Nintendo President speaks out against video game censorship

Nintendo President Furukawa
Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa spoke out against video game censorship during a recent shareholders meeting.

It appears Nintendo will no longer censor their first or third-party games, according to a recent shareholder Q&A session.

Just days ago, Nintendo’s 79th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders featured a Q&A session where their stance on censorship was highlighted. One question seemed to allude to Sony’s recent controversial censorship policies and queried Nintendo’s position on the issue. The questioner asked if Nintendo would censor games beyond the regulations of bodies such as the CERO.

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa dismissed the concern by stating that Nintendo, and other third parties, apply for objective ratings from organizations like the CERO. Furukawa also pointed out that the Switch’s parental controls can already protect children from mature titles. However, that wasn’t the entirety of the President’s response.

In what has been interpreted as a thinly veiled critique of Sony, Furukawa stated that “platform-holding companies” would “inhibit” the industry if they “arbitrarily” chose what content should not be allowed in the market. He suggested that Nintendo’s goal is to protect expression in video games and censor as little as possible.


The current censorship fiasco

Sony has recently come under fire for aggressively censoring many Japanese third-party games to “protect children.” One example, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Scarlet, has removed several items deemed too “lewd,” but only on PS4. Another noteworthy case is the extensively censored PS4 release of Omega Labyrinth Life. That title was forced to change its logo in order to remove shapes that resemble breasts.

According to Famitsu, the creator of the Senran Kagura franchise, Kenichiro Takaki, left developer Marvelous because of Sony’s regulations. Takaki felt that Sony’s policies were heavily restricting his series and that it could no longer flourish as a result.

Nintendo seems to be moving further away from censorship altogether in the last few years since the release of their hit Nintendo Switch console. Shuntaro Furukawa’s response will ease the mind of consumers and shareholders worried about the industry-wide implications of Sony’s policies.

Are you in favor of Nintendo’s stance on censorship, or do you believe censoring video games is vital for the protection of children? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.