The weird reasons games get banned

Throughout my recent play through of ‘Hotline Miami’ I was thinking of reasons why it didn’t get banned – I mean it was brutally violent, it had no real discourse into the reasons behind your actions and it left nothing to the imagination.

The only reason I could think of was that the graphics were pixel art rather than polygonal – it doesn’t look real and as such it’s not considered real violence.


I went to research the issue of games being banned; particularly in Germany and Australia, and was surprised to see that ‘Hotline Miami’ released in both these countries as they both have a reputation of being overly conservative with entertainment contents.

This prompted me to look at a list of games that had been banned anywhere in the world and found that some of the reasons for these titles being banned are absolutely hilarious!

Here’s a few of the highlights of that exercise in banality.


‘Mass Effect’


Reason for ban? Banned in United Arab Emirates because the player could engage in homosexual relations.

Why is this funny? Because the relationships need not be between two humans! Sure it’s one thing to have a religion that can be considered anti-gay; but I would love to see someone point a passage in the Holy Book that states the love between a man and a male fish type creature is wrong!

I bet they can’t show me that passage!

But if they can…may God have mercy on my soul!

‘EA Sports: MMA’


Reason for ban? Banned in Norway because of a marketing ban of energy drinks

Why is this funny? Because every grown adult knows that drinking a highly caffeinated, highly sugared drink is more traumatising than watching two guys knock the seven shades of shit outta one another…

…oh wait..Awkward!

‘Injustice: Gods among us’


Why was it banned? Banned in UAE because the title includes the word “God”.

Why is this funny? Well for a number of reasons, the word ‘God’ only references a deity if it capitalised – if we look at the above graphic the entire title is capitalised, can we be sure they mean the Christian “God”? No; in fact its pretty clear that it is not referencing that.

The second reason its funny, is because it’s a fucking fighting game, with men throwing weapons at one another and punching each other through entire rooms, roads and other man-made structure, but sure – ban it for its use of the word “god” – not for its strange millisecond lag that makes combos ridiculously hard to reliably pull off…

…good lads!

‘Pokemon: TCG’


Why was it banned? Banned in Saudi Arabia because it promoted Zionism

Why is this funny? Seriously, the Saudi Arabian authorities deemed ‘Pokemon’ was a Jewish plot to make Muslim children renounce their faith…seriously!

I could enter a joke but the group that claimed this also claimed that “Pokemon” was Japanese for “I am Jewish”…

…but wait there’s more

They also argued that ‘Pokemon’ supported the belief that evolution is how the world works, and not creationism…

…shit be crazy!

Its fucking crazy! Also the ban didn’t affect the mainstream ‘Pokemon’ games after generation 3; so I guess the Zionism and evolutions stopped being a thing Kappa!



Why was it banned? Banned in South Korea – in fear of N.K would react negatively.

Why is this funny? It’s crazy to think that a neighbouring nation can have so much influence over art. Now you’d think that being Northern Irish I’d understand this…but I genuinely don’t – why would N.Korea go to war with the South over a game they had no influence over?

I dunno…



Why was it banned? banned in UAE due to a difference in culture and beliefs

Why is this funny? Darksiders 2 was not banned…

…I guess death is more universal than war! We’ve never had a World War after all!


Do you know of any other hilarious game bans?

Tell us in the comments below!


4 thoughts on “The weird reasons games get banned

  1. hotline miami 2 did get kinda banned in aus… was denied classification as an r game and they didn’t make the needed changes for it to get passed.

    Also I find it funny there that the reason was the adult sexual content rather than the violence itself… weird culture we’re in


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