New interview from Japan contradicts previous Sony statements on PlayStation censorship

Earlier in April, a Sony spokesperson noted that the MeToo movement and video streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube were the reasons behind the company’s decision to start censoring mature-themed content on PlayStation platforms. They also noted that Sony has adopted a new guidelines and an internal regulatory board (based in California, the self-righteous, politically correct capital of the world) to scrutinize and approve games submitted for publishing on PlayStation.

However, a new statement from a Sony of Japan spokesman published in Game*Spark seems to contradict reports that Sony has clear, established guidelines for mature-themed content. Paraphrasing the translated statement:

“New rules have not been introduced… Sony, though rare, has a policy of having executive officers comb through content that may be considered offensive and unsafe on a case by case basis. This is so players can enjoy games while at the same time respecting the ideas of creators…

“Not all games will be scrutinized to this degree. This is due to the existing CERO standards and no standardized guidelines, but if the game is excessively sexual, then they will look toward their global standard that will have an executive review the content in question. Which is generally reserved for strict sexual content.”

So instead of providing game creators a firm set of guidelines they can follow, their games are instead reviewed on a case-by-case basis according to a vague “global standard” as interpreted by whichever executive happens to be reviewing the game.

It’s no wonder that game creators, particularly third-party developers, are frustrated by this new process. We’ve already reported on gameplay features being removed, games being cancelled outright, and long-time developers quitting over Sony’s new censorship policy. According to one Japanese developer:

“You don’t know what they (Sony) will say until you complete the work and submit it for review, and if they are not happy, even if they allowed the same degree of sexuality a few days before, we need to take it back and ask our staff to make adjustments. That’s very costly.”

The question of why Sony won’t simply lay out their rules in a clear, logical manner is still unanswered. However, independent journalist Nick Monroe has stated on social media that insider information suggests Sony refuses to lay out and distribute concrete guidelines because some aspects of the text “might trigger someone and be a micro-aggression.” While Monroe’s information isn’t attributable to a source at Sony, fellow gaming journalist and senior staff writer at Niche Gamer Sophia Narwitz confirmed to have received very similar information from her inside sources.

Could words like “breasts”, “intercourse”, “exposed” or “buttocks” really be enough to drive therapy-deprived, California looney tunes into micro-aggression-induced seizures? I absolutely believe it’s possible, but without a firm, attributable source, this can only be chalked up as a “rumor” for now.

While we wait for more information on Sony’s bizarre new censorship policy to surface, I’ll be praying for meteors.

Source: Bounding Into Comics

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