Bad news for Australian video game fans, as the eagerly anticipated game Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been refused classification in Australia.
Known for their stringent rating system, Australia refused Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number for classification even with their relatively new R18+ rating for games with provocative adult content available for use. The refusal makes buying a legitimate version of the game in the country essentially impossible, effectively banning the game from distribution. The reason for the refusal is listed below:
The computer game is classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code, Computer Games Table, 1. (a) as computer games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of 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 generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.”
Devolver Digital, the publisher of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, found the classification refusal a bit upsetting and were disappointed that the evaluation board would “stretch the facts” so far that it would ban the game. The company issued a statement today about the refusal:
We are aware of the recent report published by the Australian Classification Board in regards to Hotline Miami 2 and have been in communication with them. As such, we and Dennaton Games would like to clarify a few things:
First, to clear up any possible misconceptions, the opening cinematic that was first shown in June of 2013 has not changed in any way. We also want to make clear that players are given an choice at the start of the game as to whether they wish to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence. The sequence in question is presented below in context, both after choosing the uncut version of the game and after choosing to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence.
Second, in response to the report itself, we are concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree and issue a report that describes specific thrusting actions that are not simply present in the sequence in question and incorrectly portrays what was presented to them for review.
Though we have no plans to officially challenge the ruling, we stand by our developers, their creative vision for the storyline, its characters and the game and look forward to delivering Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number to fans very soon.
Hotline Miami, the first game in the series, was one of my favorite games from 2012, and I can’t help but feel sorry for any fans that may not be able to experience the sequel due to this decision. You can check out the scene Devolver Digital references as the reason for the classification refusal below to pass your own judgement on whether or not its ban was justified.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is set to release on PS3, PS4, PS Vita and PC some time in early 2015.