Sony president Atsushi Morita has made the first official comments about his company's new found enthusiasm for video game censorship. Posted on Japanese website Ebitsu.net, but without official translation, he purportedly told attendees at
a Japan Studio event that expression restrictions [have been] adjusted to the global standards. He apparently concluded:
Considering the balance between freedom of expression and safety to children, I think that it is a difficult problem.
One video game series thats been affected by Sony's censorship is Senran Kagura . The producer of the latest game, Kenichiro Takaki commented that the next title in the series is going to take time as it deals with these new
regulations. He said:
We have to make games in a way that they aren't misunderstood. Certain things are harder than they've ever been before. Given that, I think [the game] is going to take some time.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is an upcoming video game that features Winnie the Pooh.
Now China's president Xi Jinping has taken offence at his gait and pot belly being likened to Pooh bear so Chinese censors have to spend hours ensuring that images of the bear are airbrushed out of Chinese life.
A Chinese website sharing images of the upcoming game revealed the game's interesting form of censorship. The iconic Winnie the Pooh is censored out with a gigantic white light.
In order to prepare Rainbow 6 Siege for expansion into China, Ubisoft announced that it will be making some global censor cuts to the game's visuals to remove gore and references to sex and gambling.
In a blog post, Ubisoft explained:
A Single, Global Version
We want to explain why these changes are coming to the global version of the game, as opposed to branching and maintaining two parallel builds. We want to streamline our production time to increase efficiency
By maintaining a single build, we are able to reduce the duplication of work on the development side. This will allow us to be more agile as a development team, and address issues more quickly.
Ubisoft provided examples of their censorship:
Icons featuring knives become fists
Icons featuring skulls are replaced
Skulls in artwork are fleshed out into faces
Images of slot machines are removed
Blood spatters are removed from a Chinese landscape painting
Earlier this month, Ubisoft Montreal informed the Rainbow Six Siege community that all versions of the competitive first-person shooter would be censored to comply with Chinese regulations .
The community, in turn, informed Ubisoft Montreal that it was extremely upset by that decision.
Now, developers say they're changing course by reverting all aesthetic changes made to the game. Ubisoft Montreal said:
We have been following the conversation with our community closely over the past couple of weeks, alongside regular discussions with our internal Ubisoft team, and we want to ensure that the experience for all our players, especially those that
have been with us from the beginning, remains as true to the original artistic intent as possible.
The next update, referred to as Year Three Season Four, will see the majority of these changes returned to their original look. The Moroccan-themed expansion will also feature three new characters and a new map. It's expected to launch in early
December on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One .
Koei Tecmo is the latest publisher to fall foul Sony's new found censorship. A product page for the newly announced Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet reveals that two items will be removed from the PlayStation 4 version of the game, despite
them being present in the Nintendo Switch edition.
Both the Gold Fan and Softening Gel have been cut out of the PS4 release. The golf fan allows players to blow the skirts of characters, with the objective being to turn them inside out so you can get a glimpse of their underwear. Meanwhile, the
gel softens the recipient's breasts, making them more springy .
However, both of these items were included in the previous PS4 and PS Vita variants of the game, so it's clear that this is a new directive from the PlayStation maker.
Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal was recently delayed on the PlayStation 4 as Sony demanded that publisher XSEED remove a mode which effectively allows you to fondle its cast of indeterminate aged virtual characters against their will.
There's some speculation that Sony's clamping down on heavily sexualised content, especially after it refused release of bizzarro dating game Super Seducer , but many assumed that this would be limited to Western territories. However,
comparison screenshots of a new Japanese visual novel which released this week in the East reveal it may be a company-wide policy. The pictures, compared to the Nintendo Switch and PC, show use of heavy censorship to obscure sexual imagery on the
PS4 only. The censorship was not present in the PS Vita version, which launched a year ago.
There's also chatter that the PlayStation maker has requested jiggle physics be removed from the PS4 version of Warriors Orochi 4 , as they're present in the Nintendo Switch release but conspicuously absent from the Sony SKU. This adds
evidence to the notion that Sony ia shutting down this kind of content.
nichegamer.com reports that the Japanese developer light recently held a live broadcast where they confirmed Sony's new and aggressive policy against sexual themes in seemingly only Japanese-made games is actually preventing them from
releasing their latest visual novel. The game, Silverio Trinity , is their latest visual novel opus -- and it has sexual themes in it. Developer light noted that Sony is getting strict with their approval process, especially regarding
The developer noted they were hoping to release the game for PlayStation 4 soon after New Year's as development on the game is complete, however, Sony has been reluctant to approve the game. Furthermore, Sony is confusingly asking Japanese
developers to plead their approval only in English, making the process even more difficult for developers whose staff only speak or write in Japanese. The developer noted if they were to release the game for Windows PC (via Steam) they could
release it next week.
Steam isn't officially available in China, but it's not officially blocked either. But this inbetween state still gives the censors unofficial power to ensure that Steam does not allow adult games to be sold in China.
Steam only recently stopped censoring adult games in the rest of the world but the change of policy will not apply to China.
As part of the policy shift, steam added two more content filtering options for users: A general Mature Content filter and an Adult Only filter. But China doesn't have the latter option, which means that they don't have access to these games at
Chinese media speculated that Steam is restricting adult titles from Chinese gamers to avoid getting officially blocked in the country. China's government is tightening its grip on the gaming industry and repeatedly clamps down on online content
that they deem inappropriate, so Steam could be trying to keep a delicate balance: Not officially blocked, but not officially banned, either.