A judge has suspended the sale of the video game "Bully" in Brazil on the grounds that its content is too violent for young children and teenagers, a prosecutor said Thursday.
Judge Flavio Rabello prohibited the game from being imported, distributed, sold or promoted on Web sites and stores in Latin America's largest nation on Friday, Rio Grande do Sul state prosecutor Alcindo Bastos said, adding that they would have 30 days to comply with the order.
Bastos said the judge found the game was inappropriate for children.
"The aggravating factor is that everything in the game takes place inside a school," Bastos said. "That is not acceptable."
Made by Rockstar Games and mainly distributed in Brazil by JPF Maggazine, the game lets players act out the life of a 15-year-old student and decide how to deal with teachers and cliques at a boarding school.
The request to ban it came from a local youth support center.
Edward Nebb, spokesman for New York-based Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., the parent company of Rockstar, said while the decision will "prevent Brazilian consumers from enjoying 'Bully: Scholarship Edition,' it will not have a material impact on the sales of this popular title."
The game's first edition has sold about 1.5 million copies worldwide.
JPF Maggazine did not immediately comment on the ban.
Bastos said JPF Maggazine was the main importer of the game in Brazil, but it's possible other companies also distribute the game and would need to comply with the order "because our intent is to ban the game, not the distributor."
Rockstar is best known for the popular "Grand Theft Auto" game series, in which players can hijack cars and run down pedestrians. That game has sold 65 million copies in various incarnations. In Rockstar's gory "Manhunt 2," players fight to escape from a psychiatric institution. Last year, the British Board of Film Classification, the country's ratings board, refused to certify the game.
Bully is rated "T" for teenagers age 13 and older in the U.S., not of "M" for mature players 17 and older. It launched in October 2006 in the U.S. for Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2 gaming console. In March, it became available for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 and Nintendo Co.'s Wii, according to the Rockstar Web site for the game.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.