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.
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Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday departed for a 12-day trip to China as scheduled, despite calls for him to cancel the trip after Honduras severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan as an apparent result of China’s dollar diplomacy. “This is my first trip to China. I was 37 when I began handling cross-strait affairs in the government. Now I am 73 and have waited 36 years for the visit. It is indeed a bit too long, but I am glad I can go,” Ma of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) told reporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. “Aside from paying respects to
‘INDISPENSABLE ROLE’: Despite stopovers in the US, Tsai said the aim of her trip is to ‘demonstrate determination to deepen exchanges’ with the allies of the nation President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday afternoon left Taiwan on a 10-day trip to Central America that includes stopovers in New York and Los Angeles. “Through this visit, I will express my gratitude to diplomatic partners for their support of Taiwan,” Tsai said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport shortly before boarding the plane. The trip to Guatemala and Belize — her first overseas journey since the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping around the world in early 2020 — aims to “demonstrate Taiwan’s determination to deepen exchanges” with its Central American allies, she said. Tsai said that she and her delegation would also explore the possibility