Tecmo tells Joystiq that the ESRB found the original art (left) too racy because it showed too much of Kasumi's right leg. In response, the company's art department whipped up an alternate cover (right) with more, well ... coverage of the highly offensive area.
Whatever -- we'll still like this vetoed cover much better. Plus, it's completely leg-fee.
Update, March 24: In what seems like some backpedaling in order to make nice with the ESRB, Tecmo has told 1UP the following:
"[T]his whole thing is getting blown way out of proportion. The truth is that when we submitted the box art as-is from Japan, there were a few parties both internal and external who thought there might be some issue with the image. Nobody 'demanded' anything be changed, it was just pointed out. You have to pick your battles, and covering up that small bit of the image seemed to be harmless. Honestly, if you look at the comparisons between the Japanese and US box shots, it's not like the image loses anything after the edit.[Image: aussie-nintendo]
"The ESRB has been very helpful working with us on recent projects. If the box art was something we felt really strongly about, we would have kept it as-is. But we just didn't really see the harm in editing it to make it appropriate for everyone involved."