It’s a story that seems unfortunately likely to repeat time and time again. The Australian Classification Board (ACB) has ruled another game inappropriate for sale in Australia. This time it’s DayZ, the multiplayer survival video game that was officially released last year but was in Early Access development for around 5 years prior.
The most recent development of the DayZ ban here in Australia is that the game will also be pulled from digital storefronts. As originally reported by Kotaku, the ACB believes the game to exceed even an R18+ rating and will therefore be essentially banned from distribution.
The reason for the game’s ban comes down to drug use, a pretty common reason when you look at Australia’s history with banned video games. According to a report sent to Kotaku, DayZ features “illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards”. More specifically, the game contains a marijuana joint labelled ‘cannabis’ which restores the player’s health.
“The use of drugs (marijuana) as an incentive or reward during the gameplay exceeds what can be accommodated within the R18+ classification and therefore must be Refused Classification”.
The Australian Classification Board has had to overrule the IARC online classification process that has given DayZ an M15+ rating. This varied rating between the two classification distributors shows that Australia doesn’t seem to align with most of the rest of the world when it comes to the classification of games. Hopefully the game is able to be altered slightly for Australian release to remove the illicit drug use and can be reclassified and distributed once again.