UPDATE 16/11/16: Ubisoft has apologised for one “particularly explicit” example of NPC genitalia visible in Watch Dogs 2, and said it would be patched out.
The publisher told Kotaku the change would be made to one female genitalia model – presumably the one being shared most widely online (and which we have included, in censored fashion, below).
Male genitalia will remain intact.
Ubisoft will also contact Microsoft and Sony about the issue of players getting banned for sharing screenshots of nudey NPCs.
“While Watch Dogs 2 is a mature-rated game, we apologise 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,” a Ubisoft spokesperson said. “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.
ORIGINAL STORY 15/11/16: A PlayStation 4 player was banned from PSN for sharing Watch Dogs 2 genitalia.
NSFW alert: Fair warning, this article contains content you may not want on your screen at work.
Ubisoft’s San Francisco-set open world includes fully naked men and women – and you can run into them by just exploring the open world.
The nakedness is not the problem. After all, Watch Dogs carries an 18 rating and, honestly, the list of AAA games with wang in them is far too short.
“The content of this game is suitable for persons aged 18 years and over only,” Watch Dogs 2’s PEGI age rating reads. “It contains: multiple, motiveless killing, graphic sexual activity showing genitalia, strong language.”
In other words – expect nakedness.
But it appears Sony is handing out week-long PSN bans for sharing screenshots of the nudity – which is taking some people by surprise.
First off, there’s the surprise Watch Dogs 2 features nudity among its background NPC characters. You probably wouldn’t expect to see genitals on someone who has been knocked over, wearing a skirt, their crotch in the air.
From Eurogamer’s experience – for example, that image below – this is exactly what can happen.
Secondly, there’s the interpretation of Sony’s own policy. Here’s the Sony Entertainment Network terms and conditions:
“Make sure your Online ID, messages, forum posts, user generated content or any other form of communication are not offensive to others: do not post anything that is defamatory (making an untrue statement that may be damaging to the person concerned) or racially, ethnically, religiously or sexually offensive.”
Is a screenshot of 3D genitalia offensive? It probably would be to some people – and clearly there are issues in sharing it over a service which can be viewed by minors.
NeoGAF user Goron2000 fell foul of this rule when posting a screenshot of a female NPC who had been knocked over and was clearly wearing crotchless underwear.
Sony got in touch:
- “We’re writing to inform you that your Sony Entertainment Network account has been temporarily suspended.
- “We’ve made this decision based on your online activity in Live from PlayStation on 14-11-2016.
- “Content of an adult or sexual nature is against our Code of Conduct.
- “The suspension will last 1 week and will be lifted on 21-11-2016. You won’t be able to access online multiplayer, PlayStation Store and other network features until the suspension is over.
- “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.
- “Yours sincerely, SIEE Moderation.”
We’ve contacted Ubisoft and Sony about the issue. Ubisoft has said it is aware.
Watch Dogs 2 isn’t shy with its nudity – you’ll find naked people a nudist group, in the game’s strip club, standing outside covered in body paint and… just wandering around having a wee in the street.
If you really, really want to see what we mean – here we go. This is your final NSFW warning.
Eurogamer published our Watch Dogs 2 review this morning, and it was good news: “Ubisoft’s sequel borrows from Rockstar’s oeuvre to make a richly enjoyable open world game,” Simon Parkin wrote, “despite its online troubles.”