Konami Corp will remove depictions of the World Trade Center from an action-adventure game it plans to begin selling in the US in November because of last week's terrorist attacks. \nThe maker of video-game software for Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp will delete the images from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the follow up to a game that's sold more than 6 million copies. In the game, players pose as members of an anti-terrorist team trying to free a hijacked oil tanker. \nMicrosoft, Electronic Arts Inc and Ubi Soft Entertainment SA have deleted images of the World Trade Center buildings or delayed game releases after terrorists hijacked and crashed planes into the twin towers and the Pentagon last Tuesday. Konami's Metal Gear Solid 2 is designed for Sony's PlayStation 2 console. \nKonami's shares have fallen by a quarter following the attacks on concern declining consumer demand in the US may hurt earnings of game software makers, and also due to worries that Konami may delay the November release of the game. The shares were almost unchanged at ?2,830, up 0.35 percent. \nAlthough the game will be released on schedule, "it is still unclear whether sales will be as expected," said Hirotoshi Murakami, an analyst with Kokusai Securities Co. Murakami does not plan to raise his "underperform" rating on the company. \nKonami plans to sell as many as 3.2 million copies of the game worldwide. \n"Originally, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty had pictures of the World Trade Center in New York, but those scenes were deleted due to the horrendous terrorist incidents in the US,'' a release posted on Konami's Web site said. \nThe shares of video-game makers have slumped since last Tuesday's attacks in New York and Washington on concern that consumers will turn away from violence-laden entertainment. \nNintendo Co's shares lost about a quarter of their value in the five days since the attacks. Interplay Entertainment Corp shares fell 6.3 percent yesterday in US trading. \nNintendo, maker of the GameCube video-game console, rebounded today, surging as much as 15.8 percent to ?15,520. North and South America account for more than half the Kyoto-based company's sales and a third of its operating profit. \nMicrosoft, the maker of the Xbox game console to be released in the US in November, said last week that it will remove images of the World Trade Center from future versions of its Flight Simulator computer game. \nElectronic Arts suspended its Majestic online conspiracy game. The company is also redesigning the package of its Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 computer game to remove a depiction of an explosion in one of the World Trade Center towers. \nJapanese game software developers are no exception. Namco Ltd, the maker of Pac Man, last week suspended TV advertising for its Ace Combat 4: Shattered Skies for three days. The game was released on Thursday in Japan for the PlayStation 2. The company said it is now reviewing the planned Oct. 23 release of the game in the US. \n"Under circumstances like these, we have to think about how those involved in the incident felt," said Kenichi Fukunaga, a spokesman for Sony's game unit, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
EIGHT-YEAR WINDOW: Avril Haines said that Beijing is closely watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine, although Moscow’s actions have not sped up Beijing’s timeline The threat posed by China to Taiwan until 2030 is “critical,” US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said on Tuesday while testifying on worldwide threats at a hearing of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services. “I think it’s fair to say that it’s critical, or acute,” Haines said when asked by US Senator Josh Hawley if she viewed the threat facing Taiwan to be acute from now until 2030. “It’s our view that they [China] are working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention,” she said, without
‘DAMOCLES SWORD’: An Italian missionary said the arrest of cardinal Zen is a blow for the church in Hong Kong, China and the world, signaling great danger ahead China yesterday defended the arrest of a 90-year-old Catholic cardinal under Hong Kong’s National Security Law, a move that triggered international outrage and deepened concerns over Beijing’s crackdown on freedoms in the territory. Retired cardinal Joseph Zen (陳日君), one of the most senior Catholic clerics in Asia, was among a group of veteran democracy advocates arrested on Wednesday for “colluding with foreign forces.” Pop singer Denise Ho (何韻詩), veteran barrister Margaret Ng (吳靄儀) and cultural studies academic Hui Po-keung (許寶強) were also arrested, the latter as he attempted to fly to Europe to take up an academic post. Cyd Ho (何秀蘭), a democracy
NO CONSENSUS YET: Local governments and the CECC have agreed to change the ‘3+4’ self-isolation policy, but are still mulling what to replace it with The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and local governments have agreed to ease restrictions on close contacts of COVID-19 cases, although the details are still being discussed, the center said yesterday. The discussions follow Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday approving a proposal to shorten the “3+4” policy — three days of home isolation followed by four days of self-disease prevention — for close contacts who have received booster doses. “We did not reach a consensus on how to revise the current restrictions, but we all agreed that the administrative burden must be reduced and the intensity of restrictions must be eased,
OPPOSING CHINESE ‘HOSTILITY’: The bill orders the state secretary to create a plan to regain observer status for Taiwan, saying Taipei is a model contributor to world health US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a bill into law to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), demonstrating Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. Friday was the deadline for Biden to sign the bill (S.812), which directs “the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO), and for other purposes.” The 75th WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is scheduled to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday next week to May 28. The bill, introduced by US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate