Feature Industry sony

Japanese PlayStation Games Face Stricter Censorship Worldwide – Report

banned japanese games

Idea Factory, the Japanese developer behind the Hyperdimension Neptunia series and many other titles, has stated in no uncertain terms that it has no plans to change its company policies in light of reported censorship of its games by Sony.

Sony has its own policies for what it deems acceptable to put on its PlayStation platforms, which has seen many games from Japan either heavily censored or not launch at all in the West.

However, the censorship appears to have now crossed over into Japan and China with Sony apparently enforcing what’s been referred to as a worldwide policy on what themes it deems acceptable.

This has sparked debate across the internet on forums and social media from Japanese, Chinese and players from the West.

In a Reddit thread, one user claims that Sony are enforcing ‘Western standards’ to the rating system in Japan rather than the ‘local rating system’.

This ties in with an interesting post on Korean website, “Game Focus.co.kr” which (via Google Translate), tells of the writer’s trip to the Tokyo Game Show last year where he met with Japanese developers.

One of the hot topics were Sony’s policy changes in Japan. He states that until last year standards for submission to Sony’s QA team were delegated by the standard for each country, but “now it is necessary to limit the expression of the game to a level that can be released to global standards.”

The writer continues:

One Japanese game maker who asked for anonymity said, “In the past, Sony did not restrict regional release if it meets national scrutiny standards. Nintendo was a stance that it would be fine for Sony to release it. “Nintendo has become more generous in terms of expression,” he said.

Another company official said, “We wanted to play the PlayStation 4 and the switch at the same time, but we had to negotiate with Sony to solve the problem,” he said. “In Japan, it seems that there are quite a few cases where the switch is released first or only the switch and PC are released. “he said.

Idea Factory Stands Firm On Its Own Policy

Criticism has started to pour in from gamers, seemingly sparked by a tweet made by Idea Factory.

There’s various views on the matter from gamers in reply to this thread and various Reddit posts on the subject. One is from those who oppose all forms of censorship, while others aren’t happy that Sony are inflicting global standards on Japanese games which may deter developers from releasing them on PlayStation platforms.

One of the most recent examples is that of 18+ rated Dungeon RPG, Mary Skelter 2. This was reported to have been censored in China post-launch with a patch that removed the game’s Purification system, which allowed players to virtually touch the naked bodies of young females in order to clean away their impurities to receive a buff.

mary skelter 2

It’s suggested that other entries in the series in Japan will also not be able to feature ‘Purification’.

Idea Factory has received a lot of support from gamers on social media. Here’s some of the responses.

There seems enough evidence online (though we’ve heard nothing official) to suggest that Sony HQ are planning to implement or have already implemented a stricter policy on the type of content that appear on their platforms, choosing a global approach rather than a local one. This is either going to force some Japanese developers to think twice before including certain content if they want their games on PlayStation platforms, or continue producing what they want and go elsewhere.

Sounds from Idea Factory’s tweet that they’ve made their decision.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Al Buns

    This stupid and instead of crying about crossplay people should complaining about this. I don’t play these games but the censorship is pointless. Games God of War, Mass Effect and others had nudity. I don’t like censorship when a game can pass the ESRB rating.

    • Blaugrana

      Even the new God of War is way tamer in comparison to the previous entries.
      SJW at work it seems.

      • xboxmaster

        ummm have you played it? lol

        • AtrusHB

          >ummm
          Yikes!

  • GaMeR_bOi_83

    This is going cause a huge dent in the Japanese market. I mean why censor these games that the Japanese have lived for years? They are going to lose so much money because of this.

    • Master Hiei

      Japanese devs will just migrate to other platforms, Sony is the only one setting itself to lose money here.

      • GaMeR_bOi_83

        Money? No try a huge fan base.

  • John Doe

    If this is true, it’s really sad. These niche titles are the reason I choose PlayStation and this would make me seriously consider going with PC only or PC/Nintendo and skip PlayStation next gen. I sure hope the suits at Sony are not this stupid because I spend a lot of money on their platform (I currently own 175 PS4 titles, plus VR headset) and I’m sure there are others like me that would follow suit.

  • CatCouch

    Yay, I’m in this article!

    Yeah, I’ve made my decision to move away from Sony for the time being. I’ve already re-bought some of my recent purchases, like SoulCalibur VI, for my Xbox one and will be staying there, along with my Switch, for the rest of this console generation.

    I’ll keep an eye on what Sony does with these policies to see if they are ever clarified. As it is, I have no faith in ordering any Japanese games on a Sony platform. It’s clear they don’t want people like me there.

  • SadBills

    I didn’t make the headlines…So that is my thought on this. Although I’ve just been making memes with little to no traction and trolling the Soyny accounts. In any case, I’ve only gamed on my PS3 and PS4 the past 8 years. During that time I’ve found my interest began to lie mostly (solely) towards jrpgs. They are also the kind that just so happen to have lewd content. If Sony continues this mess, then I will no longer have games that I consider fun. What’s the point of this system if I can’t play what I want?

    Regardless of whether you like these kinds of games or not, you have to admit that Sony is wrong. They are hurting developers and selling watered down games to their customers. That alone says a lot.

  • David Floyd