Sony has confirmed this morning that Heavy Rain, one of the biggest exclusives of the year for the PlayStation 3, has been banned in the United Arab Emirates.
Following a report on Middle Eastern gaming site megamers, we contacted Sony, who provided this statement released by their local branch:
The UAE's National Media Council (NMC) has banned Heavy Rain on PlayStation3. Heavy Rain has an 18+ PEGI rating and has been conceived from the earliest stages as a genuinely adult experience. This means that it deals with strong content including blood and nudity, but treats this content in a mature and sensitive manner. The game is not intentionally controversial or sensationalist, and all the themes and content are consistent with what consumers would expect to see in a mainstream Hollywood thriller.
No specific reason given, though you'd imagine it's all the "adult" content spelled out in the statements. Bear in mind that's the release from Sony, not from the NMC. Which is why it reads like "It's been banned, here are very good reasons why it should not have been banned".
It's the second title to be banned this year in the Middle Eastern state, after Darksiders suffered a similar fate. Though, as many local readers pointed out, the ban was only loosely enforced (as previous efforts have also been), meaning anyone in the Emirates looking to get on the Origami Killer's trail probably just needs to shop around a little.