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Sony stops launch of explicit anime dungeon crawler

Omega Labyrinth Z won't launch on PS4 or Vita in the West

Sony has once again drawn the line on what it will allow on its consoles. The company has halted the release of explicit anime dungeon crawler Omega Labyrinth Z for PS4 and Vita in North America and Europe.

The block of the game was announced via developer PQube's Twitter account. In the studio's statement, it said that it had "worked with all relevant age rating bodies in their respective territories", but had to conform to the platform-holder's wishes in the end. The game is currently already out on both platforms in Japan, but was refused a rating in Australia back in February (prohibiting its launch in the country).

Sony has not released a statement or provided reasoning for the rejection. However, given the controversy the game has caused so far, one might be able to guess the reasons. As reported by Eurogamer, Omega Labyrinth Z was rated PEGI 18 in Europe for its sexual content, and we reported earlier this year a physical launch in the United Kingdom was rejected by the Video Standards Council. The council's concern was that the game included undressing and sexual touching and activity with young women implied to be of school-age.

"The game is explicit in its setting within a 'school' environment and the majority of the characters are young girls - one child is referred to as being a 'first year' student and is seen holding a teddy bear," read the VSC's official conclusion. "The game clearly promotes the sexualisation of children via the sexual interaction between the game player and the female characters. The style of the game is such that it will attract an audience below the age of 18."

Earlier this year, Sony also put a stop to the game Super Seducer, a game that purported to teach men how to seduce women, from releasing on PS4. The company did not provide a reason at this time either, though it was likely done in response to criticism of the game's treatment of women as objects and normalization of inappropriate behavior, such as stalking.

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Rebekah Valentine: Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.
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