us, Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3 and Grand Theft Auto 5.

The Callisto Protocol, a spiritual successor to the Dead Space series, is set to release on December 2, 2022. The game is releasing at an interesting time too – after several years without a Dead Space game, its spiritual successor is releasing just a month before EA launches its Dead Space remake in January.

And in good news for any non-Japanese fans, the game is looking promising. In his preview for NME, Jake Tucker described the game as “a grindhouse gorefest that feels distinct from Dead Space and plays totally different,” despite wearing its influences on its sleeve.

However, the preview noted “it feels like a slightly remixed greatest hits collection and I would want to see some more original ideas that show that Callisto can mutate into something a little more interesting.”

In other gaming news, Rocksteady co-founders Sefton Hill and Jamie Walker are leaving the studio at the end of this year.