'The Last of Us Part 2' May Have Been Banned in the Middle East


May 27 2020, Updated 10:32 p.m. ET

The Last of Us
Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment

The Last of Us Part 2 is one of Sony's biggest games of 2020, and while it's been in the works for some time, it's finally going to debut in mid-June – at least, in most places. It appears that players in the Middle East may not be so lucky when it comes to getting their hands on the game, if a response from a PlayStation Support agent is to be believed. Rumors are currently swirling that the game has been banned in the area, which is certainly concerning for fans there. 

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Right now, the game is available to preorder via the PlayStation Store for most gamers, but for those in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it's curiously missing – but not avatars or the game's official theme. With no word from Sony on the situation and no explanation on the PlayStation Store, players have been looking for answers. Now, it appears one may have been found thanks to a curious Redditor, though nothing has been confirmed just yet. 

Source: Sony Interactive Entertainment
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Has 'The Last of Us Part 2' been banned in the Middle East?

Though there's been no official statement offered from Sony or developer Naughty Dog regarding any sort of ban, fans are wondering if The Last of Us Part 2 may indeed have been banned in the Middle East after a curious Redditor reached out to PlayStation Support to inquire as to why the game was missing from the PlayStation Store. The response they received, especially since they can't see anything but avatars and themes on the storefront, was pretty telling. Still, it's not concrete yet. 

The response the user received was this:

"If any game does not exist in any Store region it means that the game is banned by the competent authorities of the country and we can not do anything regarding that."

Unfortunately, this doesn't really answer any questions and leads to more supposition than anything else. Of course, if it's coming from this official source, it certainly seems like it could definitely hold water. 

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As far as why the game could ever be banned in the first place, it has been confirmed to contain nudity, sexual content, and LGBT themes according to its ESRB rating. Previously, games have been banned in Saudi Arabia because they featured similar content in the past, such as Heavy Rain, Red Dead Redemption 2, and other games of the same ilk. Still, there's been no official confirmation, so all of that's still supposition. 

Either way, it will certainly be frustrating for gamers in the area if the game does end up banned due to its content, as it's going to be one of the biggest releases of the year, and the final triple-A PlayStation game to release ahead of the PlayStation 5 finally hitting the market at the end of the year during holiday 2020. Hopefully Sony comes out and sheds some light on the situation soon. 

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