Nintendo confirmed at a recent shareholders meeting that there are no plans for the company to censor games released on their platform.
At the 79th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa was asked about Nintendo’s stance on “cases of restrictions applied independently” of rating boards, such as the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Pan European Game Information (PEGI), or the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO). In response, Furukawa confirmed that Nintendo will not “arbitrarily” decide which content to censor, while also noting that such censorship is hazardous to creativity in the industry:
Nintendo has reaffirmed that they believe existing 3rd party rating systems and parental controls are the best approach to content regulation. This is from Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa at this year’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders pic.twitter.com/T5WM21BT91
— Censored Gaming (@CensoredGaming_) June 28, 2019
Q: About content regulation. On other platforms, there are cases of restrictions applied independently of CERO and other 3rd-party organizations. What does Nintendo do?
A: Nintendo, as do 3rd-parties and their software, applies for an objective rating from 3rd-party organizations prior to release. If platform-holding companies choose arbitrarily, the diversity and fairness in game software would be significantly inhibited. We provide parental controls that can be used to apply limits.
Furukawa’s response is a breath of fresh air for many, as recent months have seen Sony, a direct competitor of Nintendo, take a harsh, almost puritanical stance towards the content of the games released on their platform. Games such as Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal, Nekopara Vol. 1, and Date a Live: Rio Reincarnation have all had their sexual content heavily censored, and in the case of Senran Kagura, had an entire game mode removed.
The upcoming Omega Labyrinth Life ( the sequel to Omega Labyrinth Z, a game which was blocked from release by Sony due to it’s content) is set to release two versions of the game in Japan on August 1st , a fully uncensored release for the Nintendo Switch and a drastically toned down version of the same game titled Labyrinth Life will release for the PS4, much to the dismay of players expecting the same game across multiple platforms.