Saints Row: The Third, which was going to be distributed by Viva Entertainment , has been officially banned in the UAE by order of the National Media Council with no given explanation. In addition to this, the game was recently leaked as well weeks before the official release date.
Even though no reason has been given, Saints Row is a series fairly notorious for use of sexual themes, drugs, and alcohol much like Grand Theft Auto. As a largely-Islamic country, many might point fingers at their main religion, but the far more liberal nature of the UAE, especially when compared to the more strict countries in the Middle East means that it’s more likely to be the violence, criminal acts, and sexual themes of the game that rubbed a few people the wrong way.
It wont be a major loss for THQ however, the population of UAE only numbers in the 8-millions, and not all of them are gamers. It does however show that videogame censorship is alive and well even in these modern times sadly. The leak however is a nasty thing to happen, considering the amount of time between now and the release date next month.
The aforementioned leak was quite recent, and is likely part of the reason developers have been putting DRM on their products in order to combat this, but ultimately failing. Such a sad future where someone can just walk in and steal something before it even hits the shelves. If I could get a game before everyone else I’d be quite tempted to jump at such a chance myself but theft is the last thing I would resort to. I do wonder why I never hear about scandals where someone was caught trying to steal something in development.