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|OT| NSFW Why gamers complain about their games being taken away |OT| Censorship Controversy Central

CatCouch

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Rainbow 6 Siege is getting censored "localized" for the global release as well. While it was originally to meet demands by Chinese authorities to be cleared legally for a local release, it somehow is applied to all global versions of the game.

  • Gambling references
  • Any Skulls
  • Small Blood stains in backgrounds
  • Cartoony sexual content

Also, Ubisoft pledges for this to be standard practice from now on for their future games.



It's worth mentioning that Ubisoft does game localizations with very significant regional changes for Saudi Arabia (no religious themes, sexual references even textual heavily toned down), China (political themes, some morality themes, gore, skulls, and blood stains heavily toned down) and South Korea (no gambling themes).

While they have in the past maintained separate builds for these regions, it's certainly interesting they intend to take all of these restrictions combined for a single unified build for all of their games going forwards, from what this announcement implies.
Really, now? Does that mean games like Assassin's Creed Odyssey would have all the sexual humor and stuff chucked out in future games? If they did that for all games it would just wreck them. I can't see that, especially for violent content. I hope this is just for this game. If not, I don't think any future Ubisoft game will appeal to me. The future of gaming is looking quite bleak if this is the goal.
 
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Rainbow 6 Siege is getting censored "localized" for the global release as well. While it was originally to meet demands by Chinese authorities to be cleared legally for a local release, it somehow is applied to all global versions of the game.

  • Gambling references
  • Any Skulls
  • Small Blood stains in backgrounds
  • Cartoony sexual content

Also, Ubisoft pledges for this to be standard practice from now on for their future games.



It's worth mentioning that Ubisoft does game localizations with very significant regional changes for Saudi Arabia (no religious themes, sexual references even textual heavily toned down), China (political themes, some morality themes, gore, skulls, and blood stains heavily toned down) and South Korea (no gambling themes).

While they have in the past maintained separate builds for these regions, it's certainly interesting they intend to take all of these restrictions combined for a single unified build for all of their games going forwards, from what this announcement implies.
So in other words, going forward UBI games will be politically safe and as barebones so 100% of governments are okay with it. lol
 
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Game journalism is spinning this very frantically.
"Only visual content is affected, no gameplay changes happened" or "It's the developer's choice".
Which almost reminds me of the evolution of the cuts between Bravely Default and Bravely Second, from just a few costumes changed or completely removed to entire plot lines and cutscenes deleted without replacement because they were "too dark" (tragic deaths with 0 sexual content, to anticipate the weeb defense) We will probably see Ubisoft games take a similar path.

I'll do a self-quote since it might have some information relevant here too.

That's not really Chinese consumer's fault.
No one at China went and said how overseas versions should be, or whether they should exist. I bet there are Asian people mad that no version is safe from the local policies.

Ubisoft is doing two releases anyways for the matchmaking and lootboxes, they deliberately chose to make the global non-Chinese version carry the Chinese version's censorship that not so surprisingly happens to be the sort of content a lot of the usual suspects (you can see a lot of cheering for this in other places) would, conveniently, love to see disappear forever.

Even Nintendo, which is often criticized for being too censorship happy, made sure for the period of time they were doing operations in China to localize their games with as minimal censorship as they could manage (their decision to localize Sin and Punishment there, skirting regulations dangerously, was qualified as "audacious" even), the Stalfos in Zelda localizations are intact, and their recent more risque games for the Nintendo Switch are published in Hong Kong and Taiwan territories in both traditional chinese (for those territories) and simplified chinese (a dialect no one there speaks, but spoken in mainland china) completely unaltered.
 
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To lighten up the mood a bit, this is the screen Nintendo (and other game publishers) were mandated to put at the start-up screen of their consoles or games. They did so for the N64, the GBA, the DS, and it seems the cancelled Wii version dropped at the eleventh hour.



[B]Healthy Gaming Advice[/B] said:
Resist unhealthy games
Reject pirated games

Be aware of self-protection
Avoid being deceived

Moderate gaming is good for the brain
Addiction to games hurts your body

Manage time appropriately
Enjoy a healthy life

How funny would it be if startup screens were a long string of screens like this, "Gamers don't do drugs", "ERSB Health and Safety Advice", Japan's "Stay at a distance from your TV and don't watch in a dark room" since it would be a truly global build? How would these screens stack in order of priority?
 
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To lighten up the mood a bit, this is the screen Nintendo (and other game publishers) were mandated to put at the start-up screen of their consoles or games. They did so for the N64, the GBA, the DS, and it seems the cancelled Wii version dropped at the eleventh hour.





How funny would it be if startup screens were a long string of screens like this, "Gamers don't do drugs", "ERSB Health and Safety Advice", Japan's "Stay at a distance from your TV and don't watch in a dark room" since it would be a truly global build? How would these screens stack in order of priority?
Every country has its safety messages. The gaming ones above are ridiculous government handholding, treating everyone like a baby.

But for western countries, it can be just as dumb. It's just you see this for gaming really. For example, buy any food product with a plastic seal (like a frozen pizza), and pretty sure the directions tell people to take off the plastic before cooking. Sounds idiotic, but some person will cook it with it on, have the plastic melt on the pizza and will eat it.

Or buy an electrical product. It will likely have warning signs on the back about not submerging in water or you'll get zapped.
 
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Every country has its safety messages. The gaming ones above are ridiculous government handholding, treating everyone like a baby.
Of course, I'm not arguing that. Every country does have its laws and I'm not trying here to discuss or to criticize what's legal and what isn't. It's up to the locals to sort out their own messes, and to the publishers liable legally for the content they publish how much they are willing to shoulder responsibility for, plus complaining about other's "ridiculous" laws while ignoring their equally dirty laundry is hypocrisy and cultural imperialism at its best.
For example, Asian countries and their incredible averse attitude to drugs is more than excused by their historical context (the opium wars) and so on... What remains not okay is ignoring that there is diversity of thought and morals beyond national boundaries, and trying to enforce conformity and repress otherwise lawful artistic expression over this.

In this case, however, I hope we can all agree that Ubisoft "respecting all regional regulations for a single unified global build", will, taken to its logical conclusion, include every single regional disclaimer simultaneously. However, since it won't be the case, it hints more that the choice was deliberate. After all, trying to pass the bucket of the censorship for sexual and violent content to China, as if they are the only parties who want this gone (and in fact have allowed games with far more content of this kind with no issues before) would be unfair.
 

Enygger_Tzu

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Guys, this is Ubisoft we are talking about, the second most SJW-friendly company after BioWare. Their SJW posturing was more than evident in previous years, now they just have an excuse.
 

Zeusexy

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Do you guys think Sony can still win another generation "war" after this? First the psn price increase, then the fortnite controversy, now censorship. Isn't it a little bit much, even for fanboys?

I mean, let's say the start censoring important japanese games too, like Catherine Full Body or Yakuza and so on. Wouldn't it be hugely detrimental to their sales?

Speaking of consoles, Switch has all the potential to surpass the ps4/ps5 and this year sells were spectacular for Nintendo. Can they make it next gen? I truly hope so. Sony needs a good spanking this time.
 
S

SLoWMoTIoN

Unconfirmed Member
Do you guys think Sony can still win another generation "war" after this? First the psn price increase, then the fortnite controversy, now censorship. Isn't it a little bit much, even for fanboys?

I mean, let's say the start censoring important japanese games too, like Catherine Full Body or Yakuza and so on. Wouldn't it be hugely detrimental to their sales?

Speaking of consoles, Switch has all the potential to surpass the ps4/ps5 and this year sells were spectacular for Nintendo. Can they make it next gen? I truly hope so. Sony needs a good spanking this time.

What Sony is doing now more than alienating the same customers that bought their consoles for their odd games are doing the same to the devs and an entire country that makes a huge number of them. Many people are in denial and don't see how when Nintendo did a similar thing ages ago they had little to no 3rd party support for decades.

About the Switch, after Smash what does it even have to offer? Their top upcoming games don't even have a trailer or gameplay to them. Sales wise the Switch is slowing down and Smash will help it but it will be a long drought afterwards it seems. This is why I said before a gamer can't JUST have a Switch for their gaming needs. It lacks the power to properly run current gen games and ports are usually a mess. Next gen is gonna be a shitshow and PC gaming is starting to look tempting. Specially if big name japanese devs make the Sony exclusive (not first party) games available for PC or hell even the Xbox platform.
 
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What Sony is doing now more than alienating the same customers that bought their consoles for their odd games are doing the same to the devs and an entire country that makes a huge number of them. Many people are in denial and don't see how when Nintendo did a similar thing ages ago they had little to no 3rd party support for decades.
It's very similar for a lots of reasons. Nintendo in the N64 era said they needed to "weed out" bad developers who can't cope with their hardware and only keep "the best" like "Konami" (and in the end only had sub-par support from Konami), delayed the 64DD for ages, insulted JRPG developers and then went and announced a "dream team" of developers... they made a point none of which were Japanese (and then pissed off those same western developers leading to the cancellation of GTA 64)

Sony is already doing the "weeding out" for "technologically inferior" games (the mandated widescreen use, the Monster Hunter HD PS3 version rejection, and so on), the lack of focus on Japanese market, and now the way these "inspections", the language and time and date and fashion they have to be filled with is sending even worse messages to third-party developers than before. The hardware documentation will probably be English-only in the future (it used to be exclusively in Japanese, which hindered massively adoption of the Unreal engine in Japan until Epic did something about it and set a local subsidary with appropriately localized developer material)... The PS3 Cell was bad enough for their Japanese standing, but their real N64 moment seems to be this. Even Square hinted concerns in public about these content policies years before.
 
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It seems resetera found something to be offended at in the recent Super Smash Bros game, and as usual are rallying to pressure Nintendo to censor the game.

The offending imagery is a Mr. Game & Watch with a fire torch.
The reason why it's supposed to be (indirectly!) offensive, is that it has the same animations as a character representing Indian Americans in an old G&W game with very basic graphics called Fire Attack, who are attacking a fort with cowboys. That game's re-enactment of western movie plots is supposed to be, in their terms, "racist".

Suggestions to "fix" this include changing the entire graphics and animations, or removing it entirely.


Thread link (archived)

The same topic laments that Treehouse or Nintendo were not very responsive for demands to get Sombrero Mario, who was a fan favorite for the Mexican Nintendo fanbase, removed from the game. At any rate, it's an interesting detail to keep one's eyes on it just in case it gets removed eventually, so that plausible deniability is no longer an option as for who really demanded that censorship to take place.

How interesting would it be to keep track of which media outlets asked pretty aggressively for something to be censored, before the game developer took a sudden decision to change their creative vision "completely willingly"?
 
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Lunk

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Why do I feel like this is GAF's version of "Why Women Complain About Sexualized Women In Games"?

C'mon, be better than the "two sides" bullshit.
 
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Why do I feel like this is GAF's version of "Why Women Complain About Sexualized Women In Games"?

C'mon, be better than the "two sides" bullshit.
That's more of a problem for you, than this thread. Stop making judgments based on what you "feel" and make judgments on what you observe.
 
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CatCouch

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Why do I feel like this is GAF's version of "Why Women Complain About Sexualized Women In Games"?

C'mon, be better than the "two sides" bullshit.
What do you suggest we do? I'd love to have more constructive discussions on censorship. It's unfortunate that we are stuck in this "one vs. the other" situation.

I rarely visit Resetera but when I did do it was pretty mixed like it is here, some are against censorship, some are strongly in favor and others write the whole issue off like no one should care. Nothing gets discussed as there is always a few who believe it's not open for debate and will argue with logical fallacies.

I think these issues are being handled in such a clumsy manner because there is no voice of reason, no websites asking questions about these issues (have any sites contacted Sony?), they just post short articles about censorship happening or nothing at all, leaving it up to commenters to handle the controversies. With trolls and agitators in the mix, it quickly goes down hill.
 

Lunk

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What do you suggest we do? I'd love to have more constructive discussions on censorship. It's unfortunate that we are stuck in this "one vs. the other" situation.
No, we are not. This is only perpetuating it to be a "us vs them" discourse and it doesn't have to be.
 

Serenade_King

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I'm looking forward to Kill La Kill IF but with Sony acting the way they are right now I wonder if they'll let the game release on their console. I always hated censorship and to see Sony going this route is really making me reconsider on what platform I buy my multiplaform games.
 

CatCouch

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No, we are not. This is only perpetuating it to be a "us vs them" discourse and it doesn't have to be.
I don't this helping either. There's a lot of people discussing issues like censorship in this and a few other topics. Add to the conversation!
 

Thiagosc777

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No, we are not. This is only perpetuating it to be a "us vs them" discourse and it doesn't have to be.

So according to you, we should just stop talking about censorship? And I bet you think it'll go away, right?
 

Lunk

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So according to you, we should just stop talking about censorship? And I bet you think it'll go away, right?
I just think it should be possible to discuss both how sexualization might matter to what kinds of people feel invited to play a game, as well as reacting to when something becomes dishonesty and censorship.

I don't like the way Era has a topic phrased almost exactly like this and we now seem to be making responses to each other. It's childish.
 
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I just think it should be possible to discuss both how sexualization might matter to what kinds of people feel invited to play a game, as well as reacting to when something becomes dishonesty and censorship.

I don't like the way Era has a topic phrased almost exactly like this and we now seem to be making responses to each other. It's childish.
What's even more childish is complaining more about the character of the responses rather than the arguments being presented in this thread.
 
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No, we are not. This is only perpetuating it to be a "us vs them" discourse and it doesn't have to be.
OP here.

Well, there is a side that clearly wants and advocate for game censorship, to the point plots painting female and minority leads as anything less than Mary Sues who have nothing bad or negative ever happen to them or their immaculate image (like the jerk villain in Uncharted 4 who has nothing happen to her, not even a proper boss fight, or existing stories rewritten in localization to ensure that).

I don't think that can be reasoned with so both that side and the side who is for creative freedom get what they want. The situation is as black and white as it can get and of course there would be two sides. I make no illusions about a compromise being possible if the "other side" doesn't settle for ignoring content they don't like, and instead wants it completely gone and to control its creation, its distribution and its consumption, so that even games like Vanillaware's Dragon Crown and Princess Crown are no longer possible, nevermind more risque games, or even subversive games.

I couldn't care less about the "optics" of the larger situation where you think my topic fits, or how people feel about it. The title is in reference to a common catchphrase "no one is gonna take your games away" used commonly to dismiss concerns about witchhunts to get content cut (which the thread you're mentioning is a compilation of, and the connection in how similar the title was is merely an afterthought), and then when content does get cut.

I made this thread precisely to debunk common myths that no one should care because it's "just how translation goes", it's "an objective improvement", things like that. To discuss the issue of creative censorship. To push back against the myth "it isn't censorship if X", X in your case being your pet anti-sex positive crusade, or in the Chinese government's case promoting harmony and unity of the motherland against negative mores and external influences, or in the Saudi case blasphemous content, or whatever it may be. Those ideas, I think, deserve to be discussed on their own merits without name calling and attacking the messenger, and people who care about them deserve a voice.

Did you know that most websites like gematsu, siliconera and others took a deliberate editorial decision around just after the Bravely Second situation to refuse the discussion of localization changes and regional censorship, either in article coverage or even comments, until the very recent Sony debacle, leaving only heavily politicized blogs or obscure ones like nichegamer to ever mention the issue? It wasn't even just against the "NSFW content" but even non-sexual content cuts.
 
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petran79

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Why do I feel like this is GAF's version of "Why Women Complain About Sexualized Women In Games"?

C'mon, be better than the "two sides" bullshit.

That thread,just like Era, served its purpose only in the initial pages and was mainly about observations and complaints, not enforcing opinions. Have no idea how it turned up now.
 

Isa

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Well I appreciate this thread, and all the hard work that has gone into compiling the list of grievances, the OP is great at assembling and presenting info. I personally feel that not everything should be inviting to everybody. Art should be challenging sometimes, and if someone doesn't like what is presented then look elsewhere. I am completely against censorship, and don't give a toss if some outrage group is "offended".

All this news as of late has been helping me form my mind on what systems I support in the future (hell even now!), and Sony is lowest on the list. I was even greatly looking forward to Death Mark but I don't want a lesser product. Its the principle of the thing that matters most, and on that I won't budge. I don't want to see the hobby turned into some homogenized SJW Demolition Man utopia. I want to thank all those gathering the intel and to keep it coming.
 
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Steam has removed The Key To Home for sexually suggestive content. According to other people, the game doesn't even have any lewd artwork so this is really baffling that Valve has decided to content police this game.
 

Enygger_Tzu

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And according to the Twitter, this game has been marked as "Teen" by the ESRB, weird, let us hope it is a mistake.
 

CatCouch

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Steam has removed The Key To Home for sexually suggestive content. According to other people, the game doesn't even have any lewd artwork so this is really baffling that Valve has decided to content police this game.
That sounds like some kind of mistake. The game is rated Teen only for language, it seems.

How crazy would it be if games get removed just for having anime style art because people assume it automatically equals porn? Lol.
 
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I do hope this just a mistake. Last thing we want is to see all major platform holders engage in strict anti-developer censorship.
 

Dunki

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That sounds like some kind of mistake. The game is rated Teen only for language, it seems.

How crazy would it be if games get removed just for having anime style art because people assume it automatically equals porn? Lol.
I bet it was mass reported so they have to take it down to check it. I am sure it will go back up.

If Valve bans such games it is mostly a single person who is responsible
 
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I bet it was mass reported so they have to take it down to check it. I am sure it will go back up.

If Valve bans such games it is mostly a single person who is responsible
The Last Girl has also fallen victim and KiA is also suspecting that it may be due to a mass flag campaign or a rogue employee.
 
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Enygger_Tzu

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To keep the discussion going.

It is weird Japan being censoring a game like this, since her animated shows have much more 'mature' content. Unless it is a revenge censorship, if that makes sense.

Still did not stopped RDR2 from opening 140.000< copies in the region.
 
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The Nekopara boob slider was just hidden, but very functional. Sony's edits have somehow managed to make the PS4 version E-rated compared to Nintendo's M-rated version, as if the situation wasn't similar enough to what Nintendo was doing in the nineties.
 
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It's not even that offensive, in my opinion. Nintendo overreacted to a vocal minority, which has been a common theme with several publishers.
 

Barakov

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Definitely seems like PS5 will be way worse than PS3 2.0. Sony seems like they're heading for a Nintendo 64 moment.
 
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I don't know what to write. The world went crazy.
That's not that surprising, considering how that subreddit is moderated and what kind of stories it buries and pet causes it artificially promotes.

There's the usual native american who says he's not offended and he's upset with the removal with other better educated white upper-class americans more knowledgeable with the plight of native americans telling him to shut the fuck up and that he is silencing other natives, "this is no censorship, and only racists would ever think it is", someone went and actually said only LGBT causes of erased representation or asking for representation (a-la-Tomodachi Collection?) are worth being called censorship and rallied for, and so on.

At least, Nintendo stuck to their guns when resetera similarly demanded Sombrero Mario and the whole kingdom be removed or censored from Super Mario Odyssey (something they pretend they never did after the fact, and after a massive social media campaign by actual mexicans asking nintendo to keep him in the game despite the offended's best efforts to silence that "wrong opinion") but this nevertheless doesn't set a good precedent for future games going forward. They are at least going with the face saving excuse they showed a pre-release build (contradicting their earlier claims this is the final build, and it wouldn't be surprising if this was a day one patch)

However one thing is for sure, that change didn't happen organically and "voluntarily" and "without any pressure" as the usual outrage junkies claim, we have recorded instances of a concerted social media blitz against the game, and there's Tomodachi Collection when they didn't grovel and apologize right off the bat only to have the gaming media going crazier and crazier (encouraging people to mail LGBT and minority Nintendo of America employees to ask them if they're okay with this, which is textbook harassment) and at one point had the MSM help with outrageous claims about Nintendo, ones they willingly pushed knowing they're false. Not so coincidentally, that reddit thread cites that incident as a black mark in Nintendo's history because they didn't grovel hard enough, fast enough.
 
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CatCouch

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I can only hope that the Smash censorship is going to be an uncommon thing for Nintendo now as its a very small change. I just hope it's not Nintendo bowing to pressure because if they pull a Sony and block future Senran Kagura games or something because of backlash I'll be pretty damn sad. The Switch is my saving grace for gaming right now. I worry that Nintendo bowing to any pressure opens the door for more targeted campaigns that can snowball quickly like we saw around 2015-16. Never again! Give my my unedited Senran Kagura pinball games in the west, please!
 
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Two more games censored on the PS4, right in their official announcement by Nippon Ichi.
  • DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation: Visual novel. Has an uncensored Steam version
  • Dragon Star Varnir : This time, it's an RPG too that gets censored. PS4-exclusive for now.
Nippon Ichi has claimed before they are not willing to localize games they know will be censored, but with how sudden the changes are and the existence of an uncensored Steam port for one, it was either that or cancelling a very late localization.

Additionally, their game that got a censored PS4 Chinese release (where it was claimed the changes would be carried over to future unannounced regional versions) where the censorship broke it, is suspiciously not mentioned. Death end re;Quest and Arc of the Alchemist were also announced as PS4 exclusives but could always have undisclosed or last minute content changes.
 

Claus Grimhildyr

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I don't know what to write. The world went crazy.

I tried to comment in there. Was downvoted to oblivion. Pretty sure the same crazies that frequent sites like Polygon/Kotaku/Era are the owns who populate that subreddit.

Two more games censored on the PS4, right in their official announcement by Nippon Ichi.
  • DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation: Visual novel. Has an uncensored Steam version
  • Dragon Star Varnir : This time, it's an RPG too that gets censored. PS4-exclusive for now.
Nippon Ichi has claimed before they are not willing to localize games they know will be censored, but with how sudden the changes are and the existence of an uncensored Steam port for one, it was either that or cancelling a very late localization.

Additionally, their game that got a censored PS4 Chinese release (where it was claimed the changes would be carried over to future unannounced regional versions) where the censorship broke it, is suspiciously not mentioned. Death end re;Quest and Arc of the Alchemist were also announced as PS4 exclusives but could always have undisclosed or last minute content changes.

God damnit. I really hope Arc of the Alchemist gets ported to Switch. It isn't a graphically intense game and I really don't want to put up with this asinine censorship any longer.
 
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Some Korean sources are now reporting that Sony is pressuring developers into not disclosing which games get censored and how if it's because of the censorship guideline, and that all developer complaints now go through the same department that's doing the censorship.

If anyone here is familiar with development for Sony systems, you know that they give some incentives to developers to develop at least three exclusives or so to get various perks, but what seems the most troubling for Asian developers right now isn't the censorship policy that came into effort suddenly or their humiliating treatment as secondary markets (Nintendo offers developer and certification support in at least 8 languages, as opposed to Sony's English-only spite move), but the gag order, and leveraging existing contracts and agreements from these kinds of timed exclusivity programs to hinder the release as much as possible either on Sony platforms or elsewhere, to keep the bad PR about the censorship (if an uncensored version exists) from getting out too much.

Sony is reportedly calling these guidelines "the Western standard" and applying them globally, and they're not specifically tied to the ERSB (to be fair to the ERSB of course) but to what Sony feels, and it's as opaque as ever. Sony did publish a set of guidelines before but for indie partners, that might be worth looking into.

From 2013, about PS4:

“We don’t allow sadistic violence, sexually explicit content, children in an abusive context, extremely profane or obscene acts, glamorization of substance abuse, negative racial, gender or religious stereotypes or disability, disrespectful use of religious symbolism and beliefs or content likely to reflect adversely on the name and reputation of Sony.”

The difference is back then Sony used to say "Objectionable content on the PS4 should adhere to regional OCC rules" but it seems they threw that out of the window. You can already see more and more content is getting on the chopping block next.
 

kunonabi

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That's bloody rich trying to get developers not to properly represent their games to potential consumers. I cant wait to be done with this company.
 

Enygger_Tzu

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So where does their set of rules apply with The last of Us, Grand Theft Auto and most Western games?
 

CatCouch

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So the "Western standard" just means censor games (mostly Japanese) and don't let the consumer know? This sounds like censorship will get worse and worse and we won't know exactly what. I hope nearly all Eastern developers drop Sony and move to companies that treat them better.

I have no faith that Catherine will be unaltered just due to the amount of negativity mentioning the games name brings out of sites like Kotaku. I hope Atlus gets away from Sony because it's clear this Western standard is meant to hit games like Persona and Catherine as they get picked on for LGBT representation all the time.

Sony is going after smaller games that don't get much coverage so I doubt they are harming their reputation much, games like Persona 5 got a lot of attention for the way it portrayed gay people and the sexualization of female party members. I bet Sony is building up to censoring that kind of game as their goal.

What game doesn't cause some kind controversy? We had Valkyria Chronicles 4 being accused of sexual harassment, Tomb Raider was accused of tons of stuff, Spider-Man was attacked for the police in game, Horizon was targeted for offensive Native American themes, Far Cry 5 was not political enough, everything about Kingdom Come, even DOOM has a damn controversy. Is this the new normal? Are all these games going to be censored in the future? Does Sony actually think we won't know there's censorship?

I would not be surprised if this did affect western games like future GTA titles or anything that gets backlash from the media. Even the Last of Us Part II had backlash from Kotaku and Polygon. Who says it hasn't quietly been toned down behind the scenes. If Part II releases and there's less violence towards women than there was in the initial reveal, I guess we'll know.

Too bad our press is so bad it doesn't bother to ask questions about this. It sounds like this is cultural imperialism, something I learned about listening to old GAF and Resetera. I hope the same people who complained about that don't support this. That would be serious hypocrisy.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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So the "Western standard" just means censor games (mostly Japanese) and don't let the consumer know? This sounds like censorship will get worse and worse and we won't know exactly what. I hope nearly all Eastern developers drop Sony and move to companies that treat them better.

I have no faith that Catherine will be unaltered just due to the amount of negativity mentioning the games name brings out of sites like Kotaku. I hope Atlus gets away from Sony because it's clear this Western standard is meant to hit games like Persona and Catherine as they get picked on for LGBT representation all the time.

Sony is going after smaller games that don't get much coverage so I doubt they are harming their reputation much, games like Persona 5 got a lot of attention for the way it portrayed gay people and the sexualization of female party members. I bet Sony is building up to censoring that kind of game as their goal.

What game doesn't cause some kind controversy? We had Valkyria Chronicles 4 being accused of sexual harassment, Tomb Raider was accused of tons of stuff, Spider-Man was attacked for the police in game, Horizon was targeted for offensive Native American themes, Far Cry 5 was not political enough, everything about Kingdom Come, even DOOM has a damn controversy. Is this the new normal? Are all these games going to be censored in the future? Does Sony actually think we won't know there's censorship?

I would not be surprised if this did affect western games like future GTA titles or anything that gets backlash from the media. Even the Last of Us Part II had backlash from Kotaku and Polygon. Who says it hasn't quietly been toned down behind the scenes. If Part II releases and there's less violence towards women than there was in the initial reveal, I guess we'll know.

Too bad our press is so bad it doesn't bother to ask questions about this. It sounds like this is cultural imperialism, something I learned about listening to old GAF and Resetera. I hope the same people who complained about that don't support this. That would be serious hypocrisy.
The large AAA companies will continue sterilizing the games while the mass-market kinda-sorta keeps buying them. Small publishers and indies are already making games nearly to the same complexity/fidelity as big AAA releases so I don't think it will matter much for the people who just want to play good games. The only thing you'll miss out on is typical yearly AAA stuff.
 

kunonabi

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I still think Catherine gets a pass due to it being a SEGA title and Rin's inclusion.
 

JunkerWoland

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Until there's either further evidence or confirmation from additional developers, I'll remain at least somewhat skeptical on Sony pressuring companies to not disclose censorship; if true however, my hot take would be Sony is prepping for news of content differences in a more prominent title(s), because I currently don't see them particularly caring about whether something like a niche visual novel has more alterations on their platform over a competitor's.
 

CatCouch

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Until there's either further evidence or confirmation from additional developers, I'll remain at least somewhat skeptical on Sony pressuring companies to not disclose censorship; if true however, my hot take would be Sony is prepping for news of content differences in a more prominent title(s), because I currently don't see them particularly caring about whether something like a niche visual novel has more alterations on their platform over a competitor's.
That's my worst fear. Since there's no real verification of these claims I'll take them with a grain of salt but it is worrisome considering the censorship we already know about and the responses from some devs about censorship. We did not get a clarification on what was censored in Nekopara before the PS4 release so I can't be confident that all publishers will inform potential customers.

I can see Sony versions of games having full nudity cut like we saw with Conan Exiles where the NA console versions were censored but not the EU versions. PC was uncensored. Even though that was an ESRB issue, I shudder to think that may be the new norm next year due to Sony's western policies. Cyberpunk 2077 is one I'm keeping my eye on now~
 
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JunkerWoland

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We did not get a clarification on what was censored in Nekopara before the PS4 release so I can't be confident that all publishers will inform potential customers.
Even beyond Sony's meddling, best practice due to past precedent has always been to be somewhat wary over whether a product has been altered for international release, unless the publisher is willing to outright state nothing's been changed. If Sony's new policy is (or does become) pervasive, baring legal prohibitions, I would not expect publishers/developers to wilt under pressure and willingly take the majority of heat from consumers for not announcing their products contain censored content on some-or-all regional variants of Sony's console.

Either way, I agree it's unpleasant to think Sony could also potentially be trying to suppress company's from disclosing instances of censorship. If this all happens to be true and Sony goes too far playing the morality police, I can't help but think this will all explode in their face, sooner rather than later.
 

Barakov

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Some Korean sources are now reporting that Sony is pressuring developers into not disclosing which games get censored and how if it's because of the censorship guideline, and that all developer complaints now go through the same department that's doing the censorship.

If anyone here is familiar with development for Sony systems, you know that they give some incentives to developers to develop at least three exclusives or so to get various perks, but what seems the most troubling for Asian developers right now isn't the censorship policy that came into effort suddenly or their humiliating treatment as secondary markets (Nintendo offers developer and certification support in at least 8 languages, as opposed to Sony's English-only spite move), but the gag order, and leveraging existing contracts and agreements from these kinds of timed exclusivity programs to hinder the release as much as possible either on Sony platforms or elsewhere, to keep the bad PR about the censorship (if an uncensored version exists) from getting out too much.

Sony is reportedly calling these guidelines "the Western standard" and applying them globally, and they're not specifically tied to the ERSB (to be fair to the ERSB of course) but to what Sony feels, and it's as opaque as ever. Sony did publish a set of guidelines before but for indie partners, that might be worth looking into.

From 2013, about PS4:



The difference is back then Sony used to say "Objectionable content on the PS4 should adhere to regional OCC rules" but it seems they threw that out of the window. You can already see more and more content is getting on the chopping block next.
"Sadistic Violence" Then what the hell was that stuff in the TLOU2 trailer? They are literally just attacking games from Asia with their "the Western standard". Add in the fact that they might be trying to make sure companies don't talk about the things that were censored and this has a danger from becoming a slippery slope to a sheer cliff.