Sony delays videogame over offensive music

NEW YORK Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:15pm EDT

1 of 2. A version of box art for the widely anticipated videogame 'LittleBigPlanet' in an image courtesy of Sony.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sony Corp has delayed sales of "LittleBigPlanet," one of its most widely anticipated videogames, by at least one week in the United States after finding potentially offensive background music in the game.

The puzzle-solving, community-based game, published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3, will begin shipping to retail shops during the week of October 27, Sony said on Monday.

The company will replace the shipped version of the game, originally set for release on October 21, with newly mastered copies. Sony declined to disclose the costs associated with the move, a representative said.

The music in question is "Tapha Niang" a song performed by Malian musician Toumani Diabate, Sony said.

"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 Qur'an," the company said in a statement. "We have taken immediate action to rectify this and we sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused."

Sony, whose PlayStation 3 game console is locked in a battle with Microsoft Corp's Xbox 360 and Nintendo Co Ltd's Wii, has been touting the game since early in 2007.

LittleBigPlanet lets users create virtual worlds and they can play and share what they build with other worldwide users.

(Reporting by Franklin Paul; Editing by Derek Caney and Andre Grenon)

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