Hotline Miami 2 refused classification in Australia
January 15, 2015 | 12:32
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been banned in Australia as a result of the country’s classification board refusing to issue a rating for the game.
The Refused Classification (RC) status is awarded in Australia for games that '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’.
The particular issue with Hotline Miami 2 is a scene depicting sexual assault, albeit a scene which is actually part of a film that is being shot within the game, with the player character being an actor for the incident as opposed to the assault actually taking place as part of the game’s narrative.
The offending scene has already previously caused controversy as it was also included as part of the game’s demo that was shown off at Rezzed and Penny Arcade Expo in 2013. Developer Dennaton stated that it had taken the feedback onboard and hoped that the scene made sense in the larger context of the game, clarifying that it wasn’t something they added just to try and be edgy.
The developers now have the option to work on a modified version in an attempt to appease censors. Notable examples of other games that have done this include Saints Row 4 which was initially refused classification thanks to an alien probe weapon and South Park: The Stick of Truth, which replaced the parts of the game that the classification board had flagged up with images of crying koalas and a text description of the scene instead.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is due for release in the first quarter of this year. The game is both a prequel and sequel to the original Hotline Miami with the plot taking place before and after the events of the first game. It is intended to be the final game in the series.