[Update: It’s been confirmed that even more images have been censored from the game, including any image showing the female character cleavage while they’re in towels.]
[Original article:] Furyu Corporation’s upcoming Japanese-only release of the rogue-lite JRPG based on the Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san anime appears to be the next victim of Sony’s new anti-fan service policy that’s been put into place. The policy is designed to restrict developers in the East and the West from including certain kinds of ecchi content, sexual content, or interactive fan-service aimed at straight males.
The upcoming game, Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san: Hot Spring Labyrinth, is due out on November 15th, 2018 exclusively for the PS4 (for now). However, the game has already undergone various changes to the ecchi images contained therein.
The changes have actually been in effect since September, but they were only spotted recently by Twitter user Haris who posted comparison images from the game’s promo art from back in July, 2018, and compared them to the more recent updated website page.
Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs screenshots from a few months past vs now. Unfortunately this one is a PS4 exclusive but we can hope for a Switch version. pic.twitter.com/G8OSV66C86
— Haris (@EvilFiek) October 28, 2018
These aren’t modified or altered images, they’re taken directly from the official website.
If you visit the website now and scroll down to the hot spring section where you can interact with the characters and remove her towel, you’ll note that on the official website the two images show Yuuna with glowing white lights covering up her cleavage and midriff.
Now if you use the Wayback Machine and visit the entry from July, 2018, you can use the pull-down menu from the “About This Capture” tab and check the directory images that were saved. Click on the png titled game_image8.png and game_image9.png. You’ll note that Yuuna’s cleavage and midriff are no longer covered by the glowing white light.
You can see the example below.
Now these are the exact same image filenames on the most updated version of the website. If you copy the image URL into the browser from the Wayback Machine archive, but remove the archive address from in front of the URL you’ll get directed to the same image, just with the censored glowing light over the cleavage.
So Furyu basically just re-uploaded and saved over the old images from July with the censored images that were posted in September. How do we know that the changes were made in September? Well, that’s when Furyu uploaded the latest trailer for the game over on YouTube, which clocks in at three and a half minutes.
At the 1:52 mark you’ll note that Yuuna sports the updated glowing censorship to cover up her cleavage.
The game is rated CERO C, which means it’s made for those 15 years of age and up.
However, even games rated CERO D — for those 17 years of age and up, like Silverio Trinity and Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart — have been negatively impacted by the policy. In the case of Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart, the developers had to censor their content in lieu of Sony’s new anti-fan service policy, similar to Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san’s censorship, adding bright glowing lights to the cleavage, legs, panties, and midriffs of the girls in the images. None of the males featured in the game were affected or had to be changed, though.
Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal also had to remove its Intimacy Mode ahead of release due to the new policy. Games that don’t censor their content are barred from release on the PS4, which is what happened when PQube was blocked from releasing Omega Labyrinth Z on the PS4. In other cases, even if the game doesn’t have lewd content but is deemed offensive toward feminists, like Super Seducer, Sony will also block those games from being released on the PS4.
The policy seems to be aimed mostly at content that straight males enjoy, given that Dream Daddy, a gay dating simulator, will be released on the PS4 and so far there have been no reports about the developers having to censor the content.
An affiliate partner with Marvelous Entertainment attempted to change the minds of Sony by starting a petition to get the company to rescind the censorious policy, but the policy has fallen on deaf ears so far.
As pointed out in the Twitter thread from Haris, it may not be possible to find out which PS4 exclusive games will be censored in the future, since the policy will affect games during active development.
Very much so. This might be one of the few cases where we can compare the original artistic vision of a game with the product that is produced by Sony-enforced censorship. All future PS4 exclusives will be potentially compromised with no way to figure out the original intent.
— Haris (@EvilFiek) October 29, 2018
On the upside, for multiplatform releases the comparisons should still be rather obvious when looking at Nintendo Switch or PC releases, so gamers will still be able to find out whether a game has been censored on the PS4 when measuring it up against the other platform releases.
As mentioned, the upcoming Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san JRPG will be released in Japan on the PS4 starting November 15th, 2018 in all its censored glory.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)