It looks like The Last of Us Part II has been banned in the Middle East. As players report, the PlayStation Support claims that if the game is not available on the Store region, it's most likely banned by "the competent authorities".
The Last of Us Part II has been subject of many controversies over the last couple of months. From huge gameplay leaks which brought a ton of spoilers, to Naughty Dog's decisions regarding the game's story and characters, it is safe to say that The Last of Us Part II has been a major talking point on various gaming forums and social media, for all the wrong reasons.
And it looks like the controversy is set to continue if the latest reports about the ban in the Middle East region are true. Players report that the game is not available for pre-order on PlayStation Store Middle East region. When asked why this is the case, PlayStation Support replied:
"If any game does not exist on any Store region, this means that the game is banned by the competent authorities of the country and we cannot do anything regarding that."
Now, this seems like a really poorly written statement so we suggest you take it with a grain of salt until we get an official confirmation. It is possible that the game appears on the store soon since some other titles with heavy themes like Cyberpunk 2077 is available for pre-order on the Middle East store.
If the game is indeed banned, one of the reasons could be the romantic relationship between Ellie and Dina. As you may know, media with LGBT themes is often banned or heavily censored in the Middle Eastern countries but it's also possible that nudity and sexual content is another reason for the ban since the game's rating mentions these themes.