Is Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 banned in the Middle East? | Controversy Explained

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the popular video game, is gearing up to be one of the biggest video game launches this year. However, concerns have arisen in the Middle East regarding the game’s release. Pre-orders have not been made available in certain countries, leading to speculation about potential delays, censorship, or a complete ban. In this article, we will delve into the controversy surrounding the release of Spider-Man 2 in the Middle East and explore the reasons behind these concerns.

Spider-Man 2 in the Middle East

Gamers in the Middle East, particularly in countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, have voiced their frustration as pre-orders for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 have not been opened in the region. This lack of availability has prompted concerns about potential delays, censorship, or even a ban on the game.

While pre-orders for Spider-Man 2 opened in most parts of the world in mid-June, the Middle East are still waiting for updates. The absence of a release date for the game in some Middle Eastern countries further adds to the uncertainty of its availability.

Why the Middle East might ban Spider-Man 2?

Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, have a history of implementing strict regulations on video games, often leading to censorship or outright bans.

For instance, Final Fantasy 16, a popular game released recently, remains banned in Saudi Arabia due to LGBTQ+ content. They believe the reason for the possible ban is a gay couple kissing in the game. Square Enix, the publisher, refused to censor the content to comply with Saudi Arabian regulations.

A Twitter account called MSM Access only fueled the speculation that the game is getting banned in the Middle East.

  • The account suggests that the release of Spider-Man 2 is being delayed in the region to accommodate laws regarding LGBTQ+ representation.
  • However, these claims are yet to be verified. It remains uncertain if the game has been blocked or if Sony and Insomniac Games are censoring it.

LGBTQ+ content in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

It is unclear at this point if Spider-Man 2 features any LGBTQ+ characters. However, even subtle references or symbols related to the LGBTQ+ community can attract the attention of Middle Eastern regulators.

  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse faced a ban in the United Arab Emirates due to brief moments where a trans pride flag was shown.
Screengrab courtesy of Marvel
  • The film was not censored to meet the regulations and was consequently banned in the region.
  • In the case of Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, the presence of a simple pride flag could potentially lead to a ban in the Middle East.
  • It is worth noting that the first Spider-Man game did feature pride flags.
Image courtesy of Insomniac Games

Insomniac Games, the developer of Spider-Man 2, has publicly expressed support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Social media posts from the company have highlighted the diversity of its developers.

It is unclear why there was no post regarding LGBT Pride Month this year. This absence of a public statement could offer insights into whether Insomniac Games will censor Spider-Man 2 to ensure its release in more markets.

Do you think Spider-Man 2 will be banned in the Middle East? Feel free to tell us your thoughts regarding this controversy in the comments below!

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