blue archive censored

Blue Archive Will Split into Separately Age-Rated versions

On October 4, 2022, Nexon announced that its gacha RPG Blue Archive will be split into two versions. Each version will have a different age rating, corresponding to one version having some of its artwork “censored” and the other having the artwork as it exists currently. To be more precise, they will be the “version with adjusted resources” and the “R-18 version.” The R-18 version of the game will have a higher age rating. [Thanks, Automaton!]

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Blue Archive Producer Kim Yong-ha explained the situation in a post dated on October 4th. According to Kim, the Korean Game Rating and Administration Committee contacted the team in September 2022. The committee gave them an ultimatum: Adjust the art or adjust the age rating. Kim said that while changing the art would be the simplest option, the team considered adjustments it had already made to the global (English) edition of Blue Archive, when in December 2021 it adjusted artwork for the character Arisu’s story segments. This happened despite earlier promises from October 2021 that the team would not alter artwork for the global version. In light of the blowback from that incident of Blue Archive being “censored,” Kim worried that repeated changes would negatively impact players. Thus the decision was made to raise the age rating of the current game, and produce a second, “all-ages” version of the app with “adjusted resources”.

The version with adjusted resources will “undergo a thorough review” so as to keep the “visual personalities” of the characters. It will also not affect player accounts, so you can play either version without losing progress. Blue Archive will become an R-18 game in Korea. Meanwhile, the adjusted version will come out some time in the future.

This is not the first time that a game studio has had to implement artwork changes due following government intervention. In China, HoYoVerse changed the default outfits of characters Jean, Amber, Rosaria, and Mona in Genshin Impact to cover up more skin. The global editions received the adjusted versions as optional cosmetics. Blue Archive is also not the first game to have “censored” versions with separate age ratings. Some of DMM Games’s titles are the same, and many adults-only games are sold on storefront like Steam in their all-ages incarnations, with optional patches or DLC to unlock the spicier content. But it is rare that a studio chooses to split a game in such a way after launch.

Blue Archive is readily available on mobile devices.

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Stephanie Liu
Stephanie is a senior writer who has been writing for games journalism and translating since 2020. After graduating with a BA in English and a Certificate in Creative Writing, she spent a few years teaching English and history before fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a writer. In terms of games, she loves RPGs, action-adventure, and visual novels. Aside from writing for Siliconera and Crunchyroll, she translates light novels, manga, and video games.