Following the Classification Board's decision to refuse a classification to We Happy Few this week, the developers have responded, saying they share fans' frustration.
Compulsion Games, makers of We Happy Few, wrote in a blog post that they would be consulting with the Classification Board to see what options are available for an Australian release.
'.We Happy Few, a game set in an Orwellian future where freedoms are severely restricted, has been effectively banned in Australia. Once again, the decision came down to 'drug use related to incentives and rewards' - in this case, an entirely fictional sedative called Joy. Aussie gamers have some thoughts for the Classification Board, in Tweet form..'
"If the government maintains its stance, we will make sure that you can get a refund, and we will work directly with affected Kickstarter backers to figure something out," the studio wrote. They asked that fans not submit refund requests just yet until they have had more discussions with the Classification Board.
Compulsion also emphasised a point many gamers made this week, saying that the point of We Happy Few was to reject the dystopian society and the Joy forced upon citizens. "It’s a society that is forcing its citizens to take Joy, and the whole point of the game is to reject this programming and fight back. In this context, our game’s overarching social commentary is no different than Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, or Terry Gilliam's Brazil."
"We would like to respond to the thematic side of We Happy Few in more detail at a later date, as we believe it deserves more attention than a quick PR response. In the meantime we will be talking to the ACB to provide additional information, to discuss the issues in depth, and see whether they will change their minds."
Kotaku Australia has contacted Compulsion Games for further comment, and we'll let you know if they respond and whether the Classification Board changes their mind in the coming days and weeks.