Summer Pockets Lower Age Rating On Switch Results In Censored Naughty Bits
Summer Pockets Censorship

Prototype released Key’s Summer Pockets on the Nintendo Switch on June 20th, 2019. The visual novel’s arrival on Switch was sadly not the version that released in all its uncensored glory on PC back in 2018. Instead, it’s the CERO C version that’s relegated to a 15+ rating, which means all the naughty bits had to be censored.

This was discovered by Twitter user Uitachibana, who posted up a series of  comparison images showing the difference between the Switch version of the game and the patched PC version of the game.

[Correction: Removed the previous images from a different comparisons]

So why the censorship? Well, the general assumption is that the game was censored to accommodate the CERO C rating. This is what’s listed over on the VNDB.org entry for the Nintendo Switch version, and it’s also corroborated in the game’s launch trailer for the Switch as well, which you can check out below.

However, there were some discrepancies noted in the smartphone and Switch version of the game.

Uitachibana in particular noted that the comparison between the Switch, PC, and Android version rendered some interesting results, especially since according to the Google Play page, the Android version is rated ‘T’ for Teens 13+.

The iOS version is rated even lower at 12+ for mild nudity or mild adult themes, as displayed over on the iTunes App Store.

And yet, if you see in the comparison below, it appears the Switch version is more censored than the smartphone version.

[Update: According to some users, the regional rating for ‘Teen’ in Japan on the Google Play store is actually 16+ where-as it’s 13+ outside of Japan, which may explain the discrepancy in content.]

This is the same level of censorship we saw with Princess, Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart, where the PS4 version was heavily censored, while the PC and Switch versions were less so.

In the follow-up, Harukaze simply toned down Princess, Stray Cat, and Matters of the Heart 2 so that all versions of the game were censored when they aimed for a CERO C rating, much like Key and VisualArts’ Switch release of Summer Pockets.

This has resulted in the visual novel having more hair, convenient censorship, or the removal of indentations from the panty shots.

The major question is why is the Switch version more censored than the Android version? Or is it that CERO is more strict with content than the IARC?

Uitachibana speculated that it may have been CERO’s call.

However, I decided to reach out to the publisher of the visual novel for the Japanese release on the Nintendo Switch, and they responded stating that they couldn’t discuss the contents related to ratings board adherence…

“Sorry, but we can not answer about individual rating examination contents and the standard.”

That completely made null any attempts to find out if it was the platform holder or the ratings board that imposed the censorship on the studio, or if this was simply a case of self-censorship.

Previously Nintendo had said that they didn’t interfere with third-party studio censorship, and that they rely on and comply with regional ratings boards to ensure that content adheres to those regional standards.

In this case it’s just unclear if CERO demanded additional censorship, if the publisher demanded additional censorship, or if Key panicked and censored the content to satisfy a CERO C rating. Unfortunately there’s not a lot of willing participants to talk about video game censorship these days.

(Thanks for the news tip Red and Vert)

About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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