MMO Tera (The Exiled Realm of Arborea) created controversy back in 2010 when it was announced that the scantily clad young anime girls, the Elin, would be censored and forced to cover up outside of South Korea, where the game originates.
Panties were replaced by "shorties", which could still pass for underwear, and exposed midriffs have been covered up, much to the disgust to fans of anime culture in Europe and America.
Now that the game has been released, Lucile Le Merle, of Pal publisher Frogster, has explained the reasons behind the censorship in an interview with Eurogamer.
"The decision to change slightly the Elin armour was made with En Masse, the US publisher of the game. At first there was supposed to be a massive change on this race. We were supposed to add tights on every single one of them, but we knew there was going to be a massive community uproar and this is not what we wanted for the game, which is why we had a lot of discussion about it. Now, the models of the armour have changed, but only slightly," said Le Merle.
"Basically all the armour that contain panties or anything a little bit sexual has been replaced by shorties. And the bellies on some armour have been covered. That's it."
The official statement says Frogster didn't want to attract "unsavoury users". It didn't want to associate "pedobear" references with its game, and aimed to protect younger players by deterring predators who may target children in online games. There were also concerns that users would run around with the child-like Elins making sexual comments because of their appearance.
The biggest reason for the change, however, is the cultural difference between South Korea and Europe and North America (and Australia, for that matter).
"In Asia their mindset is completely different. To them it is not a problem. It is not related to paedophilia," said Le Merle.
"It's just part of the culture to have small, little girls that run around smiling. People just find it normal. If you read manga or watch anime, this is the exact same thing. People consider this normal. But we do not have the same mindset in Europe, which is why this change had to be made."
She said anime fans in the West shouldn't have any problems with it, as a few extra pixels make no different. The characterisation and faces are still the same.
However, the publisher is turning a blind eye to anyone importing the character models from the Korean version, even though it's against the terms of service.
By Ben Salter - Bio