Sony to crack down on sexually explicit PlayStation games

Image credit: Jeshoots / Pexels

Sony has revealed that it's cracking down on sexually explicit content in PlayStation games, in a change to its "in-house standards".

According to Cnet, a Sony representative told the Wall Street Journal that "its decision was based on the rise of the #MeToo movement", which has seen powerful individuals across the tech, entertainment, and music industries ousted from their positions amid accusations of sexual assault and harassment. 

A spokesperson for Sony told the WSJ that its guidelines were in place "so that creators can offer well-balanced content on the platform", as well as to help ensure that playing video games "does not inhibit the sound growth and development" of young people. 

The news comes after Sony revealed details of the long awaited PlayStation 5, which will feature 8K functionality and backwards compatibility with older games.

Sony isn't just concerned with the ethics of allowing sexually explicit content in PlayStation games – it's also worried about the potential for legal action against the company if it doesn't introduce stricter rules for developers. 

A spokesperson told the WSJ that there was concern that "[the] company could become a target of legal and social action."

The crackdown on sexually explicit content comes five years after the Gamergate controversy swept the internet, which saw game developers Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn (among many more), become the targets of harassment campaigns after they criticized the way women are represented in video games. 

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.