Listings on the PlayStation Network, or a lack thereof, in United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia suggest The Last of Us Part II has been banned in the Middle East. At the time of writing, the long-awaited sequel is not available for preorder on the PS Store in the aforementioned regions. This is despite PlayStation Arabia recently sharing a post about this week’s TLoU Part II-focused State of Play.
As spotted by VG247, Reddit user Ghostechful relayed word of TLoU Part II’s missing preorder listing. When the Redditor reached out to their region’s PlayStation support provider, they received the following message:
Visiting the PlayStation Store’s Saudi Arabia site shows that a host of TLoU Part II-related items are available to purchase, including themes and avatars. The game itself, however, is conspicuously absent. And the same holds true for the PS Store’s United Arab Emirates version. As VG247 notes, The Last of Us fans should not have too many issues getting their hands on the sequel in these regions. Purchasing PSN cards and buying through other countries’ storefronts, such as the UK and US, should do the trick, for example.
Presently, there exists no official word on whether the sequel will truly be denied release in the Middle East. If that does prove to be the case, there’s also no confirmation as to why such a ban is in place. Although, the common theory is that the sequel’s sexual and LGBT content could serve as deciding factors. In the past, Saudi Arabia has put bans on God of War entries for their interactive sexual content, for instance. Heavy Rain and The Witcher 3 received similar treatment for featuring nudity and sex scenes.
The Last of Us Part II is on track to launch next month on June 19th for the PlayStation 4.