Earlier in the year, a report suggested that The Last of Us had been censored in Europe. Hot on the heels of a slew of disgruntled forum posts, Movie-Censorship.com noted that dismemberment and, ahem, exploding heads – both of which are present in the North American release – had been removed from the international version. And now developer Naughty Dog has confirmed as much.
“The gore and violence ratings are subject to local regulatory boards in various countries, so the game must be slightly changed in order to accommodate those choices,” explained a community representative in a private message republished on the official PlayStation forums. “If you import the North [or] South American version, it will not be censored, but the EU [or] UK [release] will be.”
Movie-Censorship.com speculated in its original article that this may be due to the German ratings board USK, which is notoriously stricter than other European content classifiers. It’s not the first time that a first-party PlayStation game has been censored overseas, with Twisted Metal and God of War: Ascension succumbing to a similar fate.
The big problem relates to the platform holder’s reluctance to release multiple versions of the same game in a single region. As it stands now, people in the UK get the same content as Germany – but with the latter’s ratings board being famously strict, that means that everyone is receiving the censored version. Not really fair, is it?
At the end of the day, it’s probably not worth kicking up a stink over a bit of extra blood. But if you want to play the game as it was originally envisioned, it’s well worth remembering that the PlayStation 3 is region-free.