News Article

Beer Pong Goes Alcohol Free

Posted by Darren Calvert

After coming under fire from groups like the Anti-Drug Coalitions of America last month it seems that Nintendo felt morally obliged to put the pressure on JV Games to change the title of their forthcoming game Frat Party Games - Beer Pong to the less offensive and alcohol free name of Frat Party Games - Pong Toss!

Here a bit of what the Las Vegas Sun reported on the matter:

The first problem was the name. It had “beer” in it. And the Wii, you see, has a family-friendly, so-wholesome-it-squeaks image.

“We had a little discussion with Nintendo and there were some angry parties,” Valenti said.

“And we wanted to focus on the sport of beer pong, not the alcohol that’s associated with it,” Jaeger explained.

And so “Frat Party Games -Beer Pong” became “Frat Party Games - Pong Toss,” which is weird, but whatever. The cups are still red, even if a direct hit makes a rattling sound instead of a splash. The crowd around the table still says authentic college-ish things like “Loser,” “What was that?” and “I’ve got the munchies.” Of course they did have to change the throw-power meter from a glass of beer to a bullet, which doesn’t make sense until you realize the bullet is about the same size and shape.

So there you go, now you get a rattling sound instead of a splash and a bullet power-meter instead of beer! The gimmick to entice hedonistic college students to enjoy an electronic version of the frat party ‘sport’ has now been taken away. Somehow I cannot see the frat brothers getting really excited about a game called Pong Toss.

Nintendo obviously isn’t ready to shake off that wholesome image just yet it seems!

Source: Las Vegas Sun via GoNintendo

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User Comments (56)



DarkLloyd said:

well that just makes the game very less interesting to beer drinkers im guessing lol. anyways this would had been on my list but it looks less interesting. i wonder if in the alternate universe i had gotten this lol



LucBernard said:

to be honest doing a game like that is kind of retarded and shovelware

why not do "trying to go to the toilet Wiiware"?



Blueberry said:

A crappy game will now seem less special, and therefore sell less. Which of course is good.
And we don't need more pro-alcohol messages, so this is good news I believe.



Bensei said:

Now I won't buy this game anymore... Just kidding!
I hope they make the secret option to play te Original version if you score a score a kid wouldn't reach xD



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

This game was only going to sell about 4 copies worldwide anyway. Now if they try to use this name-change as an excuse for poor sales, they're delusional idiots. And Darren, I sure hope you were being facetious when you said the name change to Pong Toss would make any difference whatsoever.



Dazza said:

@Jogurt - facetious moi?

@Luc - A toilet simulator would be the ultimate "Wii" Ware.... maybe it could be called "We pee" hehe

If you find a willing publisher for your concept of Imagination Is The Only Escape how would you feel if Nintendo forced you change the yellow Jewish star which the boy wears to a cute teddy bear badge and replace the Nazis with pink dinosaurs, right at the last minute before the games release?



Mike1 said:

This game is gonna blow anyway, but of course Nintendo has to appease all of the soccer moms.



Stratos said:

What will happen when MadWorld comes out I wonder. That game is of a mature content also.



Yatesy said:

@Luc- that's a brave thing to be saying with your game still to be released. I hope for your sake our reviewers don't think of it as shovelware!



WarioFan63 said:

I think it makes sense a little. The actual game is probably not mature at all, it could probably be played by everyone. Not like Animales de los Muerto or MadWorld with the blood everywhere. But the Beer in the name could probably throw out a little concern. Nintendo probably just didnt want a Mature name for a non-Mature game.



BDPatVCR said:

I feel this is heavy self censorship by Nintendo ... and I'm principly against all kinds of censorship. I imagine Nintendo is kept in the loop on all games in production so it seems really heavy on the developer that just before the game comes out they have to change the whole "premisse" of the game. Nintendo knew what the deal was for a long time but due to lobbying they go in a defense position which i think is wrong. Nintendo is a big enough company so they shouldn't have to be subdued by all kinds of groups.

What's next, no games with satanic symbols because some christian group is against that, obviously no games like gta, or no games with a female lead character because some conservative lobby group thinks they're only good for giving birth and preparing meals ???

I'm really dissapointed at Nintendo for this. I thought they were just a self centered company, now they show they're going for the biggest common denominator. Expect nothing mildly controversial from then in the future i guess.

Just for the record, Beer Pong was a dumb idea and i hope nobody would have bought it. But i do feel it should be critized on what it is: a poorly inspired game. It shouldn't be banned because some people think it will damage their children. If kids can hurt hundreds of people in a game, dismember them and shoot them in the head and no do that in real life i think they can cope with seeing drinking and puking in a game too.

(edit) Last idea, they could have made a opening screen with something like: "This game does not promote excessive drinking. Excessive drinking causes mental and physical damage"



Gavin_Rozee said:

Hmmm, Lucs opinion was acceptable, so, in my opinion this game does indeed sound like shovelware.



strade32 said:

well, now i am not very disgusted when i hear the name. now it is when i see the gameplay.



LucBernard said:


Well that isn't going to happen, because Nintendo know about the title and are not against it (quite the contrary), it's a intelligent videogame based on the war.

This was just silly in my opinion. And I understand Nintendo's opinion, it would get them bad press as things like "Wii is making kids drink"

Developers should spend their money on great games like Tori Toki, Lostwinds, etc... rather than do things like Frat Games. Who would buy it anyway? If I want to get drunk I grab a bottle of Vodka and then drink, I don't play a videogame. Now getting drunk in GTA IV is different because it's got alot of other elements with it that makes it a proper game.

Imagination has a distributor.

And I'm not being rude I'm just saying what everyone is thinking.

The game was aimed at college boys, but would they rather just do beer pong with a wii remote? Or just go and grab beer and vodka and wisky and go and get drunk instead? Hmmmm let me think.



PoisonRamune said:

Real life beer pong seems more fun and effective... I think I'm just going to stick with my neighbor's table, drinks and the bevy of friends and ladies that come to play the real thing.



Mario64DStyle said:

I didn't really care either way about this game; because I didn't like the beer pong idea, and thought it sounded dull, and would become boring very fast.
-But, I have to admit, taking away the whole concept of the Actual game they were using; pretty much ruins the whole game, and makes it even more dull that it already sounded.



Dazza said:

@Luc - I really glad to hear that imagination has been considered positively by the powers that be at Nintendo. Despite it being an intelligent concept you can imagine the stink some groups in America could cause for this concept quite easily. If that were to happen, would Nintendo have a knee jerk reaction and try to make you dumb it down? I hope not.

In the case of Beer Pong, it is pretty much without merit as a concept anyway so this is no loss as far as I am concerned. However it is worrying that this self censorship is being imposed on JV Games. It does seem a bit pointless really.

In regards to the game itself, yeah it doesn't look great does it? I expect the odd bit of shovelware from large studios who have some slack in the development teams at different times of the year and crank something out to make a quick buck, but small developers like this really should try a bit harder to come up with winning concepts.

Still after developing a game based around controlling a can of WD-40 the only way is up!



SilentJ said:

I wasn't interested in this game at all but it still sucks that the game makers are forced to change the game just because someone made Nintendo cry like a little girl. Here I was thinking Nintendo was finally growing up but they couldn't even leave the pentagram on Devil's Crush. Come On! I grew up with and love Nintendo but they sure do make it hard sometimes. If it wasn't for the Zelda & Metroid games, I wouldn't even bother with Nintendo anymore. Just please leave Animales de la Muerte alone. Don't make the blood all neon pink or something.



Peznaze said:

This is very interesting. No, not the game, this news. Nintendo is spending, it seems, far, far more time and energy on "quality control" of WiiWare than they do on disc-based games. Plattchen can't use the Bongos. Beer Pong can't have Beer. And my own personal theory, if they don't think your game is very good, it goes on the pile of games to be saved in case of an "Empty Week" while the good games get fast-tracked to release.

As for this censorship - it's odd. Everyone knows you replace Beer with Soda Pop, that's the natural order. To remove all liquid from a drinking game? That's just stupid.



Chipmunk777 said:

rofl Dazza @ the link hahaha WD-40...... These guys are revolutionary.

This game looked terrible from the start, so of course you know it's going to be in the top-5 wiiware titles in america....



blackknight77 said:

“And we wanted to focus on the sport of beer pong, not the alcohol that’s associated with it,” Jaeger explained.

Who are they kidding the game focuses on alcohol and binge drinking plain and simple. I think that comment is a lie. Anyway I am glad they changed the name. When I was an undergrad me and some other students enjoyed raquetball. Why not make a game about that? Not all college students get involved in binge drinking games.



Peznaze said:

Sorry, "raquet" sounds too much like it endorses organized crime. The game will have to be renamed "Arm Swinging Challenge". Thank you.



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

I say it was real stupid to put "Beer Pong" on WiiWare in the first place. Something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. Now it´s just an ugly, pointless game with a stupid name.



Ricardo91 said:

What a retarded idea for a video game. All those idiot casual wii gamers will probably eat it up anyway XD. The name change just makes the game sound even more pointless. :/



lockelocke said:

Wow, now even the slight gimmecky draw of this game is gone. I have a feeling this will hurt sales.



Draygone said:

The conflict spoken of in this article recieves the official Dumb Award.

Seriously, I wasn't ever planning on getting this game, but I'm still against Nintendo's censorship of it. Allow me to basically repeat what has already been said. It being a beer game was the entire premise of it. Get rid of the beer, and it just seems like an even poorer pack of minigames. Plus it almost seems like a discouragment of taking interesting premises and making them into a game. Now nobody's gonna be brave enough to make "trying to go to the toilet Wiiware".

But yes, at the very least, they could've changed it to Root Beer. Now, how the name change will affect sales, who knows. The "beer" idea was driving me away, admittedly, but the game doesn't seem any more interesting to me now that the drinks are gone entirely.



megacody said:

I think it's stupid to change the name of a game, I mean whats the point of parental controls if your not going to use them? I agree with Luc, the game it's self is stupid. I'd rather play games that I can't do in real life, before I play a game simulating something I can do in my backyard. The point of video games is to do things you'll never do in real life. I could never climb beanstalks, and shoot fireballs at mushroom monsters, and turtles in real life. I would rather wait until I'm 18 to play beer pong, than buy this game.



DarkLloyd said:

i have a feeling someone who is religous in thier family who`s plays game probably told thier parents and probably how this whole thing got expose to change. lol this was probably done by a insider. but nothing less i was not gonna get the game in the first place cuz i would rather spend it on toki tori which i have not gotten



LucBernard said:


Nintendo does censor some things on Wiiware, since they are distributing the titles onto the service, so of course anything that involves drugs sex and controversial themes aren't allowed it's normal since Nintendo would get into trouble themselves.

But we don't even know if Nintendo censured it, maybe it was just that they realized that it was something silly. And secretly they are changing it to Vodka Pong.

The thing that amazes me is how some companies with terrible concepts of games get financing.

And if everyone keeps putting up Shovelware on Wiiware, Nintendo may just become like Microsoft with XBLA and approve titles and concepts before they let them on the service.

So World Of Goo, Lostwinds, Tori Toki, etc... aren't rivals but they are helping the service become more successful which will benefit all developers on Wiiware



Objection said:

Not poking fun at you, but thats the second time you called it Tori Toki. Other way around! Also, how far are your games right now? Eternity Child, especially.



Draygone said:

Okay, seriously, if Nintendo is really that worried about content on Wiiware, they should really put the ESRB in the forefront. You know, have a big E/T/M/AO on the game's pages. And put up ESRB commercials in their services or something. Seriously, Nintendo, why do you think the ESRB exists? If you're not gonna pay attention to them, who is?



Bigby said:

I don't know if you all are giving this game a fare shake...
There's a bar in Santa Monica that my bro dragged me too, I think it's called South Bar or beach or South Beach Bar or what ever. Back in March they were showing it there and letting everyone play. It was a blast, there had to be a couple hundred people just taking their turns with it and it wasn't even close to being finished.
I've actually been waiting for Beer Pong to come out. I throw alot of parties and it's just one of those stupid fun games that anyone can pickup and play.
I just hope they didn't screw up the fun factor....

And really, whats the big deal? The game got a "T" rating from ESRB. So why the name change...
I dont know if any of you saw the article on game politics (Below) but im so sick and tired of these censorship nazis...
Sorry for the rant

GamePolitics take on this story.....



Corbs said:

I think this world is getting a little TOO full of itself. Now Santa Claus can't say "Ho Ho Ho" because it's offensive to women. You can't mention alchohol, yet you can turn on an NFL football or NBA game and see nonstop booze for 3 straight hours. I've been blaring Ozzy Osbourne and Slayer music for years and I've never even thought about killing myself or anyone else. I've seen hundreds of action movies and never once led police on a high speed chase. And I've clubbed enough hookers in GTA to last a lifetime yet I've never clubbed one in real life. I think some people just need a reason to bitch and they'll do anything to find one. I have no idea how the actual Beer Pong game is since I've yet to play it, but let's face it, it's main redeeming quality was its title so far. And they let Mario gulp down magic mushrooms all he wants, but you can't have a beer in the game? If they remove the violence from Animales I'm going to write my congressman. Then I'm going to give up video games completely and take up sewing or knitting.

Okay end of rant. When will enough be enough.



supermario2 said:

I wasn't going to dowload this anyway so it has no relevance to me but the name change isn't so bad u never know they might stick in pay & play so u can choose the meter style and everything also big breasts chime on MLAAK hubba hubba.



Jogurt_the_Yogurt said:

Why are people pooping on Nintendo over this? Nintendo didn't censor the game. Nintendo informed them of the angry soccer mom lobby. They probably gave them a choice between changing the "theme" of the game or having it changed for them, but this hardly amounts to censorship, especially "heavy" censorship.



blackknight77 said:

Video games do appeal to young kids and much of its content is inappropriate. I don't feel confident that retailers or parents will keep the out of children's hands. (i have seen M rated games sold or purchased for kids)

I really think the issue is the ESRB did not do a proper job of rating this game. If the target audience is college age students than rate it Mature.

I am not sure violent or mature video games may cause children to commit crimes, but it does desensitize them and fills them with worldy values.

I am a big fan of the Resident Evil series, but I know there are times if young eyes are present the game must be put away.



BDPatVCR said:


What Nintendo did is actually the prototype of modern censorship. The days of burning books is indeed long gone but giving a developer a "choice" between changing the theme or changing it for them is like saying either you jump off this high building or i'll push you off. In any case it's gonna hurt. For a small developer that saw some gain in a (i admit crappy) alcohol-based game this could mean financial losses and perhaps the end of this developer. Once Nintendo okayed the game they should in an ideal world defend their decision and not letting lobby groups decide for them. I'm especially amazed that a developer like Luc Bernard (who is planning to make a controversial game nonetheless) doesn't see any harm in this.

Let's imagine a game where you play a Kamikaze pilot in WWII. It could give insight in the motives of the japanese at that time and by consequence give the player background information to judge that era that he normally wouldn't get. Now I'm sure a lot of veteran groups in the US would be against this, and they have that right. Nintendo letting a developer make this game and just before the release they make them change it to a teddy bear crashing on candy island however would be just insane.

Who knows, some kids playing the Beer Pong game could have said. Wow this is total crap (99% chance) ... when i got to college i will never participate in that kind of stupid, degrading activities.

Meh, i'm ranting here .. but for once i feel that this is a discussion worth contributing to ... I feel it's has the edge on "STORAGE NOW" discussions



ChocoDK said:

I wasn't interested in this game at all but the new changes because people complain make this title sound even more DUMB!



LucBernard said:


I don't think you can even compare this game to a historical game. I mostly find the whole concept of this wiiware game stupid.

How can you even compare a game with college kids represented as stoners to a game that is showing the horrors of World War 2, and for once once showing that the war is not fun or a game.

You just can't compare them.

I'm more sad than anything to see that some developers can't think of something better as a game concept.



BDPatVCR said:

@Luc Bernard

I totally agree that the concept for a drinking game is about as stupid as it gets. But concentrating to much on the game in question detracts from the whole discussion. The point I tried to make is that Nintendo's actions are censorship, clear and simple. There is a big difference between a laughable drinking game and the game I imagined but who draws the line ? Who decides whether censoring a game is in order ? Who dares to say that they know everything and know what is in good taste. It's not the gamers like me, it's not even developers like yourself. It's companies like Nintendo who draw the line. My point is that there should be no line!

Freedom of speech should be applicable to making games. Sure, you get crap like this drinking game ... but it also allows you to make a daring project like the one you're working on. If Sony would have said under pressure from lobby groups that GTA4 would have no handguns in it because that would have a negative influence on children the whole gaming community would riot. Nobody would take that kind of interference. In my opinion this developer deserves the same reaction, regardless of the fact that the game is indeed a total mindfart.



Bigby said:

I totally agree with BDPatVCR.
It's not the job of companies or goverment to censor anything. It's our parents jobs to do as they see fit for their kids.
Some will do good and some will do bad as it's been since the dawn of mankind.



LucBernard said:

well no one knows if it's actually Nintendo that censured the title

and if nintendo did, Wiiware is theirs so they are allowed to do what they want, so if they aren't happy they should just release it on PC



Corbs said:

Here are some suggestions for WiiWare: 2-D platformers, 16-bit style RPGs, Space Shooters, and some decent racing games. Let's forget the goofy stuff and get some great games going. Konami needs to bring out a new 2-D Castlevania, Capcom needs to make a brand new Ghouls & Ghosts title, Irem needs to make a brand new R-Type, Treasure needs to come up with a brand new vertical space shooter, and maybe throw in a brand new 2-D Metroid and Super Mario Bros. title for good measure. There I just solved the Wii Ware problems.

Oh yeah and let Luc do an old-school console RPG with his unique art style twist used throughout the game. Now THAT I'd buy in a heartbeat.



Adamant said:

"The gimmick to entice hedonistic college students to enjoy an electronic version of the frat party ‘sport’ has now been taken away. Somehow I cannot see the frat brothers getting really excited about a game called Pong Toss."

I honestly can't see how the original concept would've excited them in the first place. "Wow, for only 10$ I can play beer pong without real beer and without the terrible workload of setting up the cups!" No, this game had a ridiculously stupid concept in the first place. Removing the "beer" from the game won't change a thing.

@megacody: "I would rather wait until I'm 18 to play beer pong, than buy this game."

Why wait? Beer pong is the same game no matter what liquid you fill the cups with. The beer doesn't add anything to the game except making it a tad less boring since you actually get to drink while playing.



Cowmansr said:

BDPatVCR , I don't know what Conservatives are like in Germany, but I don't know any here who think "[women are] only good for giving birth and preparing meals." Maybe some hillbillies in the Appalachians... But you'd have a better case saying that "men between 16-35 believe women exist solely for men's entertainment, so if any man puts a woman in a game, he's being sexist."

Anyway, I think if you push people, you'll find that most people like censorship when it agrees with their principles. The danger of censorship has almost nothing to do with whether a game gets to be called "beer pong." The danger is in limiting philosophical, political, and religious free speech. And video games are one medium that is almost completely lacking in substance in those areas anyway.

I think that might relate to the point LucBernard is making. If the game actually could be argued in some way to have value, then censoring it might be a travesty.

People could use a little more education in European history to understand what freedom of speech is REALLY about.

That said, I think the change is stupid and inconsequential, and I wouldn't have cared if they'd left it Beer Pong. But there are REAL assaults on freedom of speech going on right now.

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