EA has confirmed it will not be selling Dragon Age: Inquisition in India.
All pre-orders for the game have been cancelled in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“In order to avoid a breach of local content laws, EA has withdrawn Dragon Age: Inquisition from sale in India and the game is no longer available for pre-order,” explained EA in a statement.
“All affected purchases for Dragon Age: Inquisition will be refunded. This applies regardless of payment method or date of purchase.
“Customers who pre-ordered the game will be contacted directly and will be fully refunded.”
According to NDTV, the local Indian distributor Milestone Interactive confirmed that homosexual sex scenes were the issue. EA has yet to confirm whether or not the homosexual scenes were the reason why the game was pulled.
Both previous games in the Dragon Age series are still available on the Origin store. It appears as though EA has attempted to deflect any potential issues with the game in that region by simply not making it available. Considering that EA and Dragon Age games typically shift very few units in that region, it might not be worth the potential headache that releasing a game in that region may cause.
But that feels very unfair for gamers in that region who are interested in Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s a difficult situation for sure, and of course cultural norms in India are very different from our own, particularly in regards to homosexuality. In India homosexuality is still very much illegal and has been since 1861. Homosexuality carries a 10 year sentence for those who are successfully convicted.
All attempts to change the situation in India have failed. In 2009 a Delhi High Court ruled existing legislation to be unconstitutional, but recently, in December 2013 that ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court of India, meaning that homosexual intercourse was once again illegal in India.
“This is a right decision, we welcome it,” said Om Prakash Singhal, vice-president of Vishva Hindu Parishad, a right wing organisation in India. “Homosexuality is against Indian culture, against nature and against science. We are regressing, going back to when we were almost like animals.”
Maulana Madni, a spokesperson for Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind said: “In a society, a family is made up of a man and a woman, not a woman and a woman, or a man and a man. If these same sex couples adopt children, the child will grow up with a skewed version of a family. Society will disintegrate.”
In a situation like this, it’s difficult to blame EA for just avoiding the discussion altogether.