The Australian government and the wider video game industry have had a tumultuous relationship. Throughout the years plenty of games have caught the Oz ban hammer while still being released in other countries without a hitch. This is largely due to Australia’s reliance on the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC), and grossly emphasizes the government’s lack of interest in our local games industry.
DayZ is one of the more recent additions to the blacklist. The open-world shooting game sets you in the middle of a zombie outbreak with only one goal in mind – survival. The game was banned for physical sale in Australia due to its positive depiction of drug use despite being available online for almost a year with an MA15+ rating. DayZ developer Bohemia Interactive is in the process of altering the game to remove this issue, but in the meantime, the game is still available for purchase online through the Steam application.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Hotline Miami developer Devolver Digital is no stranger to the Australian classification system, in fact, Hotline Miami’s successor “Hotline Miami: Wrong Number” had a run-in with the RC rating back in 2015. This was due to an implied sexual assault scene which the classification board says challenges the “standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified”. The game was available in Australia through the Nintendo Switch eShop but was pulled from the digital shelves on August 20.
We Happy Few
Like many others before it, We Happy Few was banned mainly for its positive portrayal of drug use. Unlike others, We Happy Few had its ban lifted and then reinstated for its Lightbearer story expansion. The downloadable content replaced regular means of regaining health with the consumption of alcohol, coffee and sedatives called Joy. Highlighting drug use already puts the game in Australia’s bad books, but even the developer was surprised about the returning RC rating back in August.