In unfortunate news for Australian gamers, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board, which may force the developers ZA/UM to change the game for it to be released in the region. The government entity in charge of approving and classifying entertainment in Australia handed down its unfavorable decision on the game yesterday. Though it is not able to censor the game itself, the Australian Classification Board is capable of halting sales of Disco Elysium: The Final Cut until the game meets its standards.
The game’s classification troubles down under follow closely on the heels of the announcement that Disco Elysium: The Final Cut would finally be making its way to consoles on March 30. After its initial release on PC in 2019, the PlayStation Blog revealed the noir RPG would be coming to both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 at the end of the month. The enhanced version of the original game promises to add a slew of fresh features to entice new and long-time fans alike. These additions include new quests, locations, and full voice acting. However, it is this new content that may have led to Disco Elysium: The Final Cut’s current situation.
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After reviewing the upcoming version of ZA/UM’s detective game, the Australian Classification Board determined it could not be rated. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut has officially received an RC rating for the time being, which stands for refused classification. According to the board’s website, any piece of media branded with this rating “cannot be sold, hired, advertised or legally imported in Australia.” The judgment does not specify what parts of the game triggered it to be refused, but it does explain, in broad terms, the classification board’s objections.
In the mind of the ACB, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut seems to have run afoul of the “standards of morality, decency, and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.” The paragraph also points to the game’s depiction of drug use, sex, and other explicit subject matter as a reason for its current categorization. The rating is not permanent, and ZA/UM could remove parts of its game to satisfy the Australian governing body. It seems unlikely, though, considering the studio behind Disco Elysium appears to see this version of the game is what the team envisioned from its inception.
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is certainly not the first game to have issues with the ACB. Grand Theft Auto 4 developers, Rockstar, erased much of the game’s gore and toned down its sexually explicit content for its 2008 Australian launch. Grand Theft Auto 4, and several previous games that got tangled in the Australian government’s approval process, may serve as a cheat sheet for developers hoping to receive a rating in the country. However, it remains to be seen if ZA/UM will be willing to cut material from its game’s final cut.
Source: Australian Classification Board
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Jill is a freelance video game journalist based in the Bay Area. You can find her articles at gaming sites like The Indie Game Website, Destructoid, and Game Informer. Jill has also made podcast appearances, most recently on The MinnMax Show. Any story-driven game that delves into history or fantasy is sure to catch her eye. You can follow Jill on Twitter @Finruin.