‘Baldur’s Gate 3’ Finally Out In Japan, Leaf-ing Privates Censored

Baldur’s Gate 3 doesn’t shy away from its inclusion of nudity or sex scenes. Naked bodies are censored or out in full glory only if a player wills for it, through a nifty toggle for explicit content. However, its Japanese release out just on 21 December comes entirely without this toggle due to the country’s strict rating system, but players can still admire the human’s natural form – thanks to a rather handy leaf.

This move comes from Spike Chunsoft, renowned for its diverse portfolio of RPGs, visual novels, and handling of localised versions of big-name western games for over a decade. Some reputable works include The Witcher 2 and 3, Cyberpunk 2077, and the Divinity: Original Sin series created by Baldur’s Gate 3 developer Larian Studios. 

In fact, Spike Chunsoft often incorporates dark and edgy elements into its own games which leads to various run-ins with Japan’s rating system, known for having various strict guidelines for video game content. One recent example is the release of Cyberpunk 2077, which was unsurprisingly hit by these same regulations.

To run by these restrictions, content coverage happens not only with the convenient leaf above, but even extends to sexual content and certain instances of violence in the game. While more leaves for censorship would rake in attention, these scenes are instead presented differently or left out of the game entirely to adhere to the Code of Ethics set by Japanese rating board CERO. This includes the removal of the chance to torture NPCs in Act 1’s goblin camp, or changing the look of how innards spill out of bodies. 

Most recently, Baldur’s Gate 3 has also won five awards at the most recent The Game Awards 2023, notably the Game of The Year Award. For such a highly acclaimed game, these changes may feel like a damper to its experience, but they are not likely to significantly impact the overall gameplay. In fact, it may become interesting for players to see for themselves what exactly the boundaries are like in Japan for a game like Baldur’s Gate 3.

Despite these alterations, Spike Chunsoft’s Japanese release of Baldur’s Gate 3 is poised to broaden the game’s audience, albeit with certain compromises. For now, Japanese players can continue choosing to launch their avatar as such and shield them with just that essential bit of natural armour.