The video game content guidelines Sony has in place have been a point of discussion lately, from the removal of certain scenes in localized games to the departure of Senran Kagura producer Kenichiro Takaki. Sony has been pretty quiet about the existence of these guidelines, but a spokesperson recently commented on them in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
According to the spokesperson’s comments, there are set internal content guidelines that must be followed if a developer wants their game to be approved. In addition to wanting creators to be able to offer “well-balanced content on the platform,” Sony says they want to make sure gaming doesn’t “inhibit the sound growth and development” of children.
While Sony also hopes to avoid potential legal repercussions from those exposed to otherwise lax standards, it’s also clear the company sees their reputation on the line. Developers, however, aren’t happy about the way these guidelines are handled. Non-disclosure agreements have forced them to remain anonymous when speaking out, but one of the main complaints from developers throughout Japan, Europe, and the United States is the lack of clarity involved.
Since the guidelines aren’t clearly conveyed, developers often end up submitting games only to have them rejected with change requests. Implementing these can be costly, and it really adds up over the course of even a few minor alterations. Hopefully this is something Sony will improve upon and be more open about in the future.