'The Last Of Us Part 2' Reportedly Banned In Middle East
The Last Of Us Part II is set to launch on PlayStation 4 all around the world in a matter of weeks. (And yes, we are hard at work reviewing it, right now.) However, it sounds as if the upcoming Naughty Dog adventure won't quite be available everywhere on June 19th. According to multiple reports, the game has apparently been banned in a number of Middle Eastern countries.
Various Reddit users have flagged that the game is unavailable to pre-order on the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia PlayStation Store pages. The game can be be ordered via PlayStation Stores in other territories, suggesting that whatever is going on is more than some kind of technical error. It's also been pointed out that fellow PS4 exclusive Ghost of Tsushima already has a page on the PlayStation Store for both UAE and SA.
What's really odd is that The Last Of Us Part II has been promoted by official PlayStation Twitter accounts in the region. It also appears on the list of upcoming games for United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The fact it can't be purchased via either PS Store has, for many gamers in the region, come out of nowhere.
Curious as to why they couldn't get hold of the game via the UAE PS Store, Reddit user Ghostechful reached out to PlayStation support. They got a response that appeared to confirm everybody's suspicions, with a PlayStation Support Specialist writing that the game was likely "banned by the competent authorities of the country" and that there was nothing PlayStation could do about that.
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We already know that The Last Of Us Part II will contain nudity and sexual content, as well as a number of LGBT characters. Many suspect that it's because of this that the game has been banned in the region.
This year's Pixar film Onwards, for example, had a line of dialogue referencing a gay relationship removed for the Middle East release. One suspects that if Naughty Dog were given the choice to censor or not have the game on sale at all in the Middle East, and the studio was able to do it, it would have gone with the former.
The good news is that gamers in the Middle East will still be able to buy the game if they want to experience the story first-hand. They can either pick up copies from third-party vendors or buy pre-paid store credit for US and UK stores online, allowing them to get around the ban. Hopefully everyone who wants to play the game will be able to do so without issue.
Featured Image Credit: Sony