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.
LAND ALERT UNCERTAIN: The CWB was waiting to observe how In-Fa shifts as it moves north to determine when to issue a land alert, a forecaster at the bureau said Residents of northern Taiwan should brace for heavy rain today and tomorrow as Typhoon In-Fa approaches the northeast, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday. A land alert for the typhoon would be issued depending on the angle at which it moves north today, the bureau said. The bureau on Wednesday issued a sea alert for the typhoon, which applies to ships operating off the nation’s northern, northeastern and southeastern coasts. As of 8:30pm yesterday, In-Fa’s center was 470km southeast of Taipei, moving northwest at 6kph. It was carrying maximum sustained winds of 180kph, and had a radius of 200km. The typhoon was moving
TARGET RAISED: The CECC said vaccination coverage has reached 24.35%, while Premier Su Tseng-chang said the government hopes for 30% by the end of July The government has signed a contract to buy an additional 36 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, 1 million of which are to be delivered in the fourth quarter, the Executive Yuan announced yesterday, as it updated its vaccination target to 30 percent coverage by the end of the month. The two-year deal with the US company covers “prime series” vaccines and future booster shots to protect against SARS-CoV-2 variants, Executive Yuan spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) quoted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as saying during an Executive Yuan meeting in Taipei. In the two weeks since vaccine registration opened, more than 9.8
NEXT ROUND: About 1.44 million people who have registered online to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine are to get text messages today to book a vaccine appointment Strict border control measures, including a ban on foreign nationals entering or transiting through Taiwan, are to continue, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 10 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections and no deaths. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said five of the cases tested positive during isolation or upon ending it. The sources of infection of eight cases have been identified, one remains unclear and one is under investigation, he said, adding that 87.8 percent of the people infected with COVID-19 since May 11 have been released from isolation. Chen said an
STAY VIGILANT: Although a level 2 alert would raise the limit on indoor gatherings to 50, people should still wear masks and practice social distancing, the center said A nationwide COVID-19 alert is to be lowered from level 3 to 2 on Tuesday, but strict border controls would remain, the government said yesterday. The level 3 alert in place since May 19 is to end on Monday, with a level 2 alert in place from Tuesday until Aug. 9, the Executive Yuan said. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told a news conference in Taipei that over the next two weeks, people should still wear masks at all times outdoors, except while eating or drinking, and practice social distancing. The maximum