The New York Times recently reported a Nintendo spokesperson saying that there are no plans to release Imagination is the Only Escape, the DS game made by British developer Luc Bernard (the man behind Eternity’s Child), in North America. The game is set to be released in Europe later this year, but with such a ruckus over the presumed content, some people seem to be against its release.
Imagination is the Only Escape is a story about a young boy living during the Nazi occupation of France. The games world is set in a fantasy land that the boy creates to escape the horrors he has to live through. The game is meant to educate children on the Holocaust and what actually happened, much like the movies Pans Labyrinth and Schindler’s List.
Bernard hopes that once people see and play the game, they will have a different perspective. “I seriously don’t think Nintendo will ban the game once I get to show it to them,” he told Kotaku. “I am currently developing the game no matter what people say, and I will let a lot of people test the game before I even consider it finished, it needs to be PERFECT or I won’t release it.”
After the NY Times story was released, a spokesperson for Alten 8 also made some clarifications when talking to Eurogamer: “The status of this game is currently [in] concept / pre-production at this point in time. [Imagination is the Only Escape] is only in its early stages. No one has blocked it, and it has no definitive time scale for release.”
“Luc [Bernard] is doing most of the artwork for all his game creations and we have not even discussed [IITOE] with Nintendo as of yet – Luc made various blog releases about the game concept and theme that have been picked up by various writers and used extensively, but are based on a few early artwork screens. In general we try to allow anyone we work with to use their creative talents and see no reasons why new type and styles of games and film content should not be tried.”
It seems like some are expecting Imagination to be a brutal, graphical, Nazi torturefest. And Bernard is obviously frustrated by the speculation: “The press doesn’t understand anything. They have not seen it or played it yet, so well I need to give them time to see it before anything can be discussed. God this is seriously getting out of control. Imagination has better taste than Call of Duty and Medal of Honor, this is the first educational game set during that time,” he said.