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Disco Elysium’s Australian Ban Has Been Overturned

Update 05/14/2021: The Australian Classification Review Board has reversed the ban on Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, after developer ZA/UM formally challenged the decision. It seems the tipping point for the game’s ban stemmed from Dico Elysium’s depiction of drug use, and the temporary benefits it offers you character. However, as reported by Kotaku Australia, the Review Board (which is separate to the Classification Board that originally refused to classify the game) has specifically made clear that Disco Elysium’s depiction of drug use is shown in an ultimately negative light, such that it can now receive an R 18+ classification. “In the Review Board’s opinion,” reads the Review Board’s report, “while drug use linked to incentives and rewards cannot be accommodated at R 18+, this game does provide disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences for the player’s progression in the game. It was, specifically, the disincentives for drug use that influenced the Review Board in making their decision. Drug use is not explicitly depicted within the game.” The classification means that Disco Elysium: The Final Cut can now be sold in Australia without impediment, although the R 18+ rating means that only adults can puchase the game. Despite the refused classification, The Final Cut (and the original, unclassified version of Disco Elysium) was still available to buy on Steam in Australia while the game was technically banned. [ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/03/31/disco-elysium-the-final-cut-review”] [poilib element=”accentDivider”] Disco Elysium: The Final Cut has been refused classification in Australia. You can see the ‘Refused Classification’ page on the Australian Government’s Classification Board website. According to the rating explanation page, a product will be refused classification if it “contains content that is very high in impact and falls outside generally-accepted community standards.” The refused classification will mean that, without alterations, the game cannot be sold in Australia. More specifically, The Final Cut was refused classification as a game that has been seen to “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.” [ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/12/11/disco-elysium-final-cut-trailer”] Disco Elysium features alcohol and drug misuse, not to mention a plot that often centres on crime, cruelty, and violence along the way, which could explain why the game has been refused. This seemingly only affects the new version of the game, as the original PC version of Disco Elysium is still available on Steam in Australia, as it has been since its launch in 2019. Developer ZA/UM may have to edit the game’s content if they want to get past the rating board in Australia. The news arrives as the PC, PS5, PS4 and Google Stadia launch of The Final Cut version of the game looms on March 30th. Disco Elysium was originally exclusive to PC, but developer ZA/UM announced a console version of the game during The Game Awards last year. The Final Cut adds voice acting and some bonus content and will be a free upgrade to users who own the game already on PC. A TV adaptation of the game is currently in the works at dj2 Entertainment. [poilib element=”accentDivider”] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.

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