Proving that it doesn’t rain, it pours: Another game has been Refused Classification in Australia. This time, it’s Microsoft‘s Xbox Live Arcade offering State of Decay, which was famously delayed Down Under due to confusion with the Board.
I have bad news to share: State of Decay has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board (ACB). We’ve run afoul of certain prohibitions regarding the depiction of drug use. We’re working with Microsoft to come up with options, including changing names of certain medications in the game to comply with ratings requirements. Whatever our path forward, it’s going to take a bit.
In Fallout 3, this was morphine. In Saints Row IV, it was “alien narcotics”. Taking drugs in both games would boost hit points, prevent further character damage, or in some way make the character “better” – something the Classification Board feels very strongly about.
From the Board’s report:
The game contains the option of self-administering a variety of “medications” throughout gameplay which act to restore a player’s health or boost their stamina. These “medications” include both legal and illicit substances such as methadone, morphine, amphetamines, stimulants, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, codeine, aspirin, “trucker pills”, painkillers and tussin. Of these, methadone, morphine and amphetamines are proscribed drugs and the term “stimulant” is commonly used to refer to a class of drugs of which several are proscribed.
The drugs are contained in pill bottles or syringes, both of which tread too closely to real-world drug use. The Board goes on to explain that these drugs are accessible through scavenging in the environment, or by manufacturing them in a “Medical Lab”, which contains a research library and chemical dictionary.
The Board has found State of Decay to contain “drug use related to incentives or rewards”, and as such has been Refused Classification.