Update 2: It seems that the rejection of Outlast 2 by the Australian Classification Board was down to content that wasn't intended for the game's final release.
The copy of the game submitted to the ACB by Red Barrels was accompanied by a reference video which resulted in Outlast 2 being denied a rating certification. This video featured alpha footage of content which has since changed.
The info came to light in a statement to Eurogamer from Red Barrels.
"The original submission of Outlast 2 sent to the Australian Classification Branch contained the final game code and a video file for reference taken from an Alpha version of the game. This video file should not have been sent along with the game code, as its content was not representative of the final game.
"In the second submission, the same game code was submitted with a video file reflecting the final game content. The game was then approved for release with an R18+ rating. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide."
Update 1: Upon re-examination of Outlast 2, the Australian Classification Board has decided to give the game a rating after all.
Outlast 2 has been classified as R18+, the highest possible rating in Australia. The ACB page for the game provides the following diagram, which reveals that the "violence", "sex", and "themes" of Outlast 2 are classified as "high impact".
The game's developer Red Barrels confirmed in a statement to Press Start that no changes were made to the game in light of the ACB's previous decision to withhold a rating.
"Outlast 2 has been rated R18+ by the Classification Branch in Australia and will be released April 26, 2017," it said. "There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide."
Original story: Survival horror game Outlast 2 has been refused classification in Australia, effectively banning it from release in the country.
The decision was made by the Australian Classification Board, which ruled that the game's contents rendered it unsuitable for sale.
Outlast 2 was due to release on April 25, but the game's developer, Red Barrels will now need to re-submit its product with amendments if it hopes to reach the Australian market.
The Classification Board found the game 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".
Last year, the demo for Outlast 2 was afforded an R18+ rating for its graphic depictions of violence among other factors. Clearly the full-game went too far for the Classification Board moderators.
The R18+ rating in Australia has only existed in Australia since 2013. Previously, the highest rating was MA+15.
In the UK, the PEGI ratings system begins at 3 and ends at 18, a rating which is generally reserved for uses of "gross violence". What this constitutes is unclear, but PEGI does suggest that it would cause the viewer to feel a sense of revulsion.
Assuming Red Barrels doesn't encounter similar problems in other territories, Outlast 2 will be available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next month.
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