List of banned video games

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This is a list of video games that have been censored or banned by governments of various states in the world. Governments that have banned video games have been criticized for a correlated increase in digital piracy, limiting business opportunities and violating rights.[1][2][3]

Afghanistan[edit]

During the first reign of the Islamic Emirate government in Afghanistan (1996–2001), Western technology and art was prohibited and this included all video games.[4][5][6][7] Between 2001 and 2021, no video games were officially banned in Afghanistan, except for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.[8]

Albania[edit]

No video games are currently banned in Albania. Some games were banned during the Hoxhaist regime for allegedly promoting capitalist values.[example needed] In 2016, the government discussed banning the game Five Nights at Freddy's apparently for its disturbing backstory, though the ban was later[when?] initially dropped over condemnation from Reporters Without Borders and Albanian fans of the game.[citation needed] The ban was enacted later that year.[9] A few days after the ban of the release of Dead Rising 2's release in Albania, retailer Albagame refused to sell the copies over alleged gambling.[10] In early 2019 Edi Rama, the prime minister, threatened to ban the game after a law was passed by the parliament, banning sports betting.[10]

Argentina[edit]

Name Reason
Carmageddon Banned in the city of Buenos Aires because it depicts people being killed by motor vehicles.[11]
RapeLay Banned because it promotes and supports the use of violence to compel a person to submit to sexual conduct, as well as the exploitation of young people for sexual purposes.[12][13]

Australia[edit]

Originally, video games in Australia could only be rated up to MA15+. At the time, the R18+ classification rating could be given to films, but a video game with content deemed fitting for the R18+ rating would be classed as 'Refused Classification' due to an appropriate classification not being available for the medium.

In July and August 2011, all Australian state Attorney-Generals agreed to instate an R18+ rating for video games, which would be available by the end of 2011.[14] Many games previously refused classification would now fit into the R18+ rating and, if the publisher chose to pay the reclassification fee, would theoretically be able to sell their game in Australia. The date was later changed to allow the rating to be introduced at the beginning of 2013.[15]

With the R18+ rating in place, it is expected fewer video games will be given the Refused Classification rating. Games may still be Refused Classification if deemed to contain material unsuitable for R18+ classification, such as depictions of sexual violence or the promotion of illegal drug use, as well as drug use that is related to incentives and rewards. More specifically, games which may be Refused Classification include:

  • Detailed instruction or promotion in matters of crime or violence.
  • Depiction of rape.
  • The promotion or provision of instruction in paedophile activity.
  • Descriptions or depictions of child sexual abuse or any other exploitative or offensive descriptions or depictions involving a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 years.
  • Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:
    • (i) violence with a very high degree of impact or which are excessively frequent, prolonged or detailed;
    • (ii) cruelty or real violence which are very detailed or which have an extremely high impact;
    • (iii) sexual violence
  • Depictions of practices such as bestiality
  • Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:
    • (i) activity accompanied by fetishes or practices that are offensive or abhorrent;
    • (ii) incest fantasies or other fantasies that are offensive or abhorrent

Classification is compulsory, and games refused classification by the ACB are banned for sale, hire or public exhibition, carrying a maximum fine of $275,000 and/or 10 years in jail. It is, however, legal to possess RC games (except in Western Australia and prescribed areas of the Northern Territory).

Material that is refused classification is put on the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service list of prohibited items. Any copies of such games found at the border will be seized,[16] and the recipient, depending on the number of copies being imported, may receive up to A$110,000 in fines.[17]

Due to the licensing of the International Age Rating Coalition software for developers to rate their own game, several hundred games have been banned from various app stores as of 2015.[18]

Belgium[edit]

Phantasy Star Online 2, FIFA 17, Gears of War 4, Mario Kart Tour, and other games have been banned due to loot boxes and more are expected to be banned.[19]

Brazil[edit]

Brazil has banned many video games since 1999, mainly due to depictions of violence and cruelty,[20] making it illegal to distribute and otherwise sell these games.[21][22]

Name Reason
Bully Banned for showing violence and harassment in a school setting.[23] The ban was lifted on 23 June 2016; the game can now be acquired in physical and non-physical format through Steam.[24]
Counter-Strike Banned because of violence and simulating a favela map in 2008. The ban was later lifted and the game is now available for sale.[25][26]
EverQuest Banned because the player is able to go on quests for both good and evil.[25][27] The ban has been mostly lifted since 2009, except in Minas Gerais.[citation needed]
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Banned in Barueri because it uses music by the Brazilian composer Hamilton da Silva Lourenço without proper permission.[28] It has been resolved and was lifted in 2012.[29]

Additionally, the Brazilian advisory rating system requires that all video games be rated by the organization, where unrated video games are banned from being sold in Brazil.[citation needed] Often, bans do not extend to digital platforms.

China[edit]

A very large number of video games are banned in the PRC. Games that depict drugs, sexual themes, blood, organized crime or defamation of the Chinese government are almost always banned. Because of the large size of the Chinese video game market, many studios edit the content of their games to conform to the government's standards.

Home gaming consoles were banned in mainland China from June 2000[30][31] until 2013; when the ban was lifted, eighth-generation consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were allowed in the country.[32]

As of April 2019, after implementing a new mandatory local rating and approval system, any and all games containing depictions of violence, blood, gambling and imperial history are de facto banned from all accessible platforms in the nation (unless otherwise changed to comply with local standards).[33][34][35][unreliable source?][dubious ]

Notable games banned in this region are:

Name Reason
Alliance of Valiant Arms Banned because it contains blood, gore and vulgar content.[36]
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Animal Crossing: New Horizons was banned in the People's Republic of China since 10 April 2020. The game was pulled from the store Taobao as players created and posted anti-government messages in-game with a custom pattern tool. There has been no official announcement whether the ban was enforced by the Government of the People's Republic of China or by Taobao. However the game is still on-sale on the Chinese grey market.[37]
Battlefield 4 Banned for discrediting China's national image as well as threatening national security. The Chinese Ministry claims that the game shows a "cultural invasion".[38]
Command & Conquer: Generals Banned for "smearing the image of China and the Chinese army", although the game presents China as a protagonist and glorifies the People's Liberation Army.[39] Additionally, the China campaign has the player destroy questionable targets such as the Three Gorges Dam and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in order to snuff out an invading terrorist organization.
Devotion Banned due to an easter egg insulting Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping.[citation needed] The easter egg was later removed, but the game remains banned.[citation needed] On 21 February 2019, players discovered a fulu talisman decorating a wall in the game contained the words "Xi Jinping Winnie-the-Pooh" (Chinese: 習近平小熊維尼) in Chinese seal script, referencing a recent Chinese internet meme that compared him to the Disney character.[citation needed]
Football Manager 2005 Banned for recognizing Taiwan and Tibet as independent countries. An edited version was later released globally.[40]
Fortnite Banned because it contains blood, gore and vulgar content.[36]
Free Fire Banned because it overly revealing female characters and because contains blood, gore and vulgar content.[36]
Hearts of Iron Banned because it depicted disputed territories such as Tibet and Taiwan as independent nations [36]
I.G.I.-2: Covert Strike Banned because of "intentionally blackening China and the Chinese army's image".[41]
Knives Out Banned because it overly revealing female characters and because contains blood, gore and vulgar content.[36]
Paladins A playable character was removed from the game citing gore and his ability to resurrect upon death. The game was later banned outright citing "overly revealing female characters, blood, gore and vulgar content.”[36]
Plague Inc./Plague Inc. Evolved Banned in China as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[42]
Quantum Matrix Banned because it contains blood, gore, vulgar content and inharmonious chat.[36]
RapeLay Banned because it promotes and supports the use of violence to compel a person to submit to sexual conduct and the exploitation of young persons for sexual purposes.[citation needed]
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni Banned because of sexual content and glorifying homosexuality.[citation needed]

Cuba[edit]

No video games have ever been banned in Cuba, but few games were sold in that country until 2007 when restrictions were eased. In 2010, the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops generated a lot of controversy as there is a mission where the player attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, only to end up killing a double.[43]

Denmark[edit]

EA Sports MMA was not released in Denmark because of a law prohibiting marketing for energy drinks, which EA chose not to remove from the game.[44] However, distribution is not illegal, as the game can still be found on shelves as an import.

Germany[edit]

A video game can be banned in Germany if it is confiscated by court order because it violates a section of the Strafgesetzbuch (criminal code). Private possession (and thus playing it) and acquisition (such as downloading a demo from the Internet) are still legal, but any dissemination is not. The seller would break the law if a sale took place, not the buyer. However, on 10 December 2002, one German court (Oberlandesgericht Hamm) decided that a single sale of a single copy does not qualify as dissemination.[45] Unlike indexing by the BPjM, which restricts the sale of all content-equal versions, the versions that are confiscated are enumerated in the court order. Being put on the index by the BPJM or, since April 1, 2003, being refused a rating by the USK, does not equal a ban. Rather, it imposes strict trade restrictions on the title. While only very few games have been confiscated, the list of indexed games is very long.[46]

In December 2006, just one month after the Emsdetten school shooting, Bavaria and Lower Saxony proposed legislation, to be presented to the national parliament, that would make even playing any game that featured “cruel violence on humans or human-looking characters” punishable by fines and up to a year in prison. [47][48][49]

StGB § 86a outlaws the use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations, StGB § 130 Volksverhetzung (agitation of the people), and StGB § 131 instructions for committing crimes. In the official lists, these three sections are always bundled, so any game that contains swastika flags and/or any depiction of Adolf Hitler is listed alongside racist propaganda pieces.

StGB § 131 outlaws representation of excessive violence in media "which describe cruel or otherwise inhuman acts of violence against human or humanoid beings in a manner which expresses a glorification or rendering harmless of such acts of violence or which represents the cruel or inhuman aspects of the event in a manner which injures human dignity".[50]

StGB § 130 and § 131 make it a criminal offence to do the following with corresponding scriptures:

  1. distribute/sell them
  2. issue in public, demonstrate or otherwise make them available
  3. leave them to a person under the age of 18
  4. produce, buy, deliver, store, offer, announce, praise, import or export them within the meaning of points 1 to 3.

This means that import or purchase and possession for personal use of such games is still legal for persons over 18 years of age.

In the case of video games that contain pornography with children or minors, where a real or realistic event is depicted, the possession of the video game or working towards possessing it would be illegal under StGB § 184b or §184c. Otherwise, if the work depicts a fictitious event, the distribution of such material is illegal.

In August 2008, Sega confirmed that The House of the Dead: Overkill and MadWorld would not be released in Germany,[51] due to the likelihood that they would be refused to get a rating by the USK.[52] Sega also announced in November 2009 that they would not distribute Aliens vs. Predator for similar reasons.[53]

A "Beschlagnahmung" (ban) is enforced for a minimum of ten years, after which a request for review may be submitted.[54]


Name Reason
10,000 Bullets Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
25 to Life Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
300: March to Glory Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
50 Cent: Blood on the Sand Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
50 Cent: Bulletproof Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Afro Samurai Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Aliens vs. Predator Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Area 51 Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.
Army of Two Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Army of Two: The 40th Day Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Beat Down: Fists of Vengeance Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
BioShock Never officially banned, but a censored version was submitted to the USK over fears that the uncensored version would be indexed in Germany. The uncensored version was successfully passed with an 18+ rating in 2016.[citation needed]
Bloodrayne Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released. The banned, uncensored version, with Nazi references removed, was available on Steam and GOG without classification until it was taken down on May 31, 2016.
Bloodrayne II Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released. The banned, uncensored version was available on Steam and GOG without classification until it was taken down 31 May 2016.
Bulletstorm Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released. The ban was lifted in 2017.[citation needed]
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Banned because of high-impact violence related to incentives and rewards via an unlockable Arcade mode. A censored version was released.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Banned because of high-impact gory violence and Nazi references. A censored version was released.[55]
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Banned because of high-impact violence related to incentives and rewards via an unlockable Arcade mode. A censored version was released.
Call of Duty: World at War Banned because of high-impact gory violence and possibly for showing Germany under Nazi rule, a highly taboo and offensive topic to most Germans since the culmination of World War II. A censored version was released.
Carmageddon Was originally released in both cut and uncut versions attaining 18+ and 16+ ratings respectively, before the uncut 18+ version was banned following the 2003 reforms. The banned uncensored version was available on Steam and GOG without classification, until it was taken down 31 May 2016.
Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now Was originally released in both cut and uncut versions attaining 18+ and 16+ ratings respectively, before the uncut 18+ version was banned following the 2003 reforms. The banned uncensored version was available on Steam and GOG without classification, until it was taken down 31 May 2016.
Carmageddon: Max Damage Banned because of high-impact violence related to incentives and rewards.
Chili Con Carnage Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Clive Barker's Jericho Never officially banned, but initially the game was not submitted to the USK over fears that it would be refused classification and indexed. The game was successfully passed uncut with an 18+ rating in 2008.[citation needed]
Cold Fear Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Cold Winter Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.
Condemned: Criminal Origins Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Conflict: Denied Ops Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.
Crackdown Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. The ban was lifted in 2018.
Crackdown 2 Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. The ban was lifted in 2018.
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors Banned because of sexual activity involving a person who is, or appears to be, under 18 years of age.
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic Never officially banned, but a censored version was submitted to the USK over fears that the uncensored version would be indexed in Germany. The uncensored version was successfully passed with an 18+ rating in 2008.[citation needed]
Dark Sector Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Dead Island Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. The ban was lifted in 2019.[56]
Dead Island: Riptide Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. The ban was lifted in 2019.
Dead Rising Banned because of high-impact gory violence. Was later banned in 2018 because of violence in a public mall setting.
Dead Rising 2 Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Dead Rising 3 Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Dead Space Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[57]
Dead to Rights Banned because of high-impact gory violence.
Dead to Rights II Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Dead to Rights: Retribution Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. In 2019, its RC rating was appealed and overturned.
Dying Light Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
F.E.A.R. Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
F.E.A.R. 3 Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Fallout 3 Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released. The ban was lifted in 2016.[citation needed]
Fallout: New Vegas Never officially banned, but a censored version was submitted to the USK over fears that the uncensored version would be indexed in Germany. The uncensored version was successfully passed with an 18+ rating in 2011.[citation needed]
Far Cry Originally given an 18+ rating. Banned for high-impact violence using realistic ragdoll effects. Game was re-censored to remove the ragdoll effects and re-attain the 18+ rating.[citation needed]
Gal Gun 2 Originally banned because of sexual activity involving people who are, or appear to be, minors. The ban was lifted in 2019.[citation needed]
Gangs of London Not officially banned, but a censored version was submitted to the USK over fears that the game would be refused classification.[citation needed]
Gears of War Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. The ban was lifted in 2016.[citation needed]
Gears of War 2 Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. The ban was lifted in 2016.[citation needed]
The Godfather: Black Edition Banned because of game controls imitating brutality and extortion.[citation needed]
The Godfather 2 Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Goldeneye 007 Banned for violence. Ban lifted in 2021, a year ahead of its automatic 25-year review.[58]
Golden Axe: Beast Rider Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released. The ban was lifted in 2012.[citation needed]
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released. The ban was lifted in 2012.[citation needed]
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Originally given a 16+ rating. However, the game was later banned because of high-impact gory violence. The game was re-censored, re-attaining the 16+ rating. The ban was lifted in 2012.[citation needed]
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released. The ban was lifted in 2012.[citation needed]
Gun Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Hellforces Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Harvester Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Hatred Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Hitman: Codename 47 Banned for high-impact violence using realistic ragdoll effects. The ban was lifted in 2012.[citation needed]
Inversion Not officially banned, but the game was not submitted to the USK over fears that it would be refused classification.[citation needed]
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddler's Green Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Left 4 Dead Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Left 4 Dead 2 Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released. Uncut DLC was released in January 2021.[59]
Little Britain: The Video Game Originally given an 18+ before being banned because of a mini-game involving homophobia related to incentives and rewards.[citation needed]
Lucius Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
MadWorld Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Manhunt Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Manhunt 2 Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 (Wii) Banned because of game controls imitating the use of a real-life firearm within a realistic theatre of war.[citation needed]
Mortal Kombat Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. Ban was lifted in March 2020.[citation needed]
Mortal Kombat (2011 video game) Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Mortal Kombat II Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. Ban was lifted in March 2020.[citation needed]
Mortal Kombat 3 Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. Ban was lifted in February 2020.[citation needed]
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Narc (2005 video game) Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
NecroVisioN Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Nitro Family Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Omega Labyrinth Z Banned because of interactive sexual activity involving a person who is, or appears to be, a minor.[citation needed]
Patriots: A Nation Under Fire Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Postal Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Postal 2 Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Postal III Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Predator: Concrete Jungle Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Prototype Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Prototype 2 Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Quake 4 Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Red Ninja: End of Honor Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Reservoir Dogs Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Resident Evil 4 Banned because of high-impact violence related to incentives and rewards via two unlockable bonus games. A censored version was released. The ban was lifted in 2017.[citation needed]
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Originally given a 16+ rating with Nazi references censored. Later banned for high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Rogue Warrior Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Rise of Nightmares Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Saints Row Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Saints Row 2 Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Saints Row: The Third Originally banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released. The ban was lifted in 2019.[citation needed]
Scarface: The World Is Yours Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Shellshock: Nam '67 Was originally released unrated in some retail stores in Germany, before being banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Shellshock 2: Blood Trails Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Silent Hill: Homecoming Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Sleeping Dogs Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Soldier of Fortune: Payback Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Splatterhouse Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
State of Emergency Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
State of Emergency 2 Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Syndicate Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
The Club Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
The Darkness Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
The Darkness II Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
The House of the Dead III Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
The House of the Dead: Overkill Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
The Punisher Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
The Sopranos: Road to Respect Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
The Suffering Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
The Suffering: Ties That Bind Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
The Warriors Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 Banned because of high-impact violence related to incentives and rewards. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Total Overdose Was originally released unrated in some retail stores in Germany, before being banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]
True Crime: New York City Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Unreal Tournament III Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni Banned because of sexual activity involving people who are, or appear to be, children under 18 years.[citation needed]
Vivisector: Beast Within Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Wet Banned because of high-impact gory violence. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Wolfenstein Banned because of high-impact gory violence and Nazi references. A censored version was released.[citation needed]
Wolfenstein 3D Originally banned because of Nazi references. The ban has been overturned in 2019 on grounds of social adequacy.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine {Uncaged Edition) Banned because of high-impact gory violence.[citation needed]

Greece[edit]

No known games have been banned in Greece. Law 3037/2002, which was meant to fight illegal gambling, was deemed controversial due to it being vague in regards to which electronic games were being banned in public places. It mentioned that mechanically executed games for entertainment purposes without betting were allowed.[60][61][62][63]

Guatemala[edit]

Name Reason
Roblox Banned because it can violate the safety of children and adolescents.[64]

India[edit]

Name Reason
Fallout 3 Not officially banned, but Microsoft India refused to release it for Xbox 360 due to cultural sensitivities as the game depicts two headed cows named after a community.[65][66]For the same reason, the game is not available on Steam.
Fallout: New Vegas Not officially banned, but is not available on Steam for the same reason as Fallout 3.
PUBG Mobile[a] Banned because of extreme violence. The move came after a direction from Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir state department seeking a ban on the game, as it was claimed to affect the minds of youths, and banned in Jammu and Kashmir.[67] The game was banned in Gujarat, in the cities of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Bhavnagar and Rajkot and Jammu and Kashmir, but only for the mobile version. Players have also been prosecuted for playing the game.[68] Later completely banned due to mishandling of data on 2nd September 2020.[69][70]
Rules of Survival, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Mobile Legends Adventure and Clash of Kings Part of the Indian Government's ban on 59 Chinese-owned apps.[71]

Indonesia[edit]

Video game Reason
Far Cry 3 Banned because it was deemed harmful to the country's public image as it portrays the inhabitants of the fictional island it is set in as insane. The ban has since been lifted for digital versions of the game.[citation needed]
Mortal Kombat 11 Banned because of excessive violence and gore.[72]

Iran[edit]

Iran typically bans any game that contains excessive violence, depicts cruelty, features strong sexual content, nudity, or portrays the Middle East negatively.

Video game Reason
1979 Revolution: Black Friday The game focuses on the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and was banned for presenting "false and distorted information" regarding the revolution, and for being anti-Iranian.[73]
ARMA 3 Banned due to the game's portrayal of fictional CSAT faction, which includes Iranian soldiers, being an enemy of NATO[74]
Battlefield 3 Banned because it presented a fictional U.S. invasion on Tehran. Even before the ban, many retail stores were removing copies of the game from their shelves.[75]
Clash of Clans Banned to protect the country's youth from its influence, which the government claims it's commercial for tribal warfare. The ban was urged after a report from psychologists claimed the game encourages violence, tribal war and is extensively addictive.[76]
Clash Royale Banned to stop violence[77]
Call of Duty: Mobile Services cancelled by developer Activision for unspecified reasons, but thought to involve United States sanctions against Iran.[78]
Pokémon Go Banned due to security reasons.[79]
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni Banned for excessively glorifying homosexual and immoral values. The ban does not extend to digital distribution, however.[80]

Iraq[edit]

Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds are banned in Iraq because of negative effects caused by some electronic games on the health, culture, and security of Iraqi society.[81]

Republic of Ireland[edit]

The IFCO rarely rates video games, and leaves decisions to PEGI and the BBFC. Manhunt 2 was banned for "gross, unrelenting, and gratuitous violence", but the ban was later lifted and the game was given a PEGI 18 rating.[82]

Italy[edit]

In 2006, following the release of the trailer to the game Rule of Rose, the magazine Panorama ran an article claiming live burials of children at the protagonist's hand. Shortly after, then-mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, called for a ban of the game in Italy. The game's European publisher, 505 Games, dismissed these claims,[83] and the game was not banned following Veltroni's comments.

In 2007, following the decision of the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland, the Minister of Communications Paolo Gentiloni publicly expressed the desire to ban the distribution of Manhunt 2 in Italy, due to the gratuitous violence and excessive cruelty in the video game, but the ban was never put into practice.[84]

In 2008, Counter Strike Source was banned in Genoa, after reports of teenagers in high schools cutting classes to play the game on Internet cafes. The ban was met with massive support by parents yet was ridiculed by local teens for being a tool to keep the local city hall from puting time and effort on other social problems.

Japan[edit]

Video games are rarely banned in Japan, and it holds the place as one of the top video game producers in the world.[85] However, for some games, usually western, they may edit or censor their games if they appear offensive to Japan; an example being the Japanese release of Fallout 3. "The Power of the Atom" quest was edited to relieve concerns about atomic detonation in inhabited areas and the Fat Man weapon was renamed to the Nuka Launcher due to its relation to the real historic event.[86] Another example is the Japanese version of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back in which a death animation that has Crash squashed into a head and feet was altered due to its resemblance to the Kobe child murders. Japan's Spike removed all references to Kim Jong-il and North Korea in Homefront, as well.[87] Resident Evil 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Bulletstorm, Gears of War 3, Grand Theft Auto V, Dead Island, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and numerous other violent titles[citation needed], distributed physically and digitally, were heavily edited for excessive violence, but only on the localization level; the games can still be played if the locale is switched from Japanese to English. The Mortal Kombat series was subsequently banned in Japan, including its newest release, due to heavy amounts of violence[citation needed]. On 13 March 2019, the sales of Judgment had stopped producing future sales in Japan, following Pierre Taki's arrest on suspicion of cocaine use. As a result, Sega had replaced both the voice actor and the character model having been subsequently removed.[citation needed]

Malaysia[edit]

Malaysia tends to ban offensive content such as extreme impact violence, depictions of cruelty, any content considered anti-Muslim, sexual content and nudity. In August 2008, after the Grand Theft Auto series ban in Thailand (see below), head of a Malaysian consumer rights organization, Muhammad Idris, called for the ban of the entire Grand Theft Auto series and other similarly violent video games such as the Manhunt series and Mortal Kombat.[88][89] In February 2010, one week after Dante's Inferno was released, the game was banned by Jabatan Agama Islam (JAIS) in Malaysia for offensive depictions of cruelty, hellish visions, sexuality and content that was against Sharia.[citation needed]

In 2016, Pokémon Go was banned by the Federal Territory for Muslims for promoting the search for power, which leads to gambling and safety issues related to playing the game[citation needed] The ban was later lifted following massive backlash on social media and an update that slightly modified security measures on the app.[citation needed]

In September 2017, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) blocked access to the entire Steam store following the discovery of a controversial fighting game involving religious deities, Fight of Gods.[90] The ban was lifted one day later after Valve agreed to block the game in Malaysia.[91]

Mexico[edit]

Though no video games have ever been banned in the country, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 was banned in the state of Chihuahua due to Mexican rebels being depicted as antagonists and stereotyping the cities of Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juárez.[92] However, the game can still be found in shelves in other federal entities.

Nepal[edit]

Name Reason
PUBG Used to be banned because of delinquency issues involving youths.[93] Currently, the ban has been lifted.[94]

North Korea[edit]

North Korea bans all foreign video games as well as almost all foreign products regardless of content.

New Zealand[edit]

In New Zealand, games are classified by the country's Office of Film and Literature Classification. If they are dubbed "objectionable" in all cases, they are banned. In this case, the game in question is not only illegal to sell, but also to own, possess, or import. Games are typically banned and classified as "objectionable content" when they contain extreme violence, offensive depictions of cruelty, animal cruelty, sexual content involving minors, or graphic depictions of sexual content, including sexual fetishes that are "revolting or abhorrent" (such as depictions of urination, bestiality, necrophilia, urophilia, coprophilia, and/or incest).

Name Reason
Criminal Girls: Invite Only Banned because of sexual content that focuses on young persons and elements of sexual violence.[95]
Gal Gun: Double Peace Banned because "it tends to promote and support both the exploitation of children and young people, and the use of coercion to compel a person to submit to sexual conduct".[96]
Manhunt Banned because of extreme violence and offensive depictions of cruelty.[97]
Manhunt 2 Banned because of extreme violence and offensive depictions of cruelty.[98]
Postal 2 Banned because of "Gross, abhorrent content: Urination, High Impact Violence, Animal Cruelty, Homophobia, Racial, and Ethnic Stereotypes”.[99]
RapeLay Banned because it "tends to promote and support the use of violence to compel a person to submit to sexual conduct, and the exploitation of young persons for sexual purposes".[citation needed]
Reservoir Dogs Banned because it "tends to promote and support the infliction of extreme violence and extreme cruelty for the purpose of entertainment".[100]
Three Sisters' Story Banned because it "tends to promote and support the use of violence to compel a person to submit to sexual conduct, and the exploitation of young persons for sexual purposes".[citation needed]
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni Banned because it "tends to promote and support incest between the two lead focal sisters, and the exploitation of young persons for sexual purposes".[citation needed]

Pakistan[edit]

Name Reason
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Banned for showing the country in a negative light. The ban does not extend to digital versions of the game.[101]
Postal 2 Banned because of violence against Muslims who are portrayed as terrorists.[citation needed] The ban does not extend to digital versions of the game.[102]
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni Banned because of sexual content and glorifying homosexuality.[citation needed] However, the ban does not extend to digital versions of the game.[103]
Negligee: Love Stories Banned for sexual content and glorifying homosexuality.[citation needed] The ban does not extend to digital versions of the game.[104]

Philippines[edit]

In 1981, a presidential decree issued by Ferdinand Marcos outlawed the use and distribution[105] of all video game consoles, arcade games and pinball machines, deeming them as a "destructive social enemy"[106] and "to the detriment of the public interest".[107][108] Despite the law being technically in effect following the EDSA Revolution, it has since been disregarded and unenforced.[citation needed]

While no video games are banned nationwide so far since 1986, at least one title, Defense of the Ancients, has been banned at a barangay in Dasmariñas, Cavite following complaints of delinquency issues, and two murder incidents involving youths in the area resulting from brawls in relation to the game.[109] The ban, however, only covers internet shops and does not extend to computers in private homes.

Russia[edit]

In Russia, games are classified by the "On Countering Extremist Activity" federal law, and are included in the "Federal List of Extremist Materials"

Media in the United States and Europe have incorrectly reported that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which features a storyline in which Russian "ultranationalists" take control of the country and invade the United States, was banned in Russia. Activision called these reports 'erroneous'.[110] Instead, a censored version of the game was published, omitting the controversial "No Russian" level. This also presumably prevented the game from being released on consoles in Russian, with only a PC version officially available.

In 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment Russia refused to sell Call of Duty: Modern Warfare digitally.[citation needed]

Name Reason
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Not officially banned, but the "No Russian" mission was censored out by the publisher, and no Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 versions were released.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Not officially banned, but Sony Interactive Entertainment refused to sell the game digitally on PlayStation 4.[111] The game also never released in Russia on discs.[citation needed]
For Freedom Ichkeriya: BAMUT Banned because of "justifies the implementation of extremist activities: incitement to ethnic and religious hatred, intended to form a hostile attitude towards soldiers of the Russian army as "occupants", "aggressors", and towards Russians by nationality as invaders. has signs of inciting ethnic hatred: Chechens are contrasted with Russians"[112][113]
Tell Me Why Not officially banned, but Xbox Game Studios decided[114] to not release it in the region (plus in some other regions, including Turkey, Singapore and China). Possible reason — the game was featuring a transgender character as one of its main characters.

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Most banned games can be found in many stores due to a lack of government enforcement of bans (often at a substantial price). However, some major stores will not stock banned titles.[115]

Name Reason
God of War franchise Banned for a few weeks due to the presence of interactive sex scenes, partial nudity, and sexual themes, as well as the word "God" in the title. In 2018, the newest game in the series was approved for release.[citation needed]
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Banned for a few weeks because of role-playing the Middle East as terrorists.[citation needed]
Assassin's Creed Banned for two weeks because of a perceived negative portrayal of Arabs. Later completely banned due to its use in the Blue Whale Challenge.[citation needed]
Grand Theft Auto series Banned for extreme impact violence and nudity.[citation needed]
Heavy Rain Banned because of high impact violence, nudity, and a sex scene.[citation needed]
L.A. Noire Originally banned because of extreme impact violence and nudity. The ban was lifted in 2017.[citation needed]
The Last of Us Part II Banned due to homosexual-related content.[116]
Postal 2 Banned because of extreme impact violence, nudity and the portrayal of Muslims as terrorists.
Red Dead Redemption Banned due to nudity, prostitution, violence, and cruelty.[citation needed]
Red Dead Redemption 2 Initially banned due to nudity, prostitution, violence, and cruelty. A modified version of the game was launched on May 7, 2020.[117]
Manhunt series Banned because of high impact scary violence and cruelty.[citation needed]
Manhunt 2 Banned for "gross, unrelenting, and gratuitous violence".[citation needed]
South Park: The Stick of Truth/The Fractured but Whole Banned due to extremely offensive content.[citation needed]
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni Banned due to sexual content and excessive themes of glorifying homosexuality.[citation needed]
Wolfenstein series Banned because of the presence of interactive sex scenes.[citation needed]
Metro series Banned due to its use in the Blue Whale Challenge.[citation needed]
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Banned because of the presence of sex scenes.[citation needed]
Watch Dogs 2 Banned due to frequent use of sexual expletives, sexual activity with visible genitals, and the motiveless killing of innocent human characters.[citation needed]

Singapore[edit]

Singapore has banned games in the past and still occasionally does (including a ban on arcades nationwide from 1983 to the 1990s). With the implementation of the Video Game Classification in 2008 by the Media Development Authority, most games are widely available for purchase to their respective age group, such as those containing full frontal nudity or strong graphic violence under an "M18" rating. Games that were previously banned such as Mass Effect were re-rated either "Age Advisory" or "M18" after the implementation of the classification system.

Name Reason
Half-Life Banned because of violence.[118] The ban was met with uproar as the local gaming community and retailers scrambled to start petitions to save the game. The government decided to lift the ban after a week, as the game had been released for more than a year and the ban would impact the local LAN gaming and retail market.[119]
Mass Effect Banned because of a homosexual encounter between a feminine alien and female human.[120] The ban was later lifted and the title re-rated M18.[121]
The Darkness Banned because of excessive violence.[122] The ban was later lifted and the title re-rated M18.[citation needed]

South Korea[edit]

Since 2006, South Korea has only banned video games on rare occasions. Even before this, games were very rarely banned unless that game mentioned elements of the Korean War in order to avoid tensions between the countries North Korea and South Korea. However, Manhunt, Manhunt 2, and Mortal Kombat are still banned because of violence and cruelty. Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction were previously banned, but the bans were later lifted.[123]

The Game Rating Board requires that all video games be rated by the organization. Unrated titles are absolutely banned from being sold in the country, and websites selling them can be blocked.

Name Reason
Mortal Kombat (2011) Banned because of excessive violence and cruelty.[124]
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Banned for portraying military and political actions against North Korea, ban was lifted in 2007.[125]
Homefront Banned because of its negative portrayal of a unified Korea under Northern rule.[124]
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 Banned for portraying military and political actions against North Korea, ban was lifted in 2007.[125]
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction Banned for portraying military and political actions against North Korea, ban was lifted in 2007.[125]
Danganronpa V3 The September 2017 release was cancelled because of a March 2017 case in South Korea where a 17-year-old girl killed and dismembered an 8-year-old child.[126] The game was banned to prevent controversies.[126]

Serbia[edit]

Minecraft Banned because of a report by a psychologist in 2016 told that the game was overly addictive.[citation needed] In fact, 2 years before the ban, in 2014, a 15-year-old killed a 9-year-old over him apparently losing a 1v1.[citation needed] This caused the game to be banned. The ban, however, was lifted as they had servers made in this country.[citation needed]
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Banned for reportedly causing mental health problems to the players. Two 16-year-olds commited suicide after playing the game for 14 hours straight. The ban still lasts to this day.[citation needed]

Turkey[edit]

In March 10 2015, Turkish ministry has recommended a ban on Minecraft, a video game in which players construct and protect structures, claiming it encourages violence in children[citation needed]

Thailand[edit]

Thailand will typically ban any games with excessive violence, and sexual content, such as many eroge from Japan, for the same reasons as its ban on any pornographic films.[citation needed]

Additionally, since August 2008, all video game titles of the Grand Theft Auto series have been completely banned in Thailand,[127] because of a case where an 18-year-old Thai player supposedly influenced by Grand Theft Auto killed a taxi driver from Bangkok.[128] The ban, however, does not extend to the digital PC versions of Grand Theft Auto V.[129]

Tropico 5 is yet another banned title. The ruling military junta claims that it could "affect peace and order" within the country.[130]

United Arab Emirates[edit]

In the United Arab Emirates, a branch of the government called the National Media Council (NMC) works to control the media and entertainment industry in the country, and they have the authority to issue bans on any specific media products, including video games, to comply with the country's legal and cultural values. Usually, the NMC do not explicitly state their actual consensus for any kind of issued ban on a product, so official reasons behind their bans remain unclear. However, bans issued by the NMC apply only to the sale of those products through local outlets; they do not make private ownership illegal. There are certain exceptions, notably for Spec Ops: The Line (see below). Some banned games may be available and sold on the nation's grey market.[citation needed]

In 2018, the NMC introduced a localised rating system for various media, including video games.[131]

The following titles are banned from mainstream physical retail. However, unlike Saudi Arabia, most of these games can still be seen on digital storefronts such as the PlayStation Store.

Name Reason
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Banned likely due to suggestive and revealing outfits on some characters.[132] However, the ban did not extend to digital versions of the game.[citation needed]
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 This game was banned after players in the GCC noticed that the picture frames in some maps had quotations from the Qur'an, which were very offensive to Muslims.[citation needed] The ban was lifted after the developers removed the text on the frames.[citation needed]
Darksiders Banned likely due to contradicting with customs and traditions.[133] However, the ban did not extend to the digital version of the game.[citation needed]Its sequel, Darksiders II, which features similar themes, was released without issues, and even had a localised print release for the PlayStation 3 version.[citation needed]
Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide Both banned likely due to "extreme depictions of violence and scantily-clad game characters".[134] However, the ban did not extend to digital versions of the games.[citation needed]
Dead Rising 2 Banned likely due to violence, gambling, and nudity.[135] The ban has since been lifted for newer prints of the game.[citation needed]
Dragon Age: Origins Banned likely due to sexual themes, including possible homosexual relationships.[136] The ban has since been lifted for the digital versions of the game.[citation needed]
Fallout: New Vegas Banned likely due to gambling and sexual themes.[137] However, the ban did not extend to the digital version of the game.
Gal Gun: Double Peace, Gal Gun 2 Both banned likely due to sexual themes. However, the ban did not extend to the digital versions of the games.[138][139]
The Godfather II Banned likely due to nudity.[140]
God of War series The first title in the series was banned after complaints were filed regarding religious and sexual content in the game, and subsequently, the next seven games in the series were banned for similar reasons[citation needed] The 2018 title God of War was the first entry to be legally approved for release in the U.A.E.[141]
Grand Theft Auto series Banned likely due to violence, cruelty and sexual content.[citation needed] For unknown reasons, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been available via Steam ever since the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V was launched, which itself is openly available on Steam from the debut.[citation needed] Shortly after Steam introduced the dirham as the official currency for U.A.E. user accounts on 10 November 2015,[142] the majority of Rockstar's games became available for purchase for those user accounts, including most Grand Theft Auto titles (For unknown reasons, almost all of Rockstar's games were regionally locked out on Steam, whether banned or not.).[citation needed]
Heavy Rain Banned likely due to graphic violence, sexual content, nudity[143] and a sultry seduction scene.[144]
Injustice: Gods Among Us Despite being initially marketed for Middle Eastern distribution under the title of Injustice: The Mighty Among Us, the game failed to surpass the NMC's censors for a period of time,[145] and was banned likely due to the case package and on-disc software title itself being identical to its European release, with the term "God" retained (the official reason was not given).[citation needed] The game had been demonstrated at various events in the U.A.E. without incident for many months before the official release date.[citation needed] However, the ban on the title has since been lifted.[145] The expanded Ultimate Edition was released on schedule and distributed regularly.[citation needed]
The Last of Us Part II Banned due to homosexual-related content.[116]
Mafia II Banned likely due to excessive violence and nudity.[146] The ban has since been lifted for digital versions of the game.[citation needed]
Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 Both banned likely due to possible homosexual relationships.[136] However, the ban did not extend to the digital versions of the games.[citation needed]
Max Payne 3 Banned likely due to excessive violence and sexual themes.[147] The ban was issued roughly three weeks after the official release. The ban has since been lifted for digital versions of the game.[148]
Omega Labyrinth Z Banned likely due to excessive sexual themes. However, the ban did not extend to the digital version of the game.[citation needed]
Postal 2 Banned likely due to violence against Muslims, as well as excessive violence, sexual themes and other highly questionable content.[citation needed] However, the ban did not extend to the digital version of the game.[citation needed]
Red Dead Redemption Was initially banned,[149] likely due to nudity. The ban was lifted two months after the official release date.[150][151]
Roblox Was banned in 2018 likely due to content deemed harmful for children.[152] The ban was later lifted.[153]
Saints Row: The Third, Saints Row IV Both banned because of sexual themes, excessive violence, and use of drugs and alcohol.[154] However, the ban did not extend to the digital versions of the games.[citation needed]
Spec Ops: The Line Banned likely due to the game's fictional depiction of the UAE's real-life city of Dubai in a state of ravage and destruction. Unlike other banned video games, the NMC had extended their focus for this title going far as to issue the TRA to block the game's official website[155] and subsequently prevent the title from being distributed throughout the rest of the GCC, as well as Jordan, and Lebanon.[156] Even local retailers, such as Geekay Games, are unable to sell the game via their online shops to UAE residents.[157] The game remains unavailable via digital platforms such as Steam and PSN.[citation needed] However, the game is still available on PSN in Qatar and Kuwait.[citation needed]
Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni Banned likely due to homosexual relationships between characters and high-impact sexual themes. However, the ban did not extend to the digital version of the game.[158]
Watch Dogs, Watch Dogs 2 Unknown reason for ban, possibly due to hacking and nudity.[citation needed] Watch Dogs' ban did not extend to the DLC, [159]and is only available on non-Steam distributors, futhermore, this version of the ban extends throughout the GCC[160] while the ban for Watch Dogs 2 has been lifted.[citation needed]


United Kingdom[edit]

Games in the UK usually only receive a ban when they contain real sex scenes and/or gratuitous violence. BBFC age ratings are compulsory and backed by legislation, taking effect 30 July 2012.[161] It is illegal to sell, buy or rent, but not import, a game that has not been classified by an approved age rating organisation in the UK. This only applies to games stored on physical media, not downloadable media.[162]

Name Reason
Carmageddon Was threatened with being refused certification in its uncut form. Was subsequently altered to replace pedestrians with zombies.[163] The restriction was later lifted, and a patch was released to restore the original human content.[citation needed]
Manhunt 2 The uncut version was the only game to be refused classification by the BBFC (therefore banned), due to excessive graphic violence and cruelty.[164] After this, a modified version was made and submitted for certification – this was initially refused classification as well, but was allowed to be sold after an appeal (despite a successful challenge to this ruling).
Omega Labyrinth Z Banned because of interactive sexual activity involving a person who is, or appears to be, a minor.[citation needed]
The Punisher The version of the game that had been edited for the American market was further censored for the British release.[citation needed] The interrogation scenes were deemed graphically controversial and edits were made at the request of the BBFC to further mask these scenes.[165] The edited version received an 18 certificate.
Sex Vixens from Space Not submitted to the BBFC, but in 1989 official shipments of copies were seized by British Customs and destroyed in order to "protect the youth of today".[166][167][168]

United States[edit]

In the United States, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)—a self-regulatory organization, issues ratings for video games and enforces voluntary regulations on how they are marketed and sold.[169] The Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association—which challenged a California law restricting the sale of "violent video games" (defined using a variation of the Miller test separate from ratings assigned by bodies such as the ESRB) to minors, insisting that video games were considered a protected form of expression under the First Amendment, meaning that federal or state law cannot be used to regulate their distribution based on content.[170][171]

However, games can still be recalled as the result of court orders; a nude model featured in The Guy Game sued its developer and publisher over use of her likeness, as she was underage at the time of filming and thus could not personally consent to her depiction. All remaining copies of the game that contained her likeness were recalled from stores.[172][173] In 2012, a court found that Silicon Knights had plagiarized Epic Games' proprietary Unreal engine, and had used it in Too Human and X-Men: Destiny, along with other unreleased projects. The studio was ordered to recall and destroy all remaining copies, materials, and source code relating to the games.[174][175]

The ESRB's highest rating, "Adults Only", has been considered a total ban on the mainstream sale of certain games, as most retailers refuse to stock games carrying the rating, and they cannot be published on major video game consoles due to company policies.[176][177][178][179] The release of Thrill Kill, an AO-rated fighting game with extreme violence and strong sexual themes, was outright cancelled by Electronic Arts (who had acquired its developer) due to objections over its content.[180] Following the discovery of an incomplete sex minigame that was not included in the final game but was still present in the game's code and could be accessed using a modification or cheating device, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was re-rated Adults Only and recalled by Rockstar Games, in favor of a new revision of the game that omitted the offending content entirely and carried the original Mature rating.[181][182][183]

Ukraine[edit]

Name Reason
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Banned due to the storyline that follows Russian Ultranationalists and Communists banding together to recreate the Soviet Union and taking over Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.[citation needed]
Mortal Kombat 11 Banned due to laws criminalizing Nazi and Communist symbols.[184]

Uzbekistan[edit]

Authorities in Uzbekistan banned a number of games over concerns that they could be "used to propagate violence, pornography, threaten security and social and political stability", most notably first-person shooters such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Doom, horror games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat and even relatively non-violent simulations such as The Sims. The ban was condemned and ridiculed for taking precedence over more important societal issues and a waste of time and effort.[185]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ excluding Indian version being released

References[edit]

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