You can get suspended from PSN for a lot of different reasons, but using the PS4’s “Share” function to spread a simple in-game screenshot usually isn’t one of them. That’s what reportedly happened to one user, though, after he shared surprising photos of exposed female genitalia that he found in Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 2. Now, Ubisoft is promising to edit out at least some of the offending naughty bits in an upcoming patch.
The story began yesterday, when NeoGAF user Goron2000 wrote about accidentally blowing up a woman in Watch Dogs 2, only to find that, to his surprise, “Ubisoft had rendered a full vagina on one (or maybe more) of the females in the game.” When he took a picture of the in-game adult surprise and shared it with friends online (here’s the very NSFW shot in question), Goron2000 says he was soon confronted by an e-mail telling him he had been temporarily suspended from his PlayStation Network account for a breach of the service’s Code of Conduct. That suspension, which was initially set for one week, was later extended to one month, according to Goron2000.
This isn’t the only example of nudity to be found in the game. Other players have posted (obviously NSFW) videos showing fully nude men pissing against walls and nude women hula hooping at a hippie colony within the Watch Dogs 2 universe.
In a follow-up post, Goron2000 relayed another e-mail from Sony saying that the earlier notes were “sent to you incorrectly, and your account has not been suspended” (though Goron2000 says his account was indeed suspended for a full day). Despite that, the notice added that “your activity on our platform by sharing offensive content from Watchdogs2 [sic], was a breach of our PSN Terms of Service section 5: ‘Do not share anything that is vulgar.’ Further breaches may lead to a temporary or permanent suspension of your account or console from PlayStation Network.”
In response to the controversy, Ubisoft told Kotaku that it plans to patch out one female character model whose genitals are “rendered in a way that is particularly explicit” later this week. “We also are working with our first-party partners to ensure that players can continue to play and share all content from the game within the bounds of the first parties’ respective codes of conduct,” the company said in a statement. Examples of male nudity (and potentially other female nudity in the game) are apparently not being edited out at this time.
PSN’s Code of Conduct does prohibit the sharing of material that may be considered “sexually offensive” or “vulgar.” But if these screenshots fit that description, it’s hard to see how or why Watch Dogs 2 was considered appropriate for the PlayStation platform in the first place. After all, the game’s ESRB description warns of “brief instances of male and female full-frontal nudity (e.g., a woman in body paint; a man standing with a woman outdoors).”
Despite that, the game earned an “M for Mature” rating from the ESRB and not the AO rating that’s reserved for the most offensive and graphic displays of human sexuality (and violence). Recall how Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had its M rating upped to AO when the explicit “Hot Coffee” mini-game was discovered by hackers. Games that earn an AO rating are not allowed on the platforms of any of the major console manufacturers and hadn’t appeared on Valve’s Steam platform until quite recently.
Sony has yet to respond to a request for comment regarding the apparent disconnect between content that’s appropriate for a game but not for sharing on PSN. That said, we’ve already come a long way from the days when Sony censored the topless bikers in the controversial BMX XXX.
If you want to view the uncensored image you can view it here in this tweet.
This post originated on Ars Technica