Previously, We Happy Few was a game that we thought would never see release on our shores. It was refused classification by the the Classification Board on the ruling that the drug use contained was beneficial and created an advantage for the player. Never mind all the bashing in of heads and whatnot.
This created a lot of confusion, with some people wondering what would happen to their early access copies they’d spent money on come release time. I was one of those people and I was very worried because I had really enjoyed what I’d played so far.
The original statement to the game being refused classification was given as follows:
In the Board’s opinion, the game’s drug-use mechanism of making game progression less difficult, constituted an incentive or reward for drug-use. Therefore, the game exceeded the R 18+ classification because of the drug use related to incentives and rewards.
The Games Guidelines state that computer games that exceed the R 18+ classification category will be Refused Classification. If the Games Guidelines did not contain this restriction in its current form, then We Happy Few would have received an MA 15+ classification.
However, news has just broken that the Classification Board will now be allowing the game to be released in a move that rarely happens, with the three-person panel determining the game will now receive an R-18+ rating and will absolutely see a release. Further information on the reversal will be published by the Classification Board at a later date, but right now this is an absolutely amazing ruling for the game, and for everyone that wants to play it.
Hopefully this is a sign of the Classification Board in Australia taking games more seriously.