Over the weekend, a player in Ubisoft's Watch Dogs 2 discovered that a female NPC was rendered with an explicitly detailed vagina. To make matters worse, the character in question is dead (as you can see here: warning NSFW). While the game is rated M for Mature, mixing themes of sex with violence against women could certainly raise eyebrows. Furthermore, the user who had discovered the exposed genitalia shared it via PlayStation 4's built-in sharing function, which then led to the user's account initially being banned by Sony for a week for violating PlayStation's code of conduct - more recently, that ban was increased to a month. For its part, Ubisoft is now trying to resolve the situation by removing the genitalia from the character model.
"We're aware that one of the NPC models in Watch Dogs 2 is rendered in a way that is particularly explicit," Ubisoft said in a statement to Polygon. "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 is certainly not the first time that male or female genitalia have been included in video game characters, and in fact, it's not even the first Ubisoft title to have exposed genitalia as Far Cry: Primal did show private parts as well. It would seem that communication between third parties and platform holders on sensitive subject matter needs to be improved to prevent situations like this from happening in the future.
There's also some debate around whether a user should be banned for simply sharing what Ubisoft put in its game. "I'm glad that news outlets are picking this up and questioning Sony's policies," said the banned player on Twitter. "I'm not looking for justice or a lifting of the ban really. I'd just like to spark a convo about how platform holders should handle community content as games push boundaries of what's acceptable. They're happy to sell these products and use sharing for free promotion."
Update: Sony has apparently listened and removed the ban on the player who tweeted the explicit screenshot. "Sony have undone the suspension. We won! I think? They never admitted fault of course. I want to thank everyone for their support today," the user tweeted.