Just this week the Australian ratings board denied Saint’s Row IV classification, essentially banning the game from being sold within the country. Now, the run-away-hit State of Decay, which has become the fastest selling XBLA title ever, has run in to the same problem.
Jeff Strain, the Executive Produce of State of Decay at Undead Labs, took to the official State of Decay forums to break the news, saying:
“Hola Australian State of Decay fans,
I have bad news to share: State of Decay has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board (ACB). We’ve run afoul of certain prohibitions regarding the depiction of drug use. We’re working with Microsoft to come up with options, including changing names of certain medications in the game to comply with ratings requirements. Whatever our path forward, it’s going to take a bit.”
For anybody who hasn’t played the game, you’re let loose in an open-world filled with zombies and must simply survive, building your community as you do so. Part of surviving includes gathering up and using various medications, be it to treat wounds or to simply keep your stamina up long enough so that you can stumble home. Presumably either there was a specific drug that the board were not happy with the player being able to guzzle, or it was all of the drugs in general and the player’s ability to use them at any time and in any amount.
“I know this is frustrating — believe me, we’re frustrated too — but each country has the right to set its own rules about content, and it’s our responsibility to comply with them. Rest assured we’ll do everything we can to find a way to get the game into your hands. Stay tuned.”
One can’t help but feel that the entire point of Australia introducing an R18+ rating at the start of the year was for situations such as this.
Ah well, my heart goes out to my gaming brothers and sisters in Kangaroo land. Don’t worry, Undead Labs are working on it so there’s a very good chance that you will get to play State of Decay eventually.