Around the world, video games are banned for explicit content. Video games can be banned for, including but not limited to, violence, hate speech, and suggestive content. The following games, although harmless at face value, were banned for valid reasons.
It's never good news when a game is banned because it can tarnish the reputation of a developer and hurt their sales. It is the job of the developer to make games that are appropriate for the general public, or their game could be pulled from store shelves. You won't believe what games made this list! These are 10 banned video games you never knew about.
10 Battlefield 4
As a game that takes place in the year 2020, Battlefield 4 was banned for its questionable content in the eyes of China. Electronic Arts may have gone too far with Battlefield 4. One multiplayer map titled "Siege of Shanghai" contains collapsable skyscrapers.
It's not hard to understand why China decided to ban this game in the country, and why they accused Electronic Arts of threatening national security. They could have banned the Battlefield 4: China Rising DLC, but instead, the entirety of Battlefield 4 was never released in China.
9 PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
One of the latest countries to ban Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is Jordan. Jordan joins countries such as Iraq and Nepal who previously banned the game, with Nepal banning the game briefly.
The game is banned for causing social withdrawal and mental health issues. Video game addiction is a serious issue that is becoming widespread. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is one of the most popular battle royale games worldwide—next to Fortnite, which is also expected to be banned by Jordan soon.
8 Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto is one of the most controversial video game series in the history of video games. Developer Rockstar Games' latest game, Grand Theft Auto V, recently was banned in over 50 countries because of the Diamond Casino & Resort update, which allows players to gamble.
Grand Theft Auto V was already banned in several Australian retail stores for its depiction of violence against women. Now, countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Jamaica, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia have joined in banning this game.
7 Postal 2
The amount of violence and the manner in which players inflict pain makes Postal 2 a highly controversial game. The game rewards you for violence, which is a reason why New Zealand's government has placed a ban on the game.
People caught with a copy could be given a hefty fine for playing or selling the game. Both Postal 2 and its predecessor contain an absurd amount of violence. This is a game not recommended for children, and it's banned in multiple countries.
6 Red Dead Redemption 2
Since Red Dead Redemption 2 added poker (gambling) to Red Dead Online, it was banned in several countries. Belgium is one of the latest countries that have banned the poker aspect of Red Dead Redemption 2. Players cannot access the hold'em part of the game.
Jordan and the UAE are other countries with the same regulation. Red Dead Redemption 2, although not as controversial as some of Rockstar Games other titles, is now being blacklisted because of a minor feature in the game.
5 Manhunt 2
Because of its questionable focus on targeted slaying and graphic content, Manhunt 2 was banned in Britain. Games like this are questionable when they release. Manhunt 2's ESRB rating is AO, meaning that it is for adults only.
There is also an M-rated edition of the game that tones down the violence. Developed by Rockstar North, this isn't the first time that parent company Take-Two Interactive released a game with strong content. Manhunt 2 has been pulled off of shelves around the world for its bizarre themes.
4 South Park: The Stick of Truth
The European final cut version of South Park: The Stick of Truth is censored due to the games suggestive content. Its suggestive content includes a scene with aliens that is too strange.
Numerous countries throughout the world have joined in censoring South Park: The Stick of Truth. It's somewhat understandable that a show as controversial as South Park would make for games that are just as controversial. After all, this is a show that tends to push limits to their breaking point.
3 Mafia II
Mafia II released on August 23, 2010, and is a game that can be insensitive to cultures. It's an open-world action game that is widely known to have offensive content. According to gamasutra.com, "The United Arab Emirates' National Media Council has banned the sale of 2K Games' Mafia II."
This isn't the first time the United Arab Emirates has banned the sale of a Mafia game. Mafia, the first game in the series, is also prohibited in the United Arab Emirates. Their government deems Mafia II unfit for the public.
2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
One of the best-selling games was banned in Russia because of a scene where civilians are attacked at a Russian airport. Video game developers have to use the utmost discretion when creating video games to avoid offending countries. Otherwise, they can damage their reputation and lower their sales figures.
Despite it being well-known that video games receive bans, developers continue to make questionable games. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's developer, Infinity Ward, could have removed the scene in question before it released. Had Infinity Ward removed the scene, Russia may not have banned the game for sale and recalled the games that were sold.
Brazil is recognized for banning games that the government doesn't deem fit for the public. Even though the original Counter-Strike released over two decades ago, it was banned in 2008 for its depiction of Rio de Janeiro's slum quarters. The game was previously sold as an 18+ game but was later banned outright.
Counter-Strike is by no means a game for children, but there are plenty of more violent games than Counter-Strike. However, the fact that Counter-Strike pits Counter-Terrorists against Terrorists may have influenced Brazil's decision to forbid its citizens from playing the game.