Fans in the Middle East looking forward to The Last of Us Part II may have to find another way to obtain the game, as it does not appear on their version of the PlayStation Store.
Originally reported by VG247, The Last of Us Part II seems to be missing from both the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates versions of the PS store. This indicates that players from these regions cannot directly pre-order the game digitally. This comes off as strange, especially considering that the official PlayStation Arabia Twitter account has continuously marketed the title. In fact, one of its most recent posts promotes the upcoming State of Play presentation focusing solely on The Last of Us Part II.
تابعونا يوم الأربعاء الساعة ١١ مساءً بتوقيت السعودية لكشف عميق وتسلسل لعب جديد. pic.twitter.com/Af5JxVOi7g
— PlayStation Arabia (@PlayStation_ME) May 25, 2020
The Possible Reasoning For The Last of Us Part II Ban
One Reddit user Ghostechful decided to contact PlayStation Support to determine why the game was unavailable for pre-order. The response came in an email stating that any game listings not appearing on a regional PS store means that it has been “banned by the competent authorities of the country and we can not do anything regarding that.”
Sony has not commented on the reasoning behind this potential ban, but it may stem from the nudity or sexual content found in the game according to the ESRB rating. It could also result from the obvious LGBT themes displayed, which usually leads to the banning of most pieces of entertainment and art with said themes in the Middle East due to the region’s more strict policies on the topic.
As VG247 mentions, players in the area can find ways around the ban, such as purchasing pre-paid PS game cards. These are usually region-free and therefore would work regardless of the set restrictions. Third-party retail stores will likely also import units for purchase regardless.
The Last of Us Part II releases on June 19 after multiple delays for various reasons.
Are any of you effected by this ban? Will you purchase the game by other means? How do you feel about The Last of Us Part II banned in the Middle East? Let us know in the comments! While you’re here, check out our analysis of the most recent trailer for The Last of Us Part II. Otherwise, keep it on Culture of Gaming for all things gaming!