Disco Elysium is once again on sale in Australia, after the game was previously banned on all platforms in late March. Disco Elysium: A Final Cut–a definitive version of the game according to its developers–was submitted to Australia’s Classification Review Board for a formal rating but was refused by the organization, likely due to content in the game about prolific drug use and self-harm gameplay.
Without that classification, it was illegal to sell the game physically or on console platforms, but the ban has since been overturned.
“In the Classification Review Board’s opinion Disco Elysium–The Final Cut warrants an R 18+ classification because the themes, coarse language, and drug references have a high impact,” the Classification Review Board, a separate body which reviews all classification ratings challenged in Australia, said in its report via Kotaku Australia.
According to the Review Board, while Disco Elysium may contain gameplay that allows players to consume drugs, the manner in which the game discourages players from actually doing so and the negative consequences attached to them helped overturn the Classification Review Board’s original ruling.
“In the Review Board’s opinion, while drug use linked to incentives and rewards cannot be accommodated at R 18+, this game does provide disincentives related to drug-taking behavior, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences for the player’s progression in the game. It was, specifically, the disincentives for drug use that influenced the Review Board in making their decision. Drug use is not explicitly depicted within the game,” the formal statement read.
Australia has long been known for its restrictive stance on video games, with many titles over the years banned classification until an R18+ rating for video games was instated in 2011.
Even with that rating, games could still run afoul of the Review Board for a number of reasons, such as Hotline Miami 2 being banned from sale because of a scene that included sexual violence, Katana Zero‘s incentivized drug use, and The Witcher 2 was refused classification because of sexuality and nudity in relation to rewards.
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