Discover 15 Prohibited Games

Some are controversial enough that the authorities will go out of their way to ban them. Others, it's just a detail that annoys someone in particular and some doesn't make any sense at all. So let's get to know some of these banned games

prohibited games
Some games drew too much attention

Censorship. It is a serious problem in several countries around the world and it extends to the world of video games. When developers change their vision to better meet the needs of the market, some players treat it as a stab to the heart. But the alternative could be even worse. Around the world, some video games have already been taken off store shelves because they were too much for the (sometimes very sensitive) community to handle.

It's not for us to say whether this censorship is justified (but let's be fair, it probably isn't). What is instructive is to look at the games that have been banned and try to figure out what irritates people in them. In many cases, it's pretty obvious – intense violence, explicit sex or unpleasant topics. And you're sure to see some of these things in the games that follow. But there are other reasons why games are banned from selling, and they are very strange.

When it comes to this, everyone knows the famous cases of 3D shooters from the early 90's, such as Doom, Carmagedom, Duke Nuken 3D and the case of Mortal Kombat that left those who are "defenders of morals and good manners" with hair. standing up for their violence and blood and etc, etc… Let's try to get away from the obvious here. Let's talk about some of these games that were banned in several countries and about their situation in Brazil. Some you already know, but some might be new to you, so let's go through the list.

Quick FAQ

Is Counter-Strike prohibited in Brazil?

It was banned in 2008 and released in 2009

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Postal 2 is released in Brazil?

No

Why is GTA banned in Brazil?

Only the DLC “The Ballad of Gay Tony” is banned because it used a song without the composer's permission

Forbidden Games

Rappelay

Rappelay
Rappelay

This one is “few ideas”. Many of the games on this list have been banned simply because of cultural misunderstandings, but you certainly can't say that for Rapelay. The game is insanely controversial and was developed by Japanese studio Illusion released in 2006 and almost immediately started a storm of bad feelings and problems.

If you haven't heard yet, Rapelay puts you in the shoes of a sexual predator and charges you with stalking and having sex with a mother and her two daughters by force in revenge for their sending you to jail for being a sexual predator. Needless to say, this is incredibly problematic and not cool.

Rapelay was banned in several countries after the release and it is illegal to sell it here in Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia and New Zealand. In the US, it received an Adults Only rating, which meant that most retailers wouldn't stock it, but you can still find it online. However, there is a point to be made here: It was never officially released outside of Japan.

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Illusion is a software house that specializes in erotic games and is not the first of them with this theme and none of them has ever been sold outside Japan. Their games even only work on Japanese Windows. There (as bad as it seems) the game is perfectly legal. It only arrived in other countries and was banned because of online piracy, but in its home country it is sold legally. Currently, you can even find an Illusion game on Steam called Koikatsu. He's sexual in character, but it's nothing as absurdly wrong as Rapelay.

Manhunt 2

Manhunt 2
Manhunt 2

Rockstar Games will appear on this list a few times, just so you know in advance. The studio sparked controversy with Grand Theft Auto games with great success, but when it plunged into the brutal world of explicit violence with Manhunt games, the company managed to get a little more attention than expected. The first game in the series saw resistance from the New Zealand government and other nations, but the second – which increased bloodshed and brutality to unprecedented levels – then justice slammed the hammer down. With great force!

Manhunt 2 was classified by the BBFC (British Film Ratings Board) as “rejected” in the UK, basically meaning that it was very difficult for him to receive a rating that was adequate and so they refused at once. Rockstar went back and added some graphic filters to obscure the blood, and the edited version was originally released there. Its sale was banned in Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, as well as in South Korea (which also banned the original). Around here, there is no information about it being banned or not, but it is likely that it is only available in its more “moderate” version.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Tom clancy's ghost recon advanced warfighter 2
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Mexico has never seen a national ban on any specific video game, but one title made regional authorities so angry that they managed to get them to ban it from being sold in the country. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 is not only an insanely long title, it's also a very famous tactical shooter with good reviews. Unfortunately, the game's opening mission doesn't paint the city of Ciudad Juarez in such a good way.

His tactical team works with Mexican authorities to clear guerrillas from the city's streets, engaging in brutal firefights. The mayor of Juarez was not too happy with a video game that painted his city as insecure (despite the growing violence of drugs in the real world there) and full of street thugs and convinced the governor of Chihuahua (yes, the same name as the dog ) to order the seizure of all copies of the game in the state and prohibit it from being sold.

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Postal 2

Postal 2
Postal 2

Many games push the limits of bad taste, but none are as dedicated as the Postal series. The long-running open-world sandbox titles that put you in the shoes of an ordinary guy trying to get attention only to be swept into a violent, murderous rage, and your anarchic sense of humor is definitely one that strives to be on that kind of list. . And in New Zealand, people really didn't like this game.

New Zealand's gambling ban cites “Cross and disgusting content: urinating, high-impact violence, animal cruelty, homophobia, racial and ethnic stereotypes” as the reason for the ban. Let's be fair: all these things are right in the game and there's even a piss button. The penalty for owning a copy of Postal is a $1.400 fine (which gets you a lot of better games). Around here, it is still banned, but the first game is released.

Counter-Strike

Counter-strike
Counter-Strike

This game was released in 1999 and was banned in Brazil. The ban happened in 2008 and, after a lot of complaints and protests (some even happened at MASP, in São Paulo) it was released again in 2009. But the situation is that the game, despite saying it was violent and controversial because you can play with terrorists, the big issue of the ban was because of the child audience. Counte-Strike was an addiction in Internet cafes in the 90s and early 2000s, and many children spent hours there, playing games and many even missed school.

To try to contain this fever, games were banned, but nothing prevented children from continuing there, seeing things on the internet or playing other things, like Ragnarok Online or others. Currently, CS has become E-Sports and there are teams that dispute national and world championships.

Custer's Revenge

Custer's revenge
Custer's Revenge

For nearly as long as video games have been around, people have tried to turn them into pornography (the famous Rule 34). One of the most notorious lewd games of all time is Custer's Revenge, released for the Atari 2600 in 1982.

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Produced by a subsidiary of an adult film company, the game casts the player as a General Custer (a US Army officer and commander of a cavalry unit during the American Civil War and Indian Wars) with a pixelated erection that you have to cross the screen past a hail of arrows until you reach a Native American woman tied to a pole. Very family thing, isn't it?

When the game was released, it generated a moral panic, with anti-sex feminist Andrea Dworkin claiming that it "spawned a lot of rape gangs of Native American women." No empirical data proved this, but several cities created laws to prohibit the sale of the game. Around here, there's no information about the game's ban, but it's unlikely that anyone knew who General Custer was, and if the infamous X-Man was allowed, then why wouldn't it be?

Pokémon Trading Card Game

Pokemon trading card game
Pokémon Trading Card Game

What kind of country would consider it appropriate to ban something as harmless as the Pokémon Trading Card Game? Welcome to Saudi Arabia, folks. The heavily Muslim nation of the Middle East issued an ordinance in 2001 banning the import of electronic and physical versions of the game. Pikachu, the beloved Electric Pokémon, and his fellow pocket monsters were considered a threat to national security.

Why? Because the symbols used for energy in the game resemble "the Star of David, which everyone knows is connected to international Zionism and is Israel's national emblem." Promoting Zionism is a big ban in many Middle Eastern states, for obvious geopolitical reasons. It didn't matter to the Saudi clerics that the resemblance was unintentional.

At least they didn't invent that the letters were from the devil to polemic with them, as happened with Yu-Gi-Oh's letters in the late program of presenter Gilberto Barros.

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Grand Theft Auto

gta
GTA

GTA games have been the target of resistance around the world for their glorification of violence and chaos, but only one country has taken the drastic step of banning all franchise titles. This was in Thailand, surprisingly. The country does not generally censor violence (although it prohibits games with adult sexual content), but Rockstar's goose that lays the golden eggs is a special exception due to some real-life consequences.

In 2008, a young man named Polwat Chino hailed a taxi from Bangkok, and when it came time to pay for the trip, he pulled out a knife and stabbed the driver to death. When police caught him, Chino blamed Grand Theft Auto for his violent actions, saying "killing seemed easy in the game" and he needed money to play (many Thais don't have their own consoles or computers and instead play on cyber cafes). The government responded by banning all GTA games at once.

This way? Well, around here nobody cares about violence or GTA crimes, but using funk music? Then the animal got it. That's the case of the DLC “The Ballad of Gay Tony” (and you thinking it was because of the “gay” in the name? No, the expansion is well before 2018). Apparently, Rockstar used the song “Bota o dedinho pro Alto”, by singer MC Miltinho, without authorization and then, the DLC was banned.

Command & Conquer: Generals

The content of a game doesn't have to be outrageously sexual or violent to draw the wrath of government censors. Sometimes all you have to do is blow up a country to get your game banned, just like with Command & Conquer: Generals. The real-time strategy game released by Electronic Arts in 2006. The seventh game in the long-running franchise allowed players to take command of the United States, China, or a decentralized terrorist force attacking both. Placing a bet on the Asian market sounds like a good idea, but it backfired a bit.

The game's story mode begins with a nuclear device being detonated in Beijing, followed by the destruction of the Three Gorges Dam. The sight of legendary Chinese landmarks being obliterated so angered the Chinese government that they banned the entire series. This way? No problem here.

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Devotion

Devotion
Devotion

What would be wrong with a horror game and various jump scares that could cause it to be banned from China and removed from Steam and only re-released very recently in a censored version so that it could be marketed worldwide? The blood? Would you say. The violence? Any real murder cases that shocked the victims' families and forced the game to be recalled? None of that! It was all Winnie the Pooh's fault!

There's an internet meme that compares Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Disney character Pooh bear, and because of that, the bear was banned from the country. Apparently, there was such a meme hidden in the game, in some letters of the talisman in the image above, like an easter egg written “Xi Jinping: Little Winnie Bear” and when it was discovered, the game was banned from the country. Although you can now buy it, without the jokes with the Chinese president, it is still banned in China.

prohibited games
the internet does not forgive

bully

Meet 15 banned games | d8d8c3e7 bully | married games reviews | bully, gta, banned games, justice, mmorpg, pokemon, postcard 2, ban, rapelay, rockstar, rpg, simulator, tom clancy | prohibited games
bully

We said you would see Rockstar on this list more than once. While it's only logical that governments have problems with anarchic games like GTA or the overblown carnage of the Manhunt, what could be so terrible about Bully, the company's classic 2006 tale of an English student trying to survive in the social structures of a intern school?

Ask the government of Rio Grande do Sul, which hit Bully with the hammer shortly after the game was launched. His argument was that having the game set in a school would be “potentially harmful” to teenagers. A fine of $1.000,00 per day may be charged to anyone who sells or even owns the game. It's currently been released and you find it on Steam and it might even get a remake.

EA Sports MMA

Hey sports mm
EA Sports MMA

Quick, what's the weirdest reason to ban a game you can imagine? Missed! This one is weirder. EA Sports MMA was the sports video game giant's 2010 attempt to cash in on the no-rules fighting craze without a UFC license. It featured famous fighters as well as legends like Randy Couture and received decent reviews. Sales were weak, but the question remains: Why was it banned in Denmark?

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Was it the brutal kicks and merciless chokes? No violence? No. Copyright? No. It was the energy drinks! EA Sports MMA featured in-game ads for the famous caffeine and sugar blends before the fights, and that's against the law in that country. Instead of producing an alternate version of the game without these ads, EA just opted to allow the sale to be banned. Maybe they thought the sales weren't going to pay off.

The Guy Game

the guy game
The Guy Game

Haven't heard of the Guy Game? Normal. It was the only title ever made by Top Heavy Studios developers, and the Xbox version only got 47 points in Metacritic reviews. The game was a multiple-choice quiz competition, but the "attractive" was that, as you answered the questions correctly, you were rewarded with FMV footage of young women lifting their shirts and letting their chests bounce free for a few seconds.

Unfortunately for Top Heavy, one of these pairs of bare breasts belonged to a 17-year-old girl, and the company now violated child pornography statutes. A lawsuit quickly followed, with a judge in Travis County, Texas, issuing an ordinance prohibiting the sale of additional copies. The game was quickly taken off the market and forgotten.

Imagine if something like that would happen here? As a 17-year-old girl who participated as a stage assistant for a children's presenter pose for a men's magazine? Of course, that would never happen here!

EverQuest

Everquest
EverQuest

An MMORPG that was banned by… who knows! The case of energy drinks seems strange, but at least it has a reason. Here, not even that. EverQuest was released in 1999 and was banned from being marketed here in Brazil in 2008 (whoever wanted to play should already be sick of the game from so long ago) by a judge from Minas Gerais “they were considered unfit for consumption, as far as which are harmful to the health of consumers” and violate the Consumer Protection and Defense Code. Which one? Who knows!

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Furthermore, it “leads the player to total distortion and 'heavy' psychological conflicts; because the tasks he receives can be good or bad”. What were these “conflicts” maybe some EverQuest player can tell us! The point is that, since it was at the same time as the ban on Counter-Strike, the reason could be the attempt to drive away the school skippers from the Internet cafes.

F

football manager 2005
F

Have you ever thought that a soccer simulation game, which only has numbers, graphics and stats on the screen could be banned from somewhere? Well, that's the case with Sega's Football Manager 2005 which was banned in China. The reason? The game recognized Tibet as an independent country! Something that deeply offends the Chinese.

For 50 years the country has been considered (by the Chinese) as part of their territory and anything that recognizes Tibet as a sovereign country is censored on Chinese territory. It also prompted Marvel to replace the Elder of the Comics character, a Tibetan gentleman, with the Elder, a Celtic woman played by actress Tilda Swinton (who is excellent). Sega has released a fixed version there, but it appears that the original version was widely distributed through piracy.

Now, tell us if you liked the list? Wasn't aware of any ban? Is there any missing? Tell us and enjoy to read more about games on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.