DayZ Has Been Refused Classification

The upcoming physical release of DayZ, the ArmA 2 mod that became a juggernaut of its own and a key factor in the battle royale genre, has been refused classification by Australian censors.

The RC rating doesn't affect the game's availability locally in practice, given that DayZ is still available for sale through Steam and VPNs. But what's interesting here is that the decision seems deliberate: rather than being refused a rating through the automated IARC process, the Classification Board directly knocked back an application from local distributor Five Star Games (which also handles the local distribution for Atlus and SEGA).

Games 1(a) was the official citation for the ban, the clause that prevents games which "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety" from being sold in Australia. Sex isn't something you see a lot of in DayZ, or the ArmA engine, so the most likely outcome is that the RC rating relates to in-game drug use.

Fallout 3 was banned briefly for a similar reason: censors took issue over the use of morphine, which was perceived as a reward under the strict language that the classification code is written. The game was allowed to sell on retail shelves after a modified version was resubmitted with altered references.

We'll chase up the Classification Board today and get more clarity on the ban. For now, you can still buy the game through Steam or the Bohemia Interactive Humble Bundle. It's also still available on the PlayStation Store, and Xbox Live, although the Xbox version has an MA15+ classification.


Comments

    It's still on the Playstation store with an M rating. Is the PS4 version different, content-wise?

      Not really, we're at 1.02 content wise on console so the morphine is there, but AFAIK non-functioning.

    Christ sakes. You ever feel like you're being treated like a child by people you've never even met before?

      Every time I deal with the censorship board...

    Actually being RC does have an impact on availability via Steam. Valkyrie Drive was released on steam with availability in the AU region but got pulled due to its RC status in Australia. So if you’re actually interested in it then grab it before it’s gone for good (or you need to do VPN shenanigans)

      Yeah, it will disappear. For anyone interested it's currently in a Bohemia Interactive Humble Bundle at the moment for about AU$45 which is cheaper than the Steam store, plus you get a bunch of other titles like Arma 3 with it.

    My Partner & I both have it on our PS4's... unsure how this will effect us, will we still have access? Can I request a refund?

    Also, why was it available for (almost) 2 months prior to classification?

      If you've already bought it then I think you'd keep access to it. My understanding is that RC means that you can't sell / rent / exhibit it etc. Doesn't mean that you can't own it.

      Of course if it's removed from sale then it might be hard to find other people to play against, depending on how many they sold before it got pulled.

        The exceptions are WA and NT, you can't own RC titles there legally. Hence why I will never be moving with my steam library to WA because I have several titles that were RC.

          That got me thinking: a Steam library doesn’t exist in a single location like a physical collection, so how does that factor into the law? If it’s illegal to own or possess an RC title in WA, then at what point are you breaking the law? Is it if you enter WA as a person (your ownership of the title existing in the cloud)? Or is it if you have your computer with you? Or only if you access the title while in WA? Do you have to have a WA address to be beholden to that law? Maybe I’m making this more complicated than it actually is, but ownership of an intangible item confuses me in this context.

    The bigger problem here is how broad and easy to manipulate this “Games 1(a)” reason is. Reading it at face value gives an understanding that the ACB can ban a game for any reason that anyone on the board can deem “morally objective”. So as usual, it comes down to a bunch of older people with no understanding or context basing things on their personal feelings and ideals.

    That's... ridiculous.

    How is DayZ worse than GTAV?

      Guessing it's because of the context around the drug use. If the drug use has a positive effect that's a no-go under the guidelines, but if it has a negative effect it's generally allowed. In GTA V if you smoked weed for example, it reduces the character's balance, impedes his driving etc, so that's allowed under the current guidelines.

    Seems like there's a fair chance this'll just be another one of those games that goes straight through to MA once it's resubmitted and assessed by real people

      It appears that you have failed to read the actual article.

    '...games which "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety"...'

    Isn't that the one they play in Parliament House every day though?

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