Katana Zero’s Ban Overturned, Receives R18+ Rating

Katana Zero’s Ban Overturned, Receives R18+ Rating
Image: Katana Zero
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Life was looking grim for Katana Zero‘s Australian release, after the game received a Refused Classification rating upon its initial release. But there’s some good news: after the game was reviewed by actual humans, the cyberpunk ninja game will be released in Australia.

The game was initially banned through the automated IARC process, which publishers and the Classification Board use to help deal with the sheer volume of movies, games and content that needs to be rated.

That process spat out an RC rating, which has the same legal effect as an RC rating from the Classification Board itself. But while the game was blocked for sale on the Australian eShop – it was still available to Aussies through Steam – Devolver Digital tried resubmitting the game for approval, both in Australia and New Zealand.

That approval has been successful, with the game’s local representatives informing Kotaku Australia that the game has received an R18 rating. The successful rating (which wasn’t live on the Classification Board at the time of writing, although an older rating dated August 20 2018 is online) means Switch gamers should be able to pick up Katana Zero by the end of the month.

A Cyberpunk Ninja Game Where You Manipulate Time

After talking my way past the receptionist at a grotty hotel in Katana Zero, I stand in the elevator at the entrance to a heavily guarded floor, watching goons patrol back and forth. One has a shotgun, another a knife, another a pistol. I formulate a plan, then burst through the doors, slicing through all three of them with my sword before another rushes me and knocks me over. Crap. Try again.

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My Favourite Katana Zero Character Is This Hapless Goon I Killed Near The Start Of The Game

I’d heard stories about Strong Terry. Whispers. Rumours. Wide-eyed tales of his boldest feats. He’d be the one to bring me down, they all said. The beloved big boy who never skipped leg day would stomp all over me, even though I’m a cold-blooded samurai assassin. I wouldn’t stand a chance. Except then I killed him without even realising it.

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For those on PC, Katana Zero is available now for $21.50.


  • For me, this is a good way of running the system. Let the automatic system deal with the majority of products, and push the RC’s on to humans. There wont be THAT many of them, so treat them more as an exception report than a final decision. But any automatic system is going to have flaws in it. You cant expect it to get every decision right.

    When the human decision is still RC (not the case here), I’d have the process escalate it to a second opinion as well. The people involved here are generally volunteers, and might not have been in the role long (think they’re 4 year terms) so might be erring on the side of caution.

    Think about We Happy Few and the steps it went through. Basically, make that extra escalation standard practice. Even fewer games should get to that point. We dont see these stories on a daily basis, do we?

    If something goes through the automatic process, a manual decision, AND a review of that decision and still gets an RC, I expect it deserves it.

    • That’s what IARC was designed for. Humans can’t oversee the literal hundreds of games, TV shows, movies etc etc so there needs to be a way of culling that down. And when that system isn’t perfect, there should be a panel of humans as a fall back to make sure the right decision is made.

      The system worked, basically.

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