The Australian Classification Board (ACB) has banned the second video game in 24 hours from sale within the country.
State of Decay now joins Saints Row IV on a long list of banned games within the country.
Australia is known for its tight control on video game violence. In 2011, the Australian state Attorney-Generals instated an R18+ rating for video games; effectively killing any chance of release should any in-game content be deemed unsuitable for people under the age of 18.
Jeff Strain, Executive Producer of State of Decay, shared his disappointment on the Undead Labs gaming forum:
“I have bad news to share,” writes Strain. “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.”
“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.”
It’s not unprecedented for a studio or developer to modify its game for particular markets; Rockstar released a patch for Grand Theft Auto IV, censoring sex scenes in the game.
The ACB made its decision partly based on the player’s ability to self-administer drugs. In 2007, Blitz: The League was banned for its depiction of steroid use.