Game unbanned and given 18+ rating.
The Australian Classification Board has garnered a reputation for being pretty tight about the games it approves: its refusal to give DayZ the green light over weed resulted in the game being changed worldwide, and Disco Elysium similarly found itself in the firing line earlier this year. Back in March, the board announced that Disco Elysium: The Final Cut was too offensive to go on sale, citing its depiction of drug use, crime and violence as just some of the reasons for the ban.
Well, the board has now reversed its position on Disco Elysium, and the game can finally be released on consoles in Australia. With an 18+ rating slapped on, at least.
Disco Elysium was originally refused classification for a whole host of reasons, including depicting “sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety,” but it seems the Classification Board took particular issue with drug use in the game. The Review Board’s new report decided that while Disco Elysium does depict drug use, there are “sufficient disincentives to drug use to enable it to be accommodated within the R 18+ classification.
“In the Review Board’s opinion, this game provides disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences for the player’s progression in the game,” the document said. “The game mechanic is designed to disincentivise and penalise increased consumption of drugs.”
As noted by Kotaku Australia, Disco Elysium has been available for purchase in Australia on PC platforms like Steam for the last two years. But physical editions of games have to go through an approvals process, so Disco Elysium: The Final Cut was formally submitted to the board with the intention of releasing on PlayStation on 30th March. Following the initial ban, developer ZA/UM made a formal application for the decision to be reviewed, resulting in the ban being overturned. I bet ZA/UM is pretty happy The Final Cut has finally been released from classification board jail – it’s a detective game, sure, but that was all a bit too meta.