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Sony's Censorship Policy Allegedly Revealed by Industry Insider
By Yung Namahage • 2 months ago

These last few years, Sony have been extra restrictive when it comes to sexual content in video games on their PlayStation consoles. Even in their home country of Japan, a nation that embraces big titty anime girls, games in series such as Senran Kagura and Omega Labyrinth were either cancelled or made to change beyond recognition before they could even think about getting released.

It doesn't make sense. I believe video games are art, and like any art form there are works intended for different audiences and different purposes. Long gone are the days when society thought video games were just a a thing you buy for your kids to keep them in the house, so why can't there be games made for adults? Other mediums have works whose primary purpose is to arouse, so why can't the same be said of video games on home consoles? Why is it okay to allow dudes getting dismembered in first party titles like God of War, or even a fully motion captured sex scene in The Last of Us Part II (that's all I'm saying about that game) but not some good ol' jiggle physics and fanservice in anime style games?

Video game publisher PQube, known for localizing Japanese titles like Rabi-RibiKill la Kill - IF and the Gal*Gun series, recently tweeted a statement regarding their upcoming release of Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue, saying that a handful of scenes had to be either modified or straight-up removed before it could be allowed to release on PS4. Following this news, video game site The Geek Getaway reached out to the publisher to request more information about the situation. After receiving a response saying they won't comment further on the matter, they were contacted by someone on Discord who claimed to have inside knowledge of Sony's censorship policy.

This source, who remains anonymous, revealed that Sony are so strict with their rules that refusing to change a game means that it will never be released on PS4. Publishers are also told to avoid mentioning specifically what was censored in their games, as curious gamers may be more likely to buy a game without knowing just what was removed. 

They then confirmed that Sony specifically target sexualized depictions of "young looking" characters. That makes sense, but they apparently use that rule to focus on censoring anime style games, since a lot of characters in anime games tend to be depicted as teenagers of high school age, or at least they look that way. Finally, the source states that Sony's American Branch have the final say in censoring games, outruling even the Japanese branch. This means that if people choose to boycott censored anime games, Sony America can then say that anime games don't sell outside of Japan and aren't fit for western audiences, without even taking the censorship into account. 

Big stuff, right? It is, assuming it's true. The source being anonymous is one thing, seeing as they could lose their job if their name was revealed, but some things about this just don't add up. Firstly, if Sony instructs publishers to not disclose what they were made to censor then why were XSEED Games specific about what they removed in Senran Kagura Burst: ReNewal? If Sony America call the shots, then why are they approving fanservice heavy games for release in Japan such as Kandagawa Jet Girls, but won't let them release in the west? And is The Geek Getaway a trustworthy news site? I'm not denying that they are, but how did a site that's been around for under a year manage to land such a huge scoop from someone in the industry?

Anyway, what do you guys think of this? Do you think it could be true? What are your theories on Sony's censorship guidelines? Drop your thoughts below as always!