Sony reportedly censors extreme violence in Japanese video games

Sony Interactive Entertainment is said to be against extreme violence in Japanese video games, and more particularly the dismemberment of human-looking characters. Of course, not all games are affected by these restrictions.

Violence in video games is a very sensitive subject that comes up often. According to a new report published on GameSpark Japan, Sony has asked developers to remove certain particularly violent parts of their video game. In this case, the games that would have been affected by this censorship are those of the Naruto series: Ultimate Ninja.

Sony Interactive Entertainment Headquarters in San Mateo, California
Sony Interactive Entertainment headquarters in San Mateo, CA – Credit: Coolcaesar, CC BY-SA 4.0

According to Hiroshi Matsuyama who is the founder and CEO of Cyberconnect2 development studio, Sony reportedly asked developers to make a major change. In the original story of the series, the ninja Minato Namikaze lost an arm. However, his arm is indeed present in the game. The developers of Cyberconnect2 thus had to comply with Sony’s policies with regard to violence.

Censorship that would target only Japan?

Hiroshi Matsuyama also clarified that Sony Interactive Entertainment does not allow the dismemberment of human-looking characters, even if CERO does not prohibit it. In Japan, the CERO (Computer Entertainment Rating Organization) is the rating body that rates games. In the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, Minato Namikaze is not strictly speaking a human. He was resurrected, but still retains a human appearance.

Of course, the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja games are nowhere near as violent as other titles where depictions of extreme violence have been allowed. We think in particular of The Last of Us Part II voted game of the year 2020. Violence is omnipresent there. Moreover, a cosplay representing one of the Infected in the game was so realistic that the Naughty Dog studio believed it to be a screenshot and not a real photo with cosplayers.

Would Sony’s censorship therefore only apply to japanese games for the PlayStation? It is very likely. The Japanese classification is generally very strict. For example, Cyberpunk 2077 has been heavily censored because of its sexual nature. The mod for sleeping with Keanu Reeves which was deleted by CD Projekt RED surely would not have been well received in the land of the rising sun. In any event, we cannot confirm whether such censorship by Sony Interactive Entertainment is actually in effect or whether it has been abandoned over the years.

Source : DualSHOCKERS

Auriane Polge

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