And it could generate unwanted controversy and possibly even cause the game to get a stricter age rating or need to be censored in certain territories.
I'm going with this. Dead or Alive Dimensions (3ds) was banned in Sweeden for violating "child pornography laws." For context, as someone who has the game, there are flashbacks in the game to when certain characters were children. They were not portrayed in a sexual way as children, but were as adults.
The argument comes down to Characters Kasumi, Lisa, Ayane, Alpha-152, Kokoro, Eliot, and Kasumiα having their ages not listed (according to certain wikis, Eliot and Ayane were 16 as of the game, but i noticed the Japanese text doesn't clarify this, so i imagine this was never actually specified for one reason or another). One could argue Alpha-152 and Kasumiα are children depicted as adults, because, well, they're "clones" of Kasumi. Here's where it gets interesting: the same didn't apply to Dead or Alive 5... Where the clones are very much still under age (that's a whole other can of worms). Photo modes in the 3ds game were limited to poses of character models, which is supposedly the big no-no. But, interstingly, a quick google tells me that sweden's age of consent is... 15.... If it's 15, and the youngest character, in theory, is 16 (as far as potential
sexual representation goes), where as the characters as children were restricted to flashbacks....
And, of course, that's just one game. We don't know what all hell was going on behind the scenes with other countries and other games. It's very clear that regulatory agencies will ban stuff on flimsy evidence, but let stuff through on a whim. I'm aware of a certain chinese game on android that is probably
not banned in any country, but arguably includes loli. It's called PanzerGirls if anyone in europe wants to confirm it's still in the android store. here if you need a damn link, too.
It just makes sense to not bother playing the silly game of trying to flirt with the lines when you can't even get a proper appeal. I would imagine it's why all these companies have "patches" for naughty games, even on adult game websites.
But, that's just "sexual content." Imagine the littany of other things, including the new trend of social media outrage mobs. Let's not forget that, and feel free to call me sexist for this (i tried finding actual science on this, but good luck getting anything that isn't related to covid in your search results), but we know that as more and more women have been getting into gaming, the likelihood of a dead child on the screen is going to evoke some reactions (because, well, we all know most women have this naturally innate response to seeing the suffering of children).
The fact is, society has become rather thin-skinned to certain types of controversy. Devs out there feel it in the sales, and would much rather avoid the damage. Me, personally, i'd much, much rather allow people to do that. If i ever get off my lazy as and get back to working on my game that i'm making, I plan on allowing everything shy of having sex with children (out of a desire just to permit literally any action, i'd wish to allow that, too, since no children are actually getting harmed [and the only thing that would identify them as children is a number, anyway, because the sprites will just be letters, rather than pictures], but we know damn well how that would cause legal repercussions). Let's face it, it's getting easier and easier by the day to get a product, or even yourself, banned from a particular country, region, or website. I've actually considered abandoning the project, because, well, I have enough games and clearly the world isn't interested in that level of freedom.