Late last week, the Classification Board announced that Omega Labyrinth Z was refused classification in Australia. According to the board's report, the game was banned due to multiple scenes featuring "gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions" of sexual activity with depictions of characters that appear to be under 18 years of age.
Omega Labyrinth Z on the surface is a top-down dungeon crawler, which launched in Japan in early July last year. Released on the PS4, it was set for a worldwide release later this year but local censors banned the game on February 2 under clauses Games 1(a)&(b).
Those clauses basically cover any sexual scenes or instances of excessive drug misuse, addiction, crime and cruelty, as well as descriptions or depictions of characters that are or appear to be under the age of 18 engaging in sexual behaviour.
Where Omega Labyrinth Z fell afoul was multiple depictions with one character, Urara Rurikawa. In the board's report, which was provided to Kotaku Australia, the game depicts her as being "physically underdeveloped" and other characters in the game refer to her and a friend as "the younger girls". Coupled with certain gameplay modes and voice-over lines, the censors felt this depicted sexual activity with a minor, potentially without consent in one quoted scenario:
The game features a variety of female characters with their cleavages emphasised by their overtly provocative clothing, which often reveal the sides or underside of theiur breasts and obscured genital region. Multiple female characters are also depicted fully nude, with genitals obscured by objects and streams of light throughout the game. Although of indeterminate age, most of these characters are adult-like, with voluptuous bosoms and large cleavages that are flaunted with a variety of skimpy outfits.
One character, Urara Rurikawa, is clearly depicted as child-like in comparison with the other female characters. She is flat-chested, physically underdeveloped (particularly visible in her hip region) and is significantly shorter than otehr characters in the game. She also has a child-like voice, wears a school uniform-esque outfit and appears naive in her outlook on life.
At one point in the game, Urara Rurikawa and a friend are referred to as "the younger girls" by one of the game's main characters. In the Boards opinion, the character of Urara Rurikawa is a depiction of a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 years.
In some gameplay modes, including the "awakening" mode, the player is able to touch the breasts, buttocks, mouths and genital regions of each character, including Urara Rurikawa, while they are in sexualised poses, receiving positive verbal feedback for interactions which are implied to be pleasurable for the characters and negative verbal feedback, including lines of dialogue such as "I-It doesn't feel good..." and "Hyah? Don't touch there!," for interactions which are implied to be unpleasurable, implying a potential lack of consent.
The aim of these sections is, implicity, to sexually arouse these characters to the point that a "shame break" is activated, in which some of the characters clothing is removed - with genital regions obscured by light and various objects - and the background changes colour as they implicitly orgasm.
In one "awakening" mode scenario, thee player interacts with Urara Rurikawa, who is depicted lying down, clutching a teddy bear, with lines of dialogue such as "I'm turning sleepy...", "I'm so sleepy now..." and "I might wake up..." implying that she is drifting in and out of sleep.
The player interacts with this child-like character in the same manner as they interact with adult characters, clicking her breasts, buttocks, mouth and genital regions until the "shame break" mode is activated. During this section of the game, with mis-clicks, dialogue can be triggered, in which Urara Rurikawa says, "Stop tickling...", "Stop poking..." and "Th-that feels strange...", implying a lack of consent.
In the Board's opinion, the ability to interact with the character Urara Rurikawa in the manner described above constituted a simulation of sexual stimulation of a child.
The board's decision means that Omega Laybrinth Z cannot be sold in Australia. There's no word on whether the developer or publisher will appeal the decision, although given the content quoted it's hard to see the board's original decision being reversed given the classification guidelines and their prior decisions on similar games.