Update: Hatred Is Now Region Locked In Australia

Hatred, the game kicking up controversy for being all about killing civilians running away from you, has been blocked from purchase in Germany and Australia. The region lock is self-imposed..

In the top-down, twin-stick shooter, a hateful protagonist goes on a "genocide crusade", trying to kill many civilians as possible. The game features graphic execution animations, and environmental destruction.

While initially stating its opposition to censorship, developer Destructive Creations has enforced the region lock both on Steam and its own website.

The studio has typically been honest with its following in the past, even about its own mistakes. But with no mention of the region lock apart from a one-line notice on its purchasing page, this particular stuff-up has been swept under the rug.

As of this morning, trying to navigate to Steam's Hatred page will return this notice for Australians:

The notice on Destructive Creations' purchasing page is as follows:

While the Classification Board has no record of a submission, it would be far from the first time an online game has been sold in Australia without being classified.

Destructive Creations has stated that the game is a response to the current wave of political correctness in gaming, and has revelled in controversy since the release of its first tralier — but we may have finally found a controversy it wants to shy away from.

Update

Destructive Creations has self-imposed the region lock, both on Steam and on their website. It appears the proper channels weren't attempted, or indeed, doing what most games do and simply releasing without worrying about it.

Shortly after the above post, a developer on the Destructive Creations forum suggested that those affected use a VPN.

Kotaku commenter woody28 asked Destructive Creations on its Facebook page if it would be attempting a release in Australia, and received this response:

Thanks, @maelkann!


Comments

    Oh, for God's sake. I was one of the very few people looking forward to this, and Australia has to block it. Suppose I'll buy a Steam key from another country, like I did with Hotline Miami 2.

      Read the article again, there's no record of it even being submitted here, so no one's blocking it.

        Oh. I just read the title and came down to rage about it. My bad.

          Rage against the dev/Steam. They've chosen to not attempt release here or Germany.

            Lol it was funny, cause I was wondering how it didn't get banned...and now we know.

            Read the article again with the reason at the bottom; Dev couldn't be bother making a classification aplication.

          Exactly the type of personality I expect is excited to play Hatred.

            Exactly the sort of sanctimonious personality I'd expect blahblah - how about we break the cycle by just not starting it in the first place?

      I know a way to buy banned games on Steam without too much dicking around.
      I felt pretty clever about figuring it out, but I'm afraid if I get it out there, Valve will fix it.

        There's a website I use that can give me keys from the UK, which is handy in situations like this.

        Last edited 02/06/15 2:33 pm

    Banning it just adds fuel to the fire. I wasn't terribly interested either way, but I don't agree with banning it. Welcome to the 90's, where video games are corrupting your children and causing evil in the world.

      From the sounds of the article it hasn't been banned at all, the devs just couldn't be bothered taking the risk of it being banned

        Ah, I misread that part. Still a bit sad they won't take the chance because it'd likely be rc'd anyway. Australia's track record with video game classification would be a fairly good indicator.

          The game doesn't look any more violent than GTA V or Mortal Kombat X, I doubt it'd get refused classification.

            True, classification has surprised me in the past with what they've let through, but if anything they've proven they're gloriously inconsistent.

              Postal and Postal 2 were both refused classification. From what I read Hatred has a similar level of violence in it. I think Hatred being refused classification is a very safe bet. I don't blame the developer at all. However, I'd strongly encourage people who want to play it to do so via a VPN, since that is not illegal.

                Postal and Postal 2 came long before we actually had an R18+ Category.

                  Yeah, I know, but from what the censorship board has been doing, it seems that they've just bumped up everything that would otherwise have been given a MA15+ into the R18+ category. I still think that Postal and Postal 2 would be RC'ed today.

                The act of importing the game via the VPN most likely breaches customs regulations related to obscenity: the regulations essentially state that anything classified RC, or that would be RC if classified counts as obscene.

                It's highly unlikely you'd actually get caught though: it'd be even more difficult to detect than RC games in the post.

                  That's just it. I don't think that downloading a game counts as 'importing'. Under the current legislation, they are looking at 'publications and other goods'. Goods is defined as 'movable personal property'. Quite apart from the fact that customs wouldn't get involved in a downloading case, I haven't found any law against possessing violent material (such as there is for child porn, for example). The only thing I can find is a criminal law applying to publication (or sale/distribution/exhibiting etc) of indecent articles, which includes electronic media. I still think if you download Hatred via VPN onto a private computer which is password protected, the police would be able to do nothing unless they could prove an intention to disseminate the game to third parties by some means. This is NSW by the way.

                I could buy postal 2 on the german steam store right now though.

            It would be refused based on the context. Shooting unarmed civilians as the, and I use this very loosely, point of the game.

            It has nothing to do with the violence. It would be banned because of the game's underlying theme.

    It would probably land up in the RC pile anyway so the developers decided to save money.

    I had no interest in buying this game, but now that they are saying that I am not allowed to buy it, I really want it

      Indeed.

      That's the developer's plan; make people think the game was banned (when they didn't actually submit it for classification in the first place) then wait for the free headlines to translate into sales. They're milking the controversy cow, and people are lining up for it.

        I think it will translate into more piracy instead of sales. I haven't taken up the devs offer to help myself to HL2, but I've been tempted.
        I know this dev hasn't given us the same (poor) advice, but I know some will use this as an excuse anyway.

    Destructive Creations has stated that the game is a response to the current wave of political correctness in gaming,

    So we decided to block access to the game in two countries that the statement actually meant something.

      I agree with the idea of what you're saying. Based on their responses, however, it would do more harm than good.
      With the R18+ rating still being new the pollies are going to take any chance they can to enforce tighter restrictions. If this was submitted and released it would draw maximum exposure to the negative side of the R18+. If this was going to be handled by a dev team that cared then I would be on board for them to submit it.
      Their current attitude suggests they wouldn't be willing to work with the Classification Board and would instead just ramp up the violence, leading to pollies and the general public being repulsed and clamoring for tighter restrictions

    Stupid Devs.

    Many a title has been sold on steam to AU customers to either never be classified or classified down the track. (you do not have to get a rating for a game on steam to sell to us)

    Far as i can tell it would pass as R18+ due to high-impact violence. (no sex violence or drug use?)

    You can get someone from Europe to gift a copy to you, Or buy a cd-key and activate via VPN tho :) (it is not ip run-locked so it runs fine)

    This is what pirating is for. Who cares about Australian laws and it's poxy obsession with censorship anymore? It has no practical effect if you have a brain.

    Note: It's not illegal to posses unrated games OR banned one's. This is simply the devs being ignorant and paranoid. O well, no money for them! I'll just DL elsewhere.

    Oh and since the game contains no sexual violence or drugs, it wouldn't have been bsnned anyway. Stupid developers lolz.

      Reread the article maybes? it was never submitted for classification - the dev didnt even try

        Even better reason to pirate then, it's the Dev's own fault, not our govt's.

          They want you to use a VPN and buy it to stick it to the Political Overcorrectness Police state. You're supposed to buy this out of protest as a way of sticking it to the establishment.

          They don't want you to pirate it, because stealing is wrong and not a political protest.

      Note: It's not illegal to posses banned one's
      It is in Western Australia.

        Ugh yeah I remember reading something about that. Conservatives really are the pits. Hows melbourne looking these days? :(

          Completely over run with the Apex gang running amok with home invasions and car jackings :p

    No reason has been given

    Bless your heart....

    Haven't really felt this "wave of political correctness" they're talking about.

    Also, saw some gameplay of Hatred on GameSpot the other day. Looks reeeeeally boring.

      It's a marketing hook.
      The more people complain about the game, the more certain players will thrive on the response.

      Tell kids they can't have something or tell them it's too extreme and they will fall over themselves trying to get it.
      (Hell, tell anyone really)

      Last edited 03/06/15 1:14 am

    Got to give credit to the makers of Hatred, they've played their audience and critics like a fiddle.

    First they make an anti-political correctness game to get a reaction from the moral guardians and cause a moral panic. This gets their audience worked up in, what I like to call, a moral panic panic. It gets them attention that they otherwise wouldn't have got.

    Now, they've blocked their own game from sale in two countries notorious for censorship. It's clever because people who only read the headlines will automatically assume that it's more censorship at work.

    Best of all, by doing it this way, they've saved themselves the cost of submitting the game for classification while still getting the same effect.

    Clever.

    The fact that the game looks thoroughly mediocre doesn't matter at all. This is pure marketing.

      Considering the connections some devs seem to have to white supremacist, anti-Muslim and neo-Nazi groups, manipulating publicity seems like it'd be a fairly common tool in their arsenal.

        Really? any article on this sounds like something Fox news would love.

          IIRC one developer "liked" a page on facebook about some party with unpopular opinions. That's the extent of it.
          People like the guilt by association thing because Hatred's a rather unfriendly game and "who cares, it's just Hatred"?

            It's not guilt by association. People can associate with whoever they like, it's what they believe that matters. Normal people don't tend to like and support racist hate groups unless they have some common ground.

          The whole thing was covered when the story first broke. Various members of the dev team support or were associated with groups like Obóz Narodowo Radykalny, a radical right group with anti-Jewish sentiments who have used the Nazi salute at rallies before; Żołnierze wyklęci, an anti-communist militia during WW2; and the Polish Defence League, a nationalist anti-Muslim group. A lot of the evidence that surfaced at the time came from the Facebook profiles of several developers, which were subsequently made private after it blew up.

      You're right; people do automatically assume censorship, including the first two posters on this comment feed (not counting replies). Game Theory did a video on this kind of marketing, and it's pretty much on the money methinks. http://youtu.be/GWlrJq8yi2w

        No Dollars to advertise? Manufacture internet controversy. Now everyone is desperate to get it.

        Basic Reverse Psychology. Like telling a 4yo they can't have any Broccoli, and than tell them they won't like it and sure enough they keep asking for it.

      Yeah it feels like another clever marketing stunt to me.

      The media will advertise the 'controversy' for free and even if they dig through to the fact that the devs censored their own game, they'll still cover the story for the shock value / clicks.

      Clever indeed.

    Actually I asked the devs on their fb page and the answer I got was along the lines of:
    "It won't be submitted to Australia because everything there gets banned, so who cares."
    So it's nice to know how much they actually give a crap about the Aussies looking forward to this.

    Don't feel bad though, check out the youtube gameplay for yourself. You'll see it's bland and will get boring after about 5 mins anyway. Or, torrent it and see for yourself if you wish.

    Last edited 02/06/15 10:24 am

      Wasn't able to find that comment from the devs on their page. Was it PM? Would love to grab a screenie.

        sorry i asked them on the 28/02 that's probably why you can't find it.
        here you go.
        http://postimg.org/image/h3yrxtqrz/

        Last edited 02/06/15 11:06 am

          Wait...so they refused to submit it in February? Why is this a story now?

    It's not really surprising, especially since it's also not available in Germany. Until the Government started realising we were adults that could make our own decisions (ie. We got an R18+ rating) Australia was usually given the German version (eg. L4D2) because of their strict content laws about blood and violence.

    So the most likely reason for the dev's decision is either they aren't aware of the changes to our classification system or they are and have found that the classification guidelines would never allow the game anyway. Or it's our prohibitive classification costs. Or it's another facet of their statement about political correctness in gaming and how Australia seems to be pretty pedantic about it.

    Must be a 'top down twin stick' thing, ala HM2. Oh well, the devs sound like dicks and their mantra of controversy > quality really shits me.

    You'll all be enraged, pirate/VPN the game play it for an hour or so and go "mehhh, same ole same ole"

    Last edited 02/06/15 11:21 am

    Stop being so worked up about this game. The lesser the publicity it gets the better. Just let the game pass. The devs are just trying to make it big with all the PR it is getting for being the most violent manslaughter game.

    The game will be out and the review will be mediocre but they will sell millions because of the controversy and the PR they are getting. Just let it slide away....

    After reading the update, all i can say these guys really are dicks. if they actually stood for for their beliefs they wouldnt block sales to us and germany on their own webstore. Running with Scissors actually set up their own web store before steam was even a thing just so that they could sell their games to us and other countries that banned them.

    These developers are just plain aresholes who shouldnt even be supported

    It costs money to make a submission, as they are pretty sure it'll get rejected, then understandably why waste the money?

    Last edited 02/06/15 2:59 pm

      its more the attitude of the developers themselves. Hotline miami 2 was banned, the dev response to customers affected was to pirate it if they couldnt get it legally. the developers of postal set up their own webstore long before steam came around just so that those customers in places where the game was banned were able to legaly purchase a copy of their games.

      There are two ways to say things, one is tactfully.

      Due to our tight budget we can't really afford the risk of submitting the game to Australian Classification if there's a good chance it will be rejected as we have no way of recouping those losses. We've read through the guidelines and we're thinking it would probably land in RC category.

      And without any Tact

      We won't submit it to Australian Classification because they'll ban it anyway, so who cares?
      Edited from their actual reply to be more statement like rather than answering a question.

    Well.. with a crappy attitude like that, it's one less developer I need to bother with.

    To be honest, I'm in the minority here by thinking this is a GOOD thing. I LOATHE this game. It is vile. It has no reason and, if I had my say, no right to exist. It is a so-called "game" that exists for one reason only- to let you simulate the experience of being a soulless, evil, sadistic psychopathic butcher. It is a game SOLELY of interest to wannabe psychokillers, designed to pander exclusively to them, and DON'T say "I'm not a wannabe murderer and I'm interested in it because I will call you a liar to your face- if you weren't a psychopath in the making, this piece of shit would have NOTHING to offer you. It is very literally what Jack Thompson and his ilk have attempted to misrepresent violent games as all along- it is literally a murder simulator, no different than how banned Japanese porn game Rapelay is a rape simulator. Fuck this game and any psycho who wants to play it. No apologies.

      Don't like it, don't buy it, easy. Just keep your your shitty generalisations and opinions to yourself next time.

        Why should I? My opinions are better than those of anyone who thinks this game has any value because that means I'm not a snarfing sociopath.

      A Personal dislike of something is no reason to ban it.

      At the end of the day you can do similar things in GTA, and that's probably going to be a more fun game.

        To be fair, there's a difference between being able to do something and it being the express objective of the game. I think there are only a scant handful of missions in GTA5 where killing innocents is required. The torture mission and the jury assassination mission are the only ones that come to mind off the top of my head.

          I don't mean objectives I mean you can just start killing people randomly because you want to.

        There is absolutely no correlation between this game and GTA at all.

          Seriously there's none huh? In GTA 1 & 2 (the old top down versions), they used to have missions called Killing Sprees where you where given a weapon and a target number of people to mow down for no real reason other than you picked up a Killing Spree. So yeah GTA does have a correlation with this game.

          Interesting enough back in those days GTA was a lot less immersive interactive crime Drama and a lot more arcade action, and puns. I used to love to do the "Special Mission" where you jacked a Bus and found it had a bomb that armed after you hit a certain speed, and to prevent the bomb exploding you had to speed around the city not dropping below a certain speed. I think it was a reference to a movie, I think it was called "The Bus that could not Slow down".

      It is interesting that you lambast Jack Thompson for his jump-to-conclusions about games, in your own jump-to-conclusions comments about gaming and psychology.
      The game itself sounds incredibly droll, but it is a large and erroneous leap to conclude that anyone/everyone that plays it is a psychopath in waiting. If that were the case, the authorities (and the mental health community) would be highly alarmed at the popularity of the Hitman series, in which most of the of targets are defenceless civilians.

      If your concern is about murder simulators, and by using your yardstick to measure the psychotic quotient, then I would suggest you avoid these other, quite popular titles:
      Battlefield series - all you do is murder people. All of them.
      Call of Duty series - where you murder anyone who isn't white and/or American
      Medal of Honour series - murdering all the people you missed in CoD

      You should probably steer clear of TV too, especially Breaking Bad, Dexter and Sex in the City, because you'll simply indulge in your sick fantasies of being a drug dealer, serial murderer or a gorgeously attractive sex queen.
      You monster.

      Also, fun fact: One can be a psychopath and still not want to hurt and kill people.

        Well that was a stupid and oblivious comparison. In the 3 military game series you cited you are a SOLDIER. You're not playing it for the fantasy of going on a killing spree, you're playing it for the fantasy of being a soldier.

        And TV isn't about fulfilling a fantasy at all because it is -get this- a NON-INTERACTIVE MEDIUM. You are not encouraged to pretend you are Walter White or Dexter. So you're comparing apples to watermelons. Try again.

          Playing a Video game and watching Dexter don't really change how I feel about Murder and Drug Manufacture. Both I consider bad.

          Sorry, the tongue in cheek approach went flying over your head, so I'll use simple words, just for you.
          You made strong comment on the game being a murder simulator, seemingly oblivious to the fact most of the hugely popular FPS games could likewise be classified as such. My point, which was again re-enforced by you, thank you, was about jumping to conclusions.

          Q: What difference between shooting someone as a soldier and shooting them as a civilian ?
          A: Absolutely nothing. And in real life,if, as a soldier you have departed from the Rules of Engagement, then you have little legal protection, and can expect to be charged accordingly.

          So, the act of violence has not actually changed, and in the games we play, it has simply been (weakly) justified due to the professional remit of your avatar.
          For the vast majority of players, myself included, that is all we need to happily mow down hundreds upon hundred of people without concern or moral conflict, as we go about liberating the free world from whatever new threat has emerged.

          We've still killed hordes of people, and we're not psychopaths. Are you starting to understand this very simple concept ?

          I'd further disagree that you're playing the game to be a soldier, because those games bear as much likeness to soldiering as Robocop does to policing.
          You're not going into those games to be a soldier, you're going in to beat the odds, albeit with the odds hugely stacked in your favour.
          As mentioned before, being a soldier is simply the thin justification for what happens next.
          If you're actually wanting something close to a soldier simulator, go play Operation Flashpoint/VBS/Arma 3, where you'll still get all the shooty bits, you'll just be a lot less bulletproof.

          And assertion that TV does not fufill fantasy is just wrong, irrespective of the interactiveness of the medium.
          People may not want to be a drug dealer/serial murderer, but they do want to (safely) experience the dark side of humanity, because that is and always has been, human nature.
          Fantasy (noun) the faculty or activity of imagining impossible or improbable things.
          Notice it is not limited to being the protagonist.

          Oh, and I think you mean obvious, not oblivious.

          Last edited 03/06/15 5:23 pm

    Lol good. Could not have happened to a shittier game.

    not much of a region lock...went to their website...got a copy within 5 miutes. $25...is a bit steep for what will no doubt be a fairly forgettable shooter.

      So why did you snarfing do it?

    hmm I dont blame the devs. I believe their read is right on the situation.
    If they're an indie company- it means they have to take time out of development and support to make a submission to the government of a country that is a nanny state.
    1 of 2 likely outcomes is going to happen- it will either be rejected outright, or will require significant re-work to be able to be sold here. For such a small population- the cost of doing that versus reward isnt worth it.

      They sell a digital only product, they could easily follow the lead of all the other indie companies on Steam that sell games without having applied for a rating from the Australian Classification Board.

    "In the top-down, twin-stick shooter, a hateful protagonist goes on a “genocide crusade”, trying to kill many civilians as possible. The game features graphic execution animations, and environmental destruction."

    That's HORRIBLE! O_O What sick and twisted person would play that let alone make it...

    Arrrr, mi mateys!

    Meh, game looks boring and pointless.

    Don't really give a shit about the hype.

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