Australia, coming off the back of refusing classification to Saints Row IV yesterday, apparently wasn't satisfied with just one act of censorship. Today Undead Labs announced that their game too had been refused classification, so for the foreseeable future Australia will not be seeing State of Decay. Again, the issue seems to be related to some sort of drug use. The team is currently exploring their options with Microsoft
Here's the full statement, taken from the Undead Labs forums:
"I have bad news to share: State of Decay has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board. 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."
With this announcement I believe it's fair to say that Australia, despite the addition of the R18+ rating, continues to be a champion for video game censorship the world over. When a small committee of representatives is judging the ethical value of an art form then your country has gone in a frightening direction.R18+ was supposed to be the next step, it clearly isn't. What now?
State of Decay is currently available on Xbox 360 via download beyond the shores of Australia. Seeing as it's an Xbox 360 exclusive for the time being there's really no solution for fans wanting to play the game in Australia until Undead Labs finishes censoring their game -- if they're even allowed to. Perhaps the best hope is for the game to eventually come to PC. Cross your fingers.