It appears that Sony has suspended PlayStation 4 user for legally sharing a screenshot of one of their games, Watch Dogs 2.
NeoGAF user Goron2000 was playing Watch Dogs 2 on PlayStation 4 when he noticed something odd: Full female nudity. Odd because video games rarely display full nudity, as it’s a big factor in determining if a game is rated Mature or Adults Only (the latter of which can’t be sold in most stores or released on consoles). In this case, the model in question was a random NPC in a triple-A game with a lot to lose from an AO rating.
Goron2000 shared the screenshot via Twitter and a NeoGAF thread, and faced unforseen consequences; to quote Goron2000, “Cut to tonight where I can’t access any services while playing the game and then when I tried to sign in there was a very brief message about my account being suspended.”
The email he received reads: We’re writing to inform you that your Sony Entertainment Network account has been temporarily suspended… Content of an adult or sexual nature is against our Code of Conduct… We take the decision to suspend an account very seriously, and we only do so after one of our moderators has carefully analysed the situation. PlayStation Support therefore cannot overturn this moderation decision.
We ask all our players to act decently, respectfully and with consideration for us and other players while using PlayStation Network. To make sure you understand the behaviour we expect from our community, please review the Code of Conduct here before returning to PlayStation Network. Please be aware that any further breaches of the Code of Conduct may result in a longer suspension or even a permanent ban.”
Keep in mind, Sony released this game on their console, and they soft-banned someone for highlighting explicit content that they themselves released.
Ubisoft has since responded with the following missive: “We’re aware that one of the NPC models in Watch Dogs 2 is rendered in a way that is particularly explicit. While Watch Dogs 2 is a mature-rated game, we apologize and will update this NPC model to make it more consistent with other NPC models in the game in a patch to be released this week. We also are working with our first-party partners to ensure that players can continue to play and share all content from the game within the bounds of the first parties’ respective codes of conduct.”
The wording “make it more consistent with other NPC models in the game” implies that this was one, random NPC– why include full nudity on one random NPC? Was it a rogue modeler, perhaps an odd “easter egg”?
Perhaps most troubling are the implications of this nudity. Goron2000 only noticed this because they “accidentally blew up a few women in a back alley with a gas pipe” and the woman landed on her back; walking around, you would likely never notice this nudity. It would only be visible once you’ve killed the NPC, which means the only time you’ll see this nude woman is when she’s dead.