XSEED Games has announced a delay for the western release of Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal.
The game will forgo its planned fall 2018 release window in North America and Europe not for hot fixes or the usual quality assurance – Sony has requested the game’s “Intimacy Mode” be removed before it can be released for PlayStation 4.
“The release of Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal will be slightly delayed as we remaster to remove the interactive ‘Intimacy Mode’ from the PlayStation 4 version,” XSEED Games said in a tweet. “The Steam version will release with that mode intact and will launch simulaneously with PlayStation 4. We are looking forward to sharing the release date shortly and appreciate your patience.”
A followup tweet from XSEED states they “respect the wishes of the platform holder,” meaning this is entirely Sony blocking the game’s release.
This isn’t the first time Sony has intervened to stop a Japanese game with sexual themes from being released in the west. Previously, publisher PQube had to cancel the western release for Omega Labyrinth Z, a Japanese dungeon crawler with sexual themes Sony deemed unsafe for western eyes.
While Sony is blocking the PS4 release for Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal, the Windows PC version will still have the mode included. The PC release is being delayed too, however, so they both release simultaneously.
XSEED Games localization producer Tom Lipshultz directly responded to a fan asking why previous games in the series allowed this mode to exist, noting this is a “brand new policy” from Sony. He also added that he thinks “it’s the interactivity in general that’s the issue.”
How do you feel about Sony preventing Japanese games with sexual themes from being released in western regions? Sound off in the comments below! Also, if you decide to contact Sony regarding this decision (which we highly suggest), please do so politely.