Video games and the Australian Classification Board, can you name a more tumultuous duo?
In a bit of disappointing news, Devolver Digital’s most recent release, Katana ZERO, has been refused classification in Australia and New Zealand. The news came via Tweet from Devolver which you can check out below. The game was set to launch on April 19th for both PC and Switch. The Switch distribution has come to a complete halt although at the time of writing the game still appears on the Steam store. Perhaps the PC release will squeak through, although it is still possible for the game to be taken down sometime in the near future.
Heads up to folks in Australia / New Zealand – Katana ZERO has a ‘Classification Refused’ rating and therefore will not be released on Switch in Australia and New Zealand on Thursday.
Our team is re-submitting in hopes to get that changed and we’ll keep you posted with news! pic.twitter.com/VTt9U4Jni3
— Devolver Digital (@devolverdigital) April 17, 2019
This isn’t the first time a Devolver Digital published game has been refused classification in the past. In fact, they are starting to develop a bit of a reputation for it. Hotline Miami 2 was infamously refused classification in Australia and still remains banned to this day. Both Genital Jousting and Mother Russia Bleeds (two more Devolver games) were also refused classification but they have since become available to purchase and play.
At this point we can only hope that the Australian Classification Board reverses their decision and allows Katana ZERO to be distributed. Devolver have already said they are re-submitting the game in the hopes the decision will change.
Katana ZERO describes itself as a “stylish neo-noir, action-platformer featuring breakneck action and instant-death combat.” In the game you can manipulate time by using a drug called ‘Chronos.’ Whilst we don’t specifically know the exact details around the game’s refusal of classification, it’s a fairly safe bet that ‘Chronos’ plays a big role. The Australian Classification Board has historically perceived any drug use that creates a positive effect as a huge no no.
How do you feel about the refusal of classification?