When Devil May Cry 5 launched a little over a month ago, fans quickly realised that the PS4 version of the game had some censoring when it came to sexual content than it’s Xbox One and PC counterparts. People started speculating that Sony might have implemented a strict new policy in regards to sexual content, and it seems the speculations were spot on.
In a report by Kotaku, a spokesperson confirmed that Sony has indeed changed some of their policies due to company executives worrying that the sale of sexually explicit games might harm the company’s reputation. Two of the main reasons for this, one being the #MeToo movement which gained traction in 2017 after Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein was exposed for his sexual misconduct towards women.
The second reason cited is the growing popularity of streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, which could potentially expose users to unwanted sexually explicit content. According to a Sony official who spoke with the Wall Street Journal, Sony seems to be afraid of becoming a target for social or legal action.
It might sound a little bit ridiculous, but the reasons given does make sense. The last couple of years have seen a strong movement against sexual misconduct have grown, and men, particularly those in positions of power have been exposed for some of the horrible things they have done.
Opinion: While I think it might be a little bit of an overreaction from Sony, I fully understand the logic behind it. It’s great that sexual predators get exposed for the fiends that they are, but with it comes other unfortunate and unintended consequences. Artists and creators might get censored by the corporate companies that try to avoid potential PR nightmares. It doesn’t seem like Microsoft and Nintendo have the same issues at the moment, but that stance might change in the future, and we might see these kinds of things happening with many of the entertainment and content we consume, which is a debate for a completely different day.