Earlier this month, the Chinese government moved forward with its new Online Ethics Review Committee, a government censor that exists solely to review online games and determine whether or not they are acceptable according to Chinese
The creation of the new censor was in response to government concerns that Chinese citizens were playing online games that weren't being directly regulated by China. The censor was tasked with considering twenty online games in its first round of
As a result two major video games, Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds , have been banned from in China altogether. Both games were big fixtures of the online multiplayer communities in China, but may not be permitted to
return since they have not been designated as needing corrective action but rather appear to have been banned outright.
According to online reports , those reviews have found both Fortnite and PUBG to be in direct violation of the new online ethical rules. According to reports, these two titles were both banned for their gratuitous depictions of blood and gore.
Other titles, like League of Legends , Overwatch , and Diablo were noted as needing corrective action but are not actually banned as of yet.
Video game developer Ubisoft recently made the censorship news by deciding that their Rainbow Six Siege , a shooter in an environmental setting, will be unified into a single worldwide version. This meant that the game would have to be
heavily censored to the standards of the lowest common denominator, China.
This caused a little bit of stink amongst fans, so Ubisoft announced a U turn for the China friendly censorship policy.
Now it seems that Unbsoft is still keen on a heavily censored version that can be played in China, but this time the company is changing tack on its reasoning. Ubisoft are now reporting that parents and consumer groups are complaining that the
game has too many references to sex, many violent scenes, and allusions to gambling . It adds that parents say these issues are troubling in a game intended for teenagers.
'After listening to criticism', the company decided to make some changes to the game. It will remove some of the sexual references and violent content, and make the loot boxes easier to come by. Ubisoft is hoping the changes will be enough to
satisfy the critics and make the customers happy as well. (Especially those in China).
Online games distributor Steam recently relaxed is previous prohibitions on adult gaming but it still draws the line at games it considers illegal.
Now, according to some developers, Valve, the company behind Steam, is going after games that feature themes of child exploitation, which it seems to define, at least in part, as games with sex scenes or nudity where the characters are in high
Over the past few weeks, the company has removed the store pages of several visual novels, including cross-dressing yaoi romance Cross Love , catholic school adult visual novel Hello Goodbye , a story about the love between siblings
Imolicious , and cat girl game MaoMao Discovery Team . The developers of these games all claim to have received similar emails stating that their games could not be released on Steam.
There are a common threads that link the games in question: 1) Cross Love, Hello Goodbye, and Imolicious feature school settings, and 2) all four of the aforementioned games contain adult elements and centre around anime-styled characters who
appear young -- in some cases uncomfortably so.
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.