New Sony Censorship Policy is Forcing Japanese Developers to Censor Themselves Even in Japan

A new policy from Sony Interactive Entertainment is forcing Japanese developers to censor games in not only western regions but now even in their home country.

Japanese developer light recently held a live broadcast (via Hachima) where they confirmed Sony’s new and aggressive policy against sexual themes in seemingly only Japanese-made games is actually preventing them from releasing their latest visual novel. Note: The following lines are translations of the source, which is a transcript of the live broadcast.

The game, Silverio Trinity (pictured), is their latest visual novel opus – and it has sexual themes in it. Developer light noted that Sony is getting strict with their approval process, especially regarding sexual themes.

The developer noted they were hoping to release the game for PlayStation 4 soon after New Year’s as development on the game is complete, however, Sony has been reluctant to approve the game.

Furthermore, Sony is confusingly asking Japanese developers to plead their approval only in English, making the process even more difficult for developers whose staff only speak or write in Japanese.

The developer noted if they were to release the game for Windows PC (via Steam) they could release it next week.

While the western releases of Japanese games with sexual content have been censored for decades, this is the first time we’re hearing of a platform holder forcing Japanese developers to censor their game for release in their home country.

This new policy from Sony forced publisher PQube to cancel the western release for Omega Labyrinth Z, as well as Marvelous to remove a reoccurring feature in their latest Senran Kagura game, Senran Kagura Re:Newal.

Other Japanese games have been censored for release in Japan as well, like the PlayStation 4 version of another adult visual novel. Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat. While the PC, PS Vita, and Switch versions were released entirely uncensored, the PlayStation 4 version has giant white censor streaks over the anime girls’ naughty bits.

Western made games with gratuitous sexual themes, like Red Dead Redemption or Sony’s various David Cage games, seemingly remain outside this new policy.

How do you feel about Sony’s new, aggressive policy against Japanese games with sexualized anime girls? Sound off in the comments below!

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.