The Last of Us Part 2 Banned in Middle East for LGBT Inclusion?

The Last of Us 2 banned for LGBT representation
The Last of Us 2 banned for LGBT representation (Picture: Nauty Dog)

TLOU2 Banned in the Middle East for Exploring Ellie’s Lesbian Relationship

A recent post on Reddit suggests that The Last of Us Part 2 will not be available to purchase in Middle Eastern countries. 

User Ghostechful reached out to Sony to see why they couldn’t pre-order the game on the UAE PS Store. The email they received after more or less confirms “the game is banned by the competent authorities of the country”. 

Considering the Middle East’s attitude towards LGBT themes it’s no surprise the game won’t be seeing an official release. Based on the story information so far (story leaks aside) TLOU2 will explore the relationship between Ellie and her love interest Dina. 

Ellie and her girlfriend Dina

Ellie and her girlfriend Dina (Picture: Naughty Dog)

The National Media Council (NMC) is a branch of the government in the United Arab Emirates that regulates the media and entertainment industry in the country. This means they have the authority to ban any media that doesn’t reflect the country’s cultural and legal values, official reasons for bans, however, remain unclear. 

Games and other forms of media have also been banned for similar issues as The Last of Us Part 2. Pixar’s new short film ‘Out’ starts the studios first gay lead character and upcoming feature ‘Onward’ makes reference to lesbians resulting in both films being banned from four Middle Eastern countries. Other games such as Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2 & 3 were banned for similar reasons and then saw digital releases, however, homosexual relationships in these games are down to the players choice whereas Ellie’s is part of the main story.

Interestingly enough the Playstation Arabia Twitter account still promotes The Last of Us Part 2 and avatars and dynamic themes for the game can be found on the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates PS Stores. 

Just because the games banned doesn’t mean players won’t be able to get their hands on it. Any third-party retailers will be able to import the game from overseas and pre-paid PlayStation cards will be available online bypassing the ban. 

The Last of Us Part 2 will be released on 19 June, are you looking forward to playing? As always let us know what you think in the comments and check out our Youtube channel here!

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Hey I'm Zacc, gaming was a big part of my childhood and it has shaped me into who I am today. My Dad introduced me to Ocarina of Time as a kid and almost 20 years later I introduced him to Breath of the Wild

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