Yes, you read the headline right. The Japanese version of the new The Witcher 3 expansion, Blood and Wine, is heavily censored.
Watch the video above to see what we’re on about. This scene depicts a painter who refuses to paint anything other than nude models. Over in Japan, this element had to be changed so that the women being painted is now wearing clothes. Although, if you pay attention you’ll notice that the actual painting still shows her naked – cue a lot of confused Japanese gamers I imagine.
This shouldn’t be much of a surprise for those of you who have stayed up to date with the state of censorship over in Japan. As explained very well in this translated interview, things such as nipples are considered “a forbidden expression” and so have been censored out of Japanese console games since CERO’s introduction in 2002. However, exceptions can sometimes be made for stuff like the ‘artistic’ painting seen in the video, but not the naked woman themselves.
Wherever you can find breasts in The Witcher 3, they have been censored in Japan. That’s a lot of breasts.
It wasn’t just boobs though. As you can see in the screenshot above from our video comparison, butts have been censored too in the Japanese release.
To just clarify, this censorship has only been made to the console versions of The Witcher 3. PC gaming isn't regulated by the CERO rating system and the PC version is 100% uncensored. However, it's important to point out that sometimes PC releases will still be censored in Japan despite not needing to be.
To top things off, violence has also been censored in many parts of both the base game as well as its expansions. The scene above is also taken from the new The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine expansion and shows how, over in Japan, a gaping chest wound had to be made severely less gory.
What do you think about the strict censorship that’s required for Japanese console games? How do you think this censorship compares with that seen in the West, for titles such as the upcoming Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE? Let us know in the comments below!