Welcome to the Censored Gaming Recap! In these articles, we take a look back at all of the latest happenings in the world of censorship and then round them up in a special weekly feature.
Last week began with Blizzard's Overwatch yet again being a source of controversy, although this time, it wasn't due to the butt cheeks of female protagonists.
A prominent leader in Hinduism has publicly condemned two outfits for the character Symmetra, due to their resemblance to Devi, the great goddess of Hinduism.
You can see the skins in question above and, sure enough, they do strongly resemble the Hindu deity, with one even being called "Devi" and the other "Goddess".
Blizzard hasn't responded to the criticism, but, this isn't the first time for this particular Hindu figure to criticise video games. Earlier in the year, for example, they also called for Krishna, another Hindu deity, to be removed from Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final, with complaints including the fact that they wear a fedora and how this is a hat “widely associated with gangsters".
Also going on last week was EVO 2016 and the ESPN forcing a R. Mika player to use a different outfit, due to disapproving of her default costume showing so much skin. The ESPN has declined to comment on the matter, although, the news was brought to everyone's attention by the tournament's Japanese interpreter Ryan Harvey.
This was the first time for the popular EVO tournament to be broadcast on TV and it was only the Street Fighter V portion that was shown. With such a small amount of coverage so far, it is uncertain how the future will play out and just how much of an effect TV stations could have on eSports. However, with there already being problems, it doesn't look too good and this could have also possibly played a part in Capcom's decisions to tone down certain sexual content, such as R. Mika's famous butt slap.
But to move on to the biggest story last week. Australia has, yet again, refused a game for a rating, thus completely banning it in the country.
The controversial game is none other than The Bug Butcher, a popular indie game, from some ex-Blizzard employees, of the side scrolling, shooter genre. On the surface, there seems to be absolutely nothing in the game that would warrant it being completely banned in the country. Also, it's interesting that the game has been available now since January 19th without any issues, and so the sudden ban was even more confusing.
The devs got back to us after we broke the news and have helped fill in the blanks.
We have been in the age rating process for our upcoming console release in Australia. Seem like this triggered the ban from Steam as well. The reasoning behind is, is sad but at the same point also funny. We have a powerup called "Speed powerup" where Harry injects himself a surringe. Looks like the combination of the injection with the word "Speed" someone could assume that it's a drug. We are shocked but are trying to get in touch with Australia to see if we can fix this.
In their statement, they have explained that they submitted it the Australian Classification Board due to plans for releasing the title on consoles, something they had not done already due to ratings not being required for games on Steam. This triggered the ban and it was due to a power-up called "Speed powerup". The rating system has an extremely strict stance on what it classes as drug use "related to incentives and rewards". The combination of the word "Speed" and the fact that it involves an animation of the character injecting themselves with a syringe, crossed the line in the eyes of the Classification Board.
As for what's next, the studio has stated that they are trying to get in touch with Australia to try and resolve the situation. When more info is known, we'll be sure to let everybody know. What is likely to happen, of course, is that alterations will be made to either the Australian version or worldwide so that it passes the standards of the Aussie rating system.