State Of Decay Reclassified R18+ In Australia

State Of Decay — that awesome-looking zombie game once banned — has been reclassified as R18+.

The Classification Board has confirmed to us today that State Of Decay has been reclassified as R18+ following the submission of a modified version of the game from Undead Labs and publisher, Microsoft.

The game had prevously copped a Refused Classification stamp and was subsequently banned under its unmodified iteration, which reportedly fell foul of the Classification Board for its use of interactive drugs. It was resubmitted to the Classification Board last month.

The Classification Board reports that drug use is now only mild-impact, while VG247 reports that State Of Decay now has the R18+ rating after rebranding the drugs used in the game.

Update: We have now got our hands on the official document from the Classification Board. On the use of prescription drugs:

The Board notes that the original version of the game was Refused Classification as it contained drug use related to incentives and rewards. In the opinion of the Board, this modified game can be accommodated within the R18+ category because of the removal of references to proscribed drugs.

Hooray for semantics! [Classification Board via VG247]


    Hoolay! Now if someone could rebrand marijuana and cocaine, we'd all be set, right?

      Weed and Blow

        OK, so I haven't posted for over 24h because apparently the police didn't get the message that we rebranded them and it took a while for my friends to post bail.

        Back to the drawing board I suppose.

      Except that it shouldn't have to be censored or altered from the original code at all, other than patches/bug fixes. If anything is actually taken out my pre-order is being cancelled.

    No surprises here. A rename of the drugs and it'll get a pass ... easy. In cases like this it's easier for the developers to just roll their eyes and tap at a keyboard for a bit.
    At least they didn't have to butcher the context, a la L4d2.

      I played the demo of that during the recent Xbox Sale, to guage whether it was worth getting... Its hideous. One of the most embarrassing games ive seen this generation.

      Now that M$ allows free patches Valve should get the game rated and offer to fix it.

        It's an absolute affront. You don't relalize how much the violence makes the game until it's not there. I doubt Valve with bother with re-rating it at this late stage - it's just not relevant enough any more.

          Game of the year edition with all DLC for the console maybe?

    I think we all foresaw this. It might seem silly, but this is the system working.

      It seems silly because it IS silly. And this 'working' is just like how my car pulling slightly to the left was its wheel-alignment 'working'.
      (Explanation: The pressure from the wheel alignment being out was the only thing keeping the drive shaft together. When it got balanced, it turned into a death trap of sudden clanking jerks pulling to either side. I took it back and complained to the mechanics and they said it had tested just fine. I told them to go take it for a drive up the lapping strip and back. Guy came back early, white as a sheet, and saying he nearly died.)

      ie: It's broken. And it's broken because there are fundamental problems even MORE broken under the surface. Telling adults what media is safe for us is a symptom of something far uglier in our system.

        OT - I wish more mechanics would drive the bloody car before working on it. So much hassle would be saved.

        You're the one being silly.

        Renaming them doesn't harm you, or deprive you of your civil liberties. The mechanics are exactly the same. If they had done this originally, you would never at any point have said "they needed to label these after real drugs".

        Also, as someone who knows former drug-addicts, for obvious reasons they prefer not having to take certain drugs as a gameplay mechanic.

        Let's not forget that It's not about adults.The classification board knows these games are accessed, played, and purchased for children. They prohibit the open sale of these games for children, but they're not that naive.

        As to problems: The problem with the system is the lack of consistency. The classification board jumps around all over the place, mixing rational prohibition with the personal views of that board. If there were actual guidelines to follow, much like how local councils are restricted when considering planning proposals, then there would be a clearer and far easier system to follow.

        Final note: There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying games should not present heavy unregulated use of proscribed drugs as beneficial to your health. It's exactly the same as saying games should not present heavy alcohol use as beneficial to your health. To do otherwise is irresponsible, and at the very least just plain factually wrong.

    Now the kids will be overdosing on vitamins because of this game! Oh the humanity!

      Dude, have you seen what carrots do to you? Too much and you turn orange like you're one of those douches fresh out of a tanning salon. That shit is nasty!

    Can I please be allowed to buy this game now?


    Take my money. Please.

    This is good news. The fact Co-op has been scrapped, is bad news. Good news, bad news. Good Bad. Bood Gad. Breaking Bad. Gooden Freeman. Wake up and smell the vitamin supplements.

    I need some coffee.


        This is why it was refused in the first place....

        Also, this just in; Gaben gains more weight!


    What great news to wake up to! All that remains is for Microsoft to flick the switch, and I'll happily lose myself this weekend...

      I 'procured' it a couple of weeks ago, and can confirm that you will indeed lose most of your weekend playing it... =)

        Only "most"? Aww... The hype indicated "all"... :P
        That said, I seriously doubt Microsoft are going to be that quick on the ball. We might see it by mid-next week, when they release it for NZ and SA. Not to worry, though, for I hear (and this is purely speculation and rumour) there will be another weekend sometime next week :P

          Haha well played sir... and tbh, yeah it probably will be 'all' =)

    I have points due to last weeks disappointment sale (though Crysis for $5 was agreeable) so do we have an ETA on this one yet?

    We have the rating so let's BLOODY WELL USE IT!

      18 games rated R18 so far. We are using it

    Thank you for protecting my fragile mind Australian government. I was not ready to play a game with hard drugs in it so I'm glad someone stepped in and made the decision for me. Phew, another near miss.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again:

    "Frankly my dear, I LOVE YOU LET'S REMARRY" *The End*

    Good news but UGH is this whole issue irritating me. 'Stimulants' was the major thing.. I can get in a car and kill a bunch of people in GTA then go buy a hot dog, it doesn't make any normal person actually get in a car and kill a bunch of people on the way to buying a hot dog.

    Again, good news and I'm glad but this honestly should've never been an issue and should've absolutely been released a month ago. This friggin' nanny state is enraging.

      After reading this post I feel like a hot dog, but not killing people.

      Yes but now instead of amphetamines you will now go on a vitamin bender killing zombies.....

      I played the trial that I got through my US account and this game is good and unforgiving just like dead rising 1 was can't wait to play it :D

    Shoot someone in the face/groin/etc., that's just fine. Use drugs, DENIED! What, are we competing with the US for stupid? They don't allow naked, we don't allow drugs?

    So, according to the ACB, taking virtual-analogs of real-world drugs is fine, as long as they're virtual-analogs of real-world drugs with imaginary names.

    Well I feel like the moral fabric of our society has been saved. Totally worth all the angst.

    Developers take note: if you want to release in Australian, then when copying the in-game descriptions for heroin from its Wikipedia entry, make sure to do a quick global replace of the name to ... I dunno ... diacetylapaphrine or something.

    I've got to know, why does everyone see this as a good thing?

    I understand that it's great that Australians can now play State of Decay (I bought it from the US store myself and am still sinking an unreasonable amount of hours into it), but the fact that it's the *censored* version that got an R18 rating is really worrying me.

    Look at every other zombie game out there:
    Dead Rising (all versions): MA15+
    Dead Island: MA15+
    The Walking Dead: MA15+

    So why does State of Decay, the censored version no less, deserve an R18+ rating? I honestly don't get it.

    Moreover, this represents the continuation of a disturbing trend in videogame ratings... consider the following rating decisions (shown in chronological order):
    Left 4 Dead: MA15+
    Left 4 Dead 2: RC/MA15+ (censored)
    The Last Of Us: R18+
    State of Decay: RC/R18+ (censored)

    It's pretty clear that the addition of an R18+ rating hasn't really let us play whatever games we want; all it's done is shift the goalposts, and because of that I honestly see State of Decay's classification as R18+ as a terrible thing.

    How is getting a censored version of a product something to celebrate over? You're all forgetting the reason why we campaigned for R18+ in the first place!

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