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Drama Analysis What Nintendo doesn't want you to know - The Bizarre Case of Tokyo Mirage Sessions

Sep 1, 2019
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Phew, I just finished up this piece. I had long intended to write about the bizarre censorship in Tokyo Mirage Sessions, but the imminent rerelease prompted me to finally do it.

I advise you all to read it before replying as I made a big effort to gather the story in its utmost entirery.

If posting a link is considered advertising, I'll remove it, but I don't know how to copy paste the whole article here with images and tweets intact.

Thx for reading, appreciate it. 🙋‍♀️

 

Teslerum

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Nov 29, 2018
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Phew, I just finished up this piece. I had long intended to write about the bizarre censorship in Tokyo Mirage Sessions, but the imminent rerelease prompted me to finally do it.

I advise you all to read it before replying as I made a big effort to gather the story in its utmost entirery.

If posting a link is considered advertising, I'll remove it, but I don't know how to copy paste the whole article here with images and tweets intact.

Thx for reading, appreciate it. 🙋‍♀️


BTW: There's an uncensor patch for the WII-U version (It's how I played the game).
 

ThatGamingDude

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Aug 30, 2018
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Unfortunately, no such thing for the Switch-version.
Well the game isn't released yet, so that would make sense

It'll be a quick mod for hacked Switch's, though; I'd have to ask some buds but as long as the structure didn't change too much they should be able to apply similar edits to get it patched
 
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Teslerum

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Well the game isn't released yet, so that would make sense

It'll be a quick mod for hacked Switch's, though; I'd have to ask some buds but as long as the structure didn't change too much they should be able to apply similar edits to get it patched
Unless they entirly removed the content in the new version and the old one isn't compatible.
Hopefully that's not the case.
 

H@3@ld23

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Dec 30, 2019
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Personally i'd buy it cause the censorship is so minor, i don't really care about it. It's not that they removed breasts or completely removed scenes.

The thing is it feels more a summer game to me so i might grab it later especially if it goes on sale. Right now i've so many RPGs to play

Also across all Atlus RPGs this is probably one of the least interesting for me, since i don't really care about the whole idol / jpop culture. I'd gladly prefer a proper SMT or a proper Etrian Odyssey or even Three Houses (which i still have to buy)

I hope those who are interested will give it a chance though.
 
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ThatGamingDude

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Unless they entirly removed the content in the new version and the old one isn't compatible.
Hopefully that's not the case.
Oh that's not an issue at all
There's currently plenty of mods for games for the Switch that CFW users can implement

I mean hell there's a national dex restoration effort for SW/SH, on top of one where they tweaked a bunch of the gym leaders and AI and stuff

If I remember correctly they're just changing some models and text?? If that's the case, it's just a matter of identifying how the models are loaded and replacing them, same with text
 
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Danjin44

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I really liked the game when it first came out on WiiU, censorship sucks but I like this game too much to miss out, definitely buying the Encore version day one.

I personally glad this game turn in to its own game instead of being straight up crossover like they originally intended. SMT games cant work without "M" rating both for its demons and story, with FE involved it was guaranteed it not gonna have "M" rating. It wise choice turning the in its own game instead of get half-ass SMT crossover.
 
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ExpandKong

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Good write up. I don't know if it'd be revenge for what happened to Rapp, though; the timing is a little too tight isn't it?

I think maybe it's just how all of Treehouse was at the time, like making these kind of changes was their modus operandi in general. The changes they made to FE Fates are notorious in that community (even the non-censorious ones).

They were probably just shitty at their jobs in general, not seeking vengeance on the community for their hooker friend getting fired.
 

Hawks Eclipse

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I played it on Wii U and wasn't overly bothered by the censorship, though I will say Tsubasa's photoshoot became rather dumb in the abridged version, certainly one of the worst changes they made.

However, like you mention at the end, them making it such that all Switch versions are now censored is what I'd call a shitty move.

P.S. A real life Maiko might appreciate you calling her a girl but she's most definitely a woman who doesn't need her age to be raised in the West. You don't have to overcompensate in the other direction to combat the censorship.
 
Sep 1, 2019
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Good write up. I don't know if it'd be revenge for what happened to Rapp, though; the timing is a little too tight isn't it?

I think maybe it's just how all of Treehouse was at the time, like making these kind of changes was their modus operandi in general. The changes they made to FE Fates are notorious in that community (even the non-censorious ones).

They were probably just shitty at their jobs in general, not seeking vengeance on the community for their hooker friend getting fired.
Yes, as I write, it's what'd make sense, but the time schedule is tight. It's one of those things I'd love to have been a fly in tge room when they decided these changes.
 
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Read through it all. Great job breaking down all the censorship and the Allison Rapp case. I never thought the TMS censorship could be the result of getting revenge for Rapp. It definitely could've happened, but as you said, we'll never know.
 

ranmafan

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Whatever the reason for the censorship, which was so unnecessary and ridiculous, the argument I always hate that comes up when people support such things is “no one is taking your games away.” As a Japan based gamer, my game has been taken away here by this decision. We no longer are getting Ginei Ibun Roku#fe encore. It has the name but it’s nothing but Tokyo mirages sessions #fe. I bet Nintendo Japan regrets the move. They’ve had to go out of their way to make it clear in every ad and or now that this isn’t the original game, not to mention the refunds. It’s embarrassing, whatever the reason is, and I think it’s going to get worse in the future.
 
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PocoJoe

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Well, I read it. Honestly I'm more upset that the docked version of the game still runs at the same 720p that the Wii U version does. I might pick it up if it ever goes $20.
Well wiiu and switch are about the same on performance(wiiu vs docked mode), switch just have more modern architechture.

So its not so easy to make wiiu games run 1080p
 

10000

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what weird is that bench girl looks more suggestive sitting than sleeping
 

Shaqazooloo

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Good, read.

It's a shame we'll never know why Nintendo censored the game the way they did, it makes no sense for the audience it's directed at.

I had heard good things about this game and was gonna give it a shot despite being heavily put off by the Japanese idol crap but after seeing how censored it was, I refuse to support it.
 
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ranmafan

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what weird is that bench girl looks more suggestive sitting than sleeping
That one is really weird. I didn’t even know about that change until today and I just don’t get it.

Thinking about it more, the saddest thing about all this is they pissed off a lot of Japanese fans with this decision and if the game sells badly you can kiss that small chance of a sequel (something which the cast said at the concerts they did that I went to in 2016) was something they hoped would happen goodbye. Shame too as the fan base for the game here was whole not huge due to the Wii U, but was quite loyal and loving of the game. Nintendos handing of it on the switch for us in Japan is a mess plain and simple. This was my favorite game of the last decade, and it’s a shame it’s become one of the images of ridiculous and unnecessary censorship in gaming now.
 

Danjin44

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That one is really weird. I didn’t even know about that change until today and I just don’t get it.

Thinking about it more, the saddest thing about all this is they pissed off a lot of Japanese fans with this decision and if the game sells badly you can kiss that small chance of a sequel (something which the cast said at the concerts they did that I went to in 2016) was something they hoped would happen goodbye. Shame too as the fan base for the game here was whole not huge due to the Wii U, but was quite loyal and loving of the game. Nintendos handing of it on the switch for us in Japan is a mess plain and simple. This was my favorite game of the last decade, and it’s a shame it’s become one of the images of ridiculous and unnecessary censorship in gaming now.
I agree the censoring this game was very unnecessary and just down right bizarre but I'm not gonna boycott this game. One, because I absolutely loved the game when originally came out on WiiU despite its stupid censoring issues. Two, because boycotting this game wont give the massage of its censoring issues, instead it just tells Nintendo we are not interested so they would just stop releasing this type of game and I hate to see that.
 

ExpandKong

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Never knew she was an escort. Holy shit. Great read
She also pimped her husband out as a gay escort, even when he complained.
Yep, the gaming press stopped reporting on her “wrongful termination” reeeaaaal quick once the escort stuff came to light. Fuckin’ cowards. I think the story they (particularly Kotaku) were pushing was that the fan backlash against Fire Emblem Fates’ shitty localization, plus people finding a thesis she wrote that could be construed as defending child pornography, led to Nintendo cutting her loose.

Nope she was just a hooker lol. Pretty irrefutable evidence too (matching tattoos, camera EXIF data, etc) but still the Schriers and Hernandezes at the time called it a smear campaign and then quickly shut the fuck up about it.

The stuff about pimping out her husband was just icing on the cake.
 

10000

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Are you the scorsese of video gaming? Lol

what a load of bullshit. This will never happen. Also, games will also be sold. Even today there are still Cinemas and blu rays. Stop with this bullshit.

why did no one say anything when SONY introduced PSnow? Because it’s from Sony so it’s ok? Or why?
I will still buy the game at launch because it's not atlus or IS fault, but I hate to see this game fall
 

ranmafan

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I agree the censoring this game was very unnecessary and just down right bizarre but I'm not gonna boycott this game. One, because I absolutely loved the game when originally came out on WiiU despite its stupid censoring issues. Two, because boycotting this game wont give the massage of its censoring issues, instead it just tells Nintendo we are not interested so they would just stop releasing this type of game and I hate to see that.
agreed. I’m not boycotting it either for the same reason. And that’s hard as I always make sure to buy the uncensored versions of games always. I made my message clear to nintendo through other messages in every way possible saying how upset I was about this and will continue to do so, but I want this series to continue. There has been a willingness to make this new version so a sequel could still be in play. It really sucks everyone has to deal with these changes now. Sadly we will never know exactly why, and all we can go with our theories and rumors. It’s a mess, and they only have themselves to blame in Japan if the title does worse this time. but they certainly got the message from fans here with the quick apology and refund situation. If only there were a way for them to offer dlc for the uncut version, but I doubt that would be practical or difficult to do.
 
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MagnesG

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I'm pretty much positive there will be patches for uncensored version later down line, the homebrew scene are getting bigger and bigger so more support will come. It is what it is, it's not like thing's gonna change now.

If anything, I'm already grateful it doesn't get buried in the WiiU graveyard.
 

ranmafan

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I'm pretty much positive there will be patches for uncensored version later down line, the homebrew scene are getting bigger and bigger so more support will come. It is what it is, it's not like thing's gonna change now.

If anything, I'm already grateful it doesn't get buried in the WiiU graveyard.
Yeah the fact this game is getting a second chance is the most deserved of pretty much any game. I’m very happy for that. Obviously the home brew scene will figure out some trick somehow, although I would love for Nintendo to come back and say, ok we’re going to give you the option to choose which version you want to play. Perhaps that’s a crazy thing to ask from Nintendo but they’ve done crazy things for years and it’s always worked for them.
 

Agent_4Seven

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I completely agree with most of what you've said OutrageousFacts. But the fact that even Japanese version got censored is just pisses me off to no end and even more. I mean, why the fuck would you do that to Japanese people and Japanese market where you don't have to censor anything at all and you didn't do that for Wii U version? Also, why the fuck it's okay to release this POS on Switch - https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/agony-switch/ or any of the Senran Kagura games with even more suggestive sexual themes and content?


WHAT.... THE.... FUCK, NINTENDO?
 
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Sep 1, 2019
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I'm not getting it. Atlus had the chance to uncuck itself and it chose not to. Fuck em.
Again, this is important: Atlus applied the censorship at Nintendo Treehouse's order.

This is especially heinous, because we have early interviews where Nintendo said "we wanted Atlus to do the localization because fans of their games would want that" - except that's worthless when you then force them to make these changes.

Afaik Atlus didn't censor Persona 4 or 5, right (not to that degree)? That's how you know it's Nintendo. Well, that and John Hardin spelling ot out.
 
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SLoWMoTIoN

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Again, this is important: Atlus applied the censorship at Nintendo Treehouse's order.
Atlus could have fought said order. They chose not to, and it being a niche game they should have knowing their audience.



Afaik Atlus didn't censor Persona 4 or 5, right (not to that degree)? That's how you know it's Nintendo. Well, that and John Hardin spelling ot out.
Atlus also is a cheap asshole that doesn't want to do dual audio because of costs. They still to this day hire the same dub people that aren't as qualified as other westerners and nickel and dime you for dlc. Just saying man, I do buy most of their shit and have for over 2 decades so I know em pretty well.
 

Naibel

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Keeping the censored version for ALL regions was a massively cunty move for Nintendo/Atlus. At least, I would have gone for the import route (like with FFX/X-2 HD) but no. Did they lose the source code for the original JP version ? I don't buy it, it's just pure laziness.

And then again, the game's not that good. I'm sorry for the fans, I put 60 hours on it, finished it and all, but it's a 6/10 overall, 7 at absolute best.

It's a cheaply-made mix of SMT and Fire Emblem, the plot is paper-thin terrible, the dungeons are tedious and boring, the characters are obnoxious stereotypes, the dialogues are cringe (like those with that foreign otaku manbaby, ugh), and some loli chara-designs are downright creepy.

The good parts are the pretty nice combat system, the weapon upgrade system, some of the original songs and clips they did, and the colorful and upbeat feeling of the setting. I played Nocturne and this back to back, and the gloominess of the former made the latter's artstyle more palatable.

So in the end, it's an unremarkable game for me. Props to you if you enjoyed it and wants to double-dip !
I just don't think it's worth it, and with the censorship fiasco, it's even less the case.
If they patch it, and it goes for less than 30 euros, maybe I will change my mind. But then again, I don't want to spend another 60 hours on such a mediocre RPG.
 
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Virex

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Phew, I just finished up this piece. I had long intended to write about the bizarre censorship in Tokyo Mirage Sessions, but the imminent rerelease prompted me to finally do it.

I advise you all to read it before replying as I made a big effort to gather the story in its utmost entirery.

If posting a link is considered advertising, I'll remove it, but I don't know how to copy paste the whole article here with images and tweets intact.

Thx for reading, appreciate it. 🙋‍♀️

Self promotion is not allowed on GAF it's against the TOS.

E. Self-Promotion and Spam

Do not create new threads promoting a product or service you have any involvement in, or paste PR materials for promotional purposes, or attempt to embed referral links in your posts to generate revenue. If an existing discussion is taking place directly involving something you are associated with, you may participate in order to answer questions, clarify details, and otherwise engage with the community, but as a person, not an advertisement.
 
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ranmafan

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As for why they chose the western version vs having two separate versions, I can only speculate but my guess is that they wanted to save costs in making just one version of the game for the whole world. Nintendo has rarely released a game on the switch with different versions in different regions, Xenoblade 2 is the only one I can think of which really annoyed me (I really hope they don’t do it again for Xenoblade definitive edition but I bet they will). Since they obviously have some problem with the content that they don't want to go back on which we can only speculate on why, they decided to choose the version that was already altered. Saves costs and less headaches, but it hasn’t gone as planned of course. their first big mistake was ignoring the many gamers in the west wanted the original version. Then their even bigger mistake, trying to hide it from the Japanese fan base and Japanese gamers in general. That ended up being a huge problem for them. Take a look at every ad for the game in Japan and there is now fine print stating that the game is based on the western version. Combine that with refunds and it’s a headache for Nintendo Japan.

They are probably hoping that western gamers who weren’t bothered by the changes will convince those that missed the game the first time to check it out no matter what people say. And the new content is what I’m sure they are hoping will get the Japanese gamers to come back and deal with the changes.

I also think they probably were worried about the rating for the game. Which I don’t understand why. You’re releasing an Atlus made game, people expect it to be rated M. Just a dissapointing situation.
 
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mejin

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I really liked the game when it first came out on WiiU, censorship sucks but I like this game too much to miss out, definitely buying the Encore version day one.
I'm disappointed. you are always so adamant when it is about censored games coming to playstation and here you give an easy pass. games that in most cases are even more obscure than this one. not cool, danjin...not cool.
 
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Virex Virex As I said, not my intention. But I self-reported and asked mods for permission. If it's a no I'll edit my op.

.

They are probably hoping that western gamers who weren’t bothered by the changes will convince those that missed the game the first time to check it out no matter what people say.
Yes, that's what I'm seeing a lot all over internet. Using the new content to dismiss the censorship, accompanied by the usual 'lol anime tiddies' when that's not the point. That's why highlighting this case is important imo. It's an unprecedented case of censorship.
 

Outrunner

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"Let me preface this with the following: If you’re someone who’s just a happy-go-lucky person, someone who doesn’t care much about what’s going on in the world, then by all means, stop reading right here and go enjoy the game"

Certainly, there is nothing else going on in the world than the removal of vagina bones.

People love to blow these things out of proportion.
 

Zambayoshi

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Yes, as I write, it's what'd make sense, but the time schedule is tight. It's one of those things I'd love to have been a fly in tge room when they decided these changes.
From what I remember, Rapp had a somewhat awkward relationship with her work colleagues. She was even the only one of the team 'uninvited' from the end of year party because of work issues. I daresay though that those in charge of hiring at the Treehouse have hired plenty of people who consider Japanese idiosyncracies in game design 'out of line' with modern western values a.k.a. feminism. It wouldn't have to be a revenge job, in my humble opinion.
 

Agent_4Seven

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Can someone please remind us which developer left the studio cuz of how Sony compromised his creative vision by censoring games on PS4? Nevermind, found it.
 
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cireza

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I greatly enjoyed the game. For me the real problem is that censorship makes the second dungeon completely stupid. The people who decided this are helpless.
 

Virex

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Virex Virex As I said, not my intention. But I self-reported and asked mods for permission. If it's a no I'll edit my op.



Yes, that's what I'm seeing a lot all over internet. Using the new content to dismiss the censorship, accompanied by the usual 'lol anime tiddies' when that's not the point. That's why highlighting this case is important imo. It's an unprecedented case of censorship.
I agree, it's censorship and people will try dismiss it because "new content" we call it censorship bingo that the people who try and justify censorship play

 

SLoWMoTIoN

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I agree, it's censorship and people will try dismiss it because "new content" we call it censorship bingo that the people who try and justify censorship play

We'll I hate how this is turning out but you know I'll buy it anyway!
 
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I just find it so disappointing and frustrating that Nintendo didn't take this chance to make things right. They could've given us the original version of the game that people were asking for, but instead they doubled down and now the Japanese are getting the botched version too. It just confirms my suspicions that Nintendo (or their localizers) still have this agenda to make their games more politically correct. Xenoblade 2 and FE Three Houses had altered dialogue too. Everytime you think they may have mended their ways, they make another dumbass decision to censor anime-ass anime games for seemingly no reason.

I will probably pick the game up anyway because it's not gonna change a damn thing if I don't. Hopefully the Japanese got through to them, and they take the criticism to heart in the future.
 
Jun 26, 2013
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I think a good middle-ground solution is to buy the game used. You get to play the game, albeit in its severely gimped state, and your money doesn't go to Nintendo.
 
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Shifty1897

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Well wiiu and switch are about the same on performance(wiiu vs docked mode), switch just have more modern architechture.

So its not so easy to make wiiu games run 1080p
Every Wii U port that Nintendo has made for Switch has jumped from 720p on the Wii U to 1080p docked on Switch. This game wasn't even graphically impressive for the Wii U, the fact that it's not even running at 900p means they didn't try at all.
 

Danjin44

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I'm disappointed. you are always so adamant when it is about censored games coming to playstation and here you give an easy pass. games that in most cases are even more obscure than this one. not cool, danjin...not cool.
I would have also bought Catherine Full Body regardless if it was censorship or not. I would be pissed but just like TMS#FE, I like the game too much to miss out. Both this game and Catherine are niche games, boycotting them is just gives them wrong massage that people are just not interested in these type of games.