PQube Games have announced that visual novel Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue will be censored and may only have a digital release on PlayStation 4. The Nintendo Switch release will be uncensored, with a physical release available.
The game itself features a world where anti-gravity shoes have allowed humans to fly, leading to the Flying Circus sport. After a terrible defeat, Flying Circus prodigy and student Masaya Hinata had turned away from competing, along with another reason.
He regains his passion in teaching transfer student Asuka Kurashina to fly. Now he re-enters the sport as a coach, while falling for his fellow students.
The statement from PQube Games and PQube Games Asia came via Twitter, explaining that many had shown concerns for censorship in the game.
PQube Games explain that the changes would only come to the PlayStation 4 version of the game.
“We have recently received many requests for clarification around the potential of scene modification on our upcoming Visual Novel release Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue.
These changes apply to the PlayStation 4 version only and contain amendments to a selection of images and text found in the game.
This includes four scenes which have been modified and three scenes which have been removed completely.
Many thanks to our fans and community for their continued support of our releases.”
A subsequent tweet by PQube Games revealed exactly the impact the censorship may have, as they asked if fans still wanted a physical edition on PlayStation 4.
“Regarding the lack of physical edition for #Aokana.
We made the decision, and we will review it in a poll tomorrow to see if you all agree, to not release a physical version for PS4 as we’d expect significantly less interest once it became clear that the content is altered.”
PQube games also confirmed to other Twitter users that the Nintendo Switch version would be uncensored, and have a physical release [1, 2, 3]. PQube Games stated they were unable to reveal which scenes had been censored [1, 2, 3].
In late December 2018, Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia President Atsushi Morita stated the then recent spate of censorship of anime-styled sexual content on PlayStation 4 games had been “to meet global standards.” This censorship was seemingly forced in Japan.
Recently we delved into the rumor that Tencent had influenced Sony in some way to encourage censorship of anime-styled sexual content on PlayStation 4.
Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue is available on Windows PC (via Steam), PlayStation Vita. In Japan the game is also available on PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch- with a worldwide release on those platforms August 21st.