Why was this censored? Did they ever give a reason???
This isn't a PSO2 situation where it's just one or two separated occurrences in isolation, but it's fair there is a similarity in terms of not knowing who first asked for it to happen. So, a couple minutes of google gets me this from wikipedia.
Inappropriate content stuff was apparently driven by TV networks:
At the 2019 Fan Expo Canada, Eric Stuart, who did the voice of Brock in the 4Kids dub of Pokémon, and the voice of Seto Kaiba in the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and who was also part of the production side, mentioned why 4Kids' dubs had this censorship. He explained that American culture has different sensitivity to certain content compared to Japanese culture, and networks on Saturday mornings had standards that would forbid certain inappropriate content like firearms, sexual references, religious references, display or mention of death, alcohol, cigarettes, and other content that is considered offensive to American audiences. As the censorship is dictated by the networks and not the production company itself, 4Kids would submit the scripts and footage of their dubs to the networks their dubs air on, and then the executives of those networks would review them. Then after they reviewed it, they would tell 4Kids to cut out certain scenes and edit inappropriate content to something particular like change a cigarette to a lollipop or change a stone that looks like a cross to something non-religious in order for their dubs to pass the network's standards.
Meanwhile the removal of Japanese references was apparently driven by the Japanese creators seeking to be more internationally marketable:
At the 2016 Metrocon, Eric Stuart also explained the "Americanization" in 4Kids' dubs. He stated that those edits were actually international edits. When companies like 4Kids purchase the licensing to Japanese anime, the anime not only was redubbed into English but also redubbed into multiple languages because companies like 4Kids were used to distribute the anime to other countries by using their own dubs and licensing them to other countries to have their dubs be used to distribute the anime. The Japanese food products being changed and Japanese references being removed were requested by those Japanese anime companies because they wanted their anime to be distributed worldwide and wanted international audiences to relate to their products much easier. So while the Japanese anime companies remove the Japanese text on signs, 4Kids removed the scenes involving Japanese references and changed the names of the Japanese food products like rice balls to something more international like donuts while only occasionally changing the animation to the foods since making animation changes causes rise in production costs and they already have to make plenty of animation changes in their dubs.
So there we go. Different reasons and different parties for different forms of content changing / censorship. That was more educational than I expected, and should highlight that of the numerous parties involved with global PSO2 we just don't know who demanded the changes to our game.
Thank you! Lot of interesting facts in there, I hope everyone takes time to read over it.