A new report indicates the upcoming Sword Art Online video game, Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris, will likely have its sexual content reduced.
Bandai Namco recently announced Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris as a follow-up to Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet.
The report from VGChartz is based off a Japanese interview with producer Yosuke Futami and game director Satoru Hirayae with Dengeki PlayStation Magazine.
VGChartz summarized their discussion about the reduction of sexual content in the game.
“Sexual content will likely be reduced. Asked by Dengeki about co-spleeping events – a tradition in the series – the producer said it might be ‘difficult in the current times’ and that players ‘shouldn’t expect too much about it.'”
The report also revealed that the character called the Administrator will be censored in the upcoming game. The character is normally portrayed without any clothes in the anime adaptation. However, they use camera angles and her hair to keep certain areas from being revealed. The trailer for Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris already shows her with clothes on.
Here’s what the Administrator looks like in the anime.
And here’s the trailer for Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris where you can see the Administrator wearing a long draping dress.
The decision to put clothes on the Administrator was in order to avoid receiving a CERO D rating in Japan according to Futami. CERO D is recommended for players 17 years old and up. Futami also noted that BandaiNamco would not accept a Sword Art Online game with a CERO D rating. All other Sword Art Online games have received a CERO C rating or less.
This reduction in sexual content shouldn’t surprise anyone given Sony’s recent censorship policies surrounding PlayStation 4 games.
A Japanese spokesman for the company indicated that games are looked at on an individual basis and that Sony executives make the call on whether to censor a game. The spokesman specifically noted, “if the game is excessively sexual, then they will look toward their global standard that will have an executive review the content in the question. Which is generally reserved for strict sexual content.”
This clarification of Sony’s censorship policies came after Devil May Cry V and Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet saw their games censored. In fact, producer Kenichirō Takaki resigned from Marvelous Entertainment due to Sony’s censorship policies.
Not only are censorship policies being enforced by Sony, but game developers are already embracing the idea of removing sexiness from their games. Most notably, Mortal Kombat 11 abandoned sex appeal for the sake of “realness.”
In fact, Sword Art Online author Reki Kawahara also indicated he plans to adjust his upcoming Sword Art Online stories in order to have “political correctness in mind.” This came after he traveled overseas and received feedback from western audiences.
What do you think of the news of self-imposed censorship of Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris?