Top 10 Games Banned for Stupid Reasons



Top 10 Games Banned for Stupid Reasons

VOICE OVER: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
You are CANCELLED! For this list, we'll be going over the video games banned in countries around the world for odd, illogical, or downright silly reasons. Some of these games include Mass Effect, Devotion and even Pokémon.

Your argument is invalid! Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 games banned for stupid reasons.

For this list, we’ll be going over the video games banned in countries around the world for odd, illogical, or downright silly reasons.

#10: “Pokémon” Franchise (1996-)

Banned in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt for “Promoting Gambling, Zionism, and Evolution”

A franchise as long-running and successful as “Pokémon” is no stranger to controversy. The year 2001 saw the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia issue a fatwa, or Islamic law judgment, on the “Pokémon” franchise, claiming that it promoted gambling, Zionism, and evolution, which led to a ban on games and merchandise for the series. Saudi Arabia was also joined by religious authorities in Qatar and Egypt. While we can see how the card game and the casino portions of some of the games could be related to gambling, and evolution is literally how Pokémon change forms, calling the game Zionistic is looking for something that isn’t there.

#9: “Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure” (2006)

Banned in Australia for Graffiti Use

Australia is a more temperamental country than most when it comes to video game content, but even by the nation’s standards, the ban on “Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure” feels over-the-top. The game focuses strongly on tagging and graffiti, which led the country’s game classification board to ban it for “promoting crime.” If this seems like a minor crime to ban a game over, it’s probably because Australia has already banned every other game with more serious crimes - seriously, they ban an outrageous amount of games! What’s even more ridiculous though is that other games that prominently feature graffiti, such as “Jet Set Radio,” are not banned. Make up your mind Australia!

#8: “EA Sports MMA” (2010)

Banned in Denmark for Promoting an Energy Drink In-Game

MMA is one of the more brutal sports out there. So naturally, one might think that it was its violent content that resulted in it being banned in Denmark, but it was actually something as odd as product placement! Specifically, “EA Sports MMA” features lots of product placement for energy drinks. Seems fairly harmless, no? But here’s the problem. Denmark has outlawed energy drinks, as well as the advertisement of them. We can understand why a country might ban the incredibly unhealthy caffeine liquid, but this feels like a bit of a stretch in terms of how far-reaching such a ban should actually be. That being said, we wouldn’t mind seeing product placement itself getting banned from more popular media.

#7: “Pokémon Go” (2016)

Banned in Malaysia for “Promoting the Search for Power”

Yup, it’s “Pokémon” again! The world famous Pocket Monsters’ mobile hit “Pokemon Go” proved controversial worldwide for leading to accidents and disrupting business, but it was only banned outright in a few countries. Although Iran’s ban for unspecified “security concerns” was also bizarre enough that we considered it for our list, we had to go with Malaysia for outlawing the game for promoting the “search for power” as well as its supposed promotion of gambling and other things against Islamic law. Look, just because “Pokémon” encourages fans to “wanna’ be the very best, like no one ever was” doesn’t mean the game makers are trying to make players aim for world domination or something, or to begin worshipping false idols.

#6: “Injustice: Gods Among Us” (2013)

Banned in the UAE and Kuwait for Having “Gods” in the Title

The DC superheroes and villains fighting game “Injustice: Gods Among Us” received a temporary ban in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Although unconfirmed, it’s widely believed that this was partly due to the violence and scantily clad characters, but also because the word “gods” was in the title. Some could see this as contrasting with the Islamic creed of “shadada,” which states that there is only one God and Muhammad was his prophet. Since the ban was eventually lifted in the UAE, clearly cooler heads, who realized that “gods” was figurative and referred to fictional superhumans, prevailed.

#5: “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (2017)

Banned in Jordan, Iraq, Nepal, and Parts of India for “Negative Effects” on Citizens

“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” better known as “PUBG,” has been a massively successful mobile game. While it’s also received its share of harsh criticism, some countries have gone so far as to actually banned it entirely. Their primary gripe with the game is that its “Battle Royale,” dog-eat-dog gameplay supposedly encourages violence and bullying among its players. Although the link between real world violence and videogames remains the subject of much debate, we can see how bullying might become more prominent, particularly from “PUBG” players. Although some of the countries, or parts of them, have lifted their bans, others remain in place. Guess they’ll just have to make do with “Fortnite.”

#4: “Mass Effect” (2007)

Banned in Singapore for Depicting Sex Between a Human Woman and an Alien “Woman”

“Bioware” games are often noted for the freedom they give players when it comes to romance; usually permitting romance options for more sexualities than commonly found in most games. Naturally, this results in some less tolerant countries objecting to the depiction of LGBTQ relationships. One such example was Singapore’s ban of the original “Mass Effect” because of its depiction of romance and love scenes between the female version of the protagonist Shepard and (potentially several) blue alien “women.” We say “women,” because the Asari are single-gendered and are not exactly “female” as we understand it. It’s doubtful whether this detail was known to the Singaporean officials, since thorough research into media and the public’s outrage over it rarely go hand in hand.

#3: “Devotion” (2019)

Banned in China for an Easter Egg Comparing China’s President to Winnie the Pooh

Horror games are frequent targets for censorship, but that’s usually due to their violence and scares, not their hidden content. China banned the Taiwanese horror game “Devotion” because it contains an Easter egg comparing President/General Secretary Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. This is part of a wider effort by the communist nation to censor Winnie the Pooh in general after a meme first compared Jinping to the beloved bear. Although the hidden image has since been removed, the game, and Pooh Bear, remain banned. We think there are much less flattering characters to be compared to, but the fallout has been substantial; the game was ultimately pulled from Steam internationally, and there are no concrete plans to re-release it in the near future.

#2: All of Steam (2017)

Banned in Malaysia for One Game: “Fight of Gods”

The game “Fight of Gods” is a controversial fighter that allows players to pit religious figures like Jesus Christ or the Buddha against one another in combat. Although that’s divisive enough that we could see how a country would ban it, Malaysia took things a step further by banning not only “Fight of Gods,” but also all of gaming store site Steam, because it sold the game. That’s like forbidding people from using the internet for finding an offensive statement on it! And we all know how rare those are! The block was undone after Steam agreed to block “Fight of Gods” in Malaysia.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Dante’s Inferno” (2010)

Banned in Malaysia by a Muslim Group for Judeo-Christian Hell Iconography

“Football Manager 2005” (2004)

Banned in China for Depicting Nepal and Taiwan as Distinct Countries

“Command & Conquer: Generals” (2003)

Banned in China for Showing the Country in a “Negative Light”

#1: Games with “Shooting” (2009)

Banned in Venezuela by President Hugo Chávez

The link between violence and video games, if any, has been a hotly contested topic for decades, but the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez seemed to believe there was one. The controversial leader called for a ban on all games with “shooting” and other violent acts, ostensibly in an effort to curb the admittedly high murder rate in Venezuela. However, given that the ban came shortly after the release of “Mercenaries 2,” a game that features a tyrannical villain who is a thinly veiled parody of Chávez, we have to call his motives into question. Also, it wasn’t just realistic violent games that carried the ban, but also cartoonish violence and even toys.
I agree, like WTF-
After looking at number 1, im pretty sure no gamers live in Venezuela.