The Last of Us 2 Reportedly Banned in the Middle East
By Sairam Hussain Miran 01 Jun, 20
Players around the world have been anxiously waiting for The Last of Us sequel ever since the original game came out in 2013 and took the entire world by storm. It arguably has one of the greatest single-player story modes to ever be played, and accordingly, has been bestowed with numerous prestigious awards.
The Last of Us 2 has also been subject to delay on more than one occasion, first due to internal issues and then due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Gamers were relieved to finally hear the confirmed release date of June 19.
However, there appears to be a more complex obstacle in the way of some gamers wishing to play it. A Reddit threat pointing towards PlayStation support has revealed that the Last of Us 2 might be banned in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This came to light when users on Reddit reported that the game is unavailable to pre-order in the PS Stores of the aforementioned countries.
The reason for the ban appears to be the more open inclusion of LGBTQ content in the game. The protagonist of the game, Ellie, is gay, and there is some content accordingly. The Middle East is known to have slim tolerance for LGBTQ content, and no other reason comes to mind, as games with explicit content like Cyberpunk 2077 are allowed to be played freely in the region, so LGBTQ content remains the only explanation. Previous LGBTQ work like the Pixar movie Onward which included such a dialogue was also banned in the Middle East.
Upon inquiry on Reddit, PlayStation Support responded like this.
As evident, it seems that the “competent authority” has indeed banned the much-awaited Last of Us 2 in the Middle Eastern region.
Moreover, Pakistan being a Muslim country following mostly the same values as KSA and UAE, in fact, often being even more conservative in belief, has not yet had any such news of ban going around. It is likely that if the game is banned in the countries mentioned, it will also get banned in Pakistan. No official word is out yet.
Luckily for determined gamers, this does not mean one will not be able to play the game at all. Players can access a regionally banned game by simply switching the PS Store to the US, UK, or any other region where the game was released. Players in Pakistan mostly use US PS Stores so they will not be affected even with an outright ban. Please note that playing a regionally banned game is not encouraged or promoted by Gamelist.
What do you think? Should Pakistan follow in the footsteps of KSA, UAE and ban the Last of Us 2?