Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 2 has only been out for a day or so, but the game has already managed to surround itself with controversy. All of this started when a player shared a screenshot of the game’s full-frontal digital nudity to his Twitter, an action that got answered by Sony with a temporary, 1-month, ban from using the console’s network features.
The player took to neoGAF to share his story:
I received my copy of Watch Dogs 2 on Saturday evening due to a mistake on Amazon Prime Now and I’ve been having a great time with the game so far. On Sunday evening I accidentally blew up a few women in a back alley with a gas pipe and then I saw *it*; someone at Ubisoft had rendered a full vagina on one (or maybe more) of the females in the game.
I took a picture of this funny oversight with the ingame camera and shared it on twitter for my friends to see and I posted it in one of the Watch Dogs early release threads on here. Cut to tonight where I can’t access any services while playing the game and then when I tried to sign in there was a very brief message about my account being suspended.
After sending a message to Sony’s customer support service, he got a reply stating that the ban was because of sharing “content of an adult or sexual nature” which is against Sony’s Code of Conduct. Nevermind that Watch Dogs 2 is rated ‘M’ for mature by the ESRB, which already infers that the game in question has content that is not intended to be consumed by anyone who is not, well, mature. The ESRB page even mentions that there is male and female nudity included in the game, so it’s not like it was snuck into the game without Sony’s knowledge prior to the game’s launch. The image below is a censored version of it, you can see it (completely NSFW) in this tweet.
Sony also doesn’t seem to enforce an age lock on screenshots, which means that all screenshots uploaded are freely shared with everyone in Sony’s ecosystem, in addition to being shared to the social media app of your choice. It seems like the suspended player managed to get himself on the receiving end of an oversight in Sony’s system. If you forget the actual content of the screenshot for a moment, all the player did was share a screenshot consisting of content found within the game without resorting to mods or other third-party tools in a game that’s been officially licensed for the PlayStation 4. All he did was share something he found funny.
Games like Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt also had its fair share of genitals flopping about your screen. This wasn’t a problem then, so why is it now?
Luckily for the player in question, Sony reversed the temporary suspension when this story got picked up by the games media.
Sony have undone the suspension. We won! I think? They never admitted fault of course. I want to thank everyone for their support today.
— Swizzasaur (@Swizzasaur) November 16, 2016
That, however, is not the end of this particular story. After the story broke Ubisoft was quick to release a statement saying that they would remove the full-frontal nudity from the game in a future update. The following is from a statement sent by Ubisoft to Polygon:
We’re aware that one of the NPC models in Watch Dogs 2 is rendered in a way that is particularly explicit.
While Watch Dogs 2 is a mature-rated game, we apologize and will update this NPC model to make it more consistent with other NPC models in the game in a patch to be released this week. We also are working with our first-party partners to ensure that players can continue to play and share all content from the game within the bounds of the first parties’ respective codes of conduct.
This story highlights 2 things: we’re still not very comfortable with explicit sexuality in games, and Sony’s policy regarding shared content isn’t very well-constructed if they’re banning players who haven’t really done anything wrong.
What do you think of this story? Was Sony justified in suspending the player? Let us know in the comment section down below!More About This Game