‘We Happy Few’ video game may be banned in Australia, but there are ways around it

We Happy Few video game may be banned in Australia

Australian authorities are up to their shenanigans again. You know, those shenanigans that have them saying perfectly normal video games will not be able to be released in Australia. Even if they are released in most of the rest of the world with no problem.

The latest video game that may not be released in Australia due to being refused classification by the Australian Classification board? The indie survival game We Happy Few.

And the reason it may not be given classification?

This on the Classification Board’s website:

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.

Should I start by asking, isn’t that most video games? “Crime, cruelty, violence”? Because, at least in the games I play, that shows up in just about all of them.

While Australia is still back in the 18th century, however, when it comes to the classification of video games, there is usually a way around it. Well, two ways actually.

The first one, which few developers or publishers ever go for, is to drastically alter the game itself.

Considering a huge part of We Happy Few is all about the drugs that put the population in a state where they can be controlled, it’s highly unlikely developer Compulsion Games or publisher Gearbox is going to remove them. If they did, the game would not make sense, and would be basically unplayable.

Nor are they likely to remove the violence — because isn’t that the whole point of the game? The person who refuses to take the drugs that are used to control the population now has to brainstorm and to fight his way out of the dystopian world he is stuck in, while hoping he doesn’t get beaten to death in the process?

The second way around the classification refusal, which is probably what will happen here, is to have the game classified in Australia as R18+. That means only adults can buy the game.

But, let’s face it, while the Australian Classification Board may think otherwise,  it is not going to stop anyone under 18 playing We Happy Few if they really want to. Just like other adult-ratings on other video games in the past.

As for the release date for We Happy Few? Right now, it is slated to be released in mid-2018.

Meanwhile, if you are in Australia and desperately hoping We Happy Few will be available somehow, here is some of what you will be missing if it ends up that it’s not.

A couple of other games banned or censored in Australia


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