Gamers have been combing through content of recent titles following all the calls for censorship from groups like the Social Justice Warriors. SJWs getting games like GTA V banned from Target and Kmart in Australia, and having games like Hatred briefly pulled from Steam Greenlight, caused gamers to get a lot more diligent about looking over games and ensuring that they aren’t being censored for the sake of political ideologues. Well, the keen eyes of the hardcore gaming community spotted a discrepancy with the upcoming Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization JRPG from Aquria and Bandai Namco involving a racy bathhouse sequence.
Censored Gaming recently did a short video discussing how gamers noticed that a bathhouse scene was changed in Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, going from showing the characters being nude in the bathhouse – with bubbles conveniently censoring the naughty bits – to being in bathing suits. You can see an image of the comparison below.
As the image depicts, and as pointed out by Censored Gaming, the CG artwork in the bathhouse scene appears to have been censored as part of the day one patch for Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization. This was noticed first by the Japanese gaming community who recently received the game on PS Vita and the PlayStation 4 on October 27th, 2016.
The game is rated ‘T’ for Teen for “partial nudity”, and this particular scene is described on the ESRB page with the following…
“One scene depicts a still image of a character grabbing a female character’s breast after a fall; another scene depicts a partially nude character in the bath with her breasts and genitalia covered by bubbles“
Simply put, the game has already been certified by the ratings board to include the uncensored bathhouse sequence.
North Americans and Europeans aren’t set to receive the game until November 8th, so we can’t know for sure if the day-one patch for the world wide version of the game will be affected the way it has in the Japanese version.
As pointed out in the video below by Censored Gaming, they reached out to the publishers, Bandai Namco, for a response regarding whether or not the other regions will also be censored when it comes to the bathhouse CG scene the way the Japanese version is censored.
Gamers are absolutely livid about the post-launch censorship, as it does certify that the game will launch uncensored but the post-launch patch ensures that censorship is applied after people have already paid for what they believed to be an uncensored product.
Of course, we don’t know for sure if the world wide release will also receive the censorship via the day-one patch, but given that most patches are designed to be certified for parity, it’s not looking good.
If this does become a new trend of Japan censoring games post-launch, it may mean that publishers could be folding to the pressure from the media regarding sexism in gaming.