Well, that's a bummer.
One of the fall's most anticipated video games for the PlayStation 3, Sony's "LittleBigPlanet," had to be yanked from shelves at the last minute Monday because it might accidentally offend Muslims.
"One of the background music tracks that was licensed from a record label for use in the game contains two expressions that can be found in the Quran," Sony said in a statement Monday. "We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused."
The piece of music in question is "Tapha Niang" by the Grammy-winning Malian musician Toumani Diabaté, who sings and plays a West African stringed instrument called the kora.
Devotional music doesn't raise eyebrows in many Muslim countries, including several in West Africa including Mali, but it's a no-no for some strict Sunnis, who frown upon instrumented music of any sort.
"LittleBigPlanet" had been scheduled to hit shelves in North American on Oct. 21, the day after Sony's surprise announcement.
Sony plans to get the game back on shelves the week of Oct. 28, though quantities may be limited since the entire stock of existing PlayStation 3 discs will likely have to be junked and replacements hurriedly printed.
The game, developed by the British studio Media Molecule, was first announced in early 2007. Players manipulate a cute sock-puppet-like figure called "Sackboy" (or "Sackgirl")around a fantasy world that they can expand upon and share with other players.
After nearly a decade catering to young, male hardcore gamers, Sony is trying to capture some of the demographics dominated by Nintendo's family-friendly Wii, which far outsells both Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 by appealing to children, older players and women.