DayZ Will Be Banned Completely In Australia

Earlier this week, news broke that the Classification Board had blocked the physical sale of survival sandbox DayZ, despite the game having been rated MA15+ multiple times through the IARC online process. Today, Kotaku Australia can reveal that not only is the Classification Board sticking to that rating, but they are also working to have the game pulled from sale digitally in Australia.

Update: Because of the Classification Board's rating, Bohemia has opted to modify DayZ globally to comply:

DayZ Is Getting Changed Worldwide Because Of Australia

After the surprise banning of DayZ's physical sale, and the Classification Board's decision to overrule the existing MA15+ rating, one of the most popular survival games of the decade suddenly found itself removed from sale in Australia on all platforms. That ban, however, looks like it will be lifted soon. And the reason why is because developers Bohemia Interactive have opted to take the path of least resistance, one taken by Bethesda 11 years ago.

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The original story continues below.

The Classification Board first granted an RC rating to DayZ on June 4, following an application from local distributors Five Star Games to have the game sold in brick-and-mortar stores across the country. According to the report, which was supplied to Kotaku Australia on Friday afternoon, the game was banned over "illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards".

"Through general gameplay, the player is able to collect and use a variety of equipment, supplies and weaponry," the report says. "One of the options to restore the player's health is a marijuana joint, labelled 'cannabis', which is denoted by a cannabis bud in the player's inventory."

The reasoning is identical to why Fallout 3 was initially banned in Australia, and the report goes on to note that while drug use is permitted under the R18+ classification guidelines, that use cannot be "detailed or realistic". "If the use of cannabis within the context of this game did not act as an incentive or reward, its impact could therefore be accommodated within the R18+ classification".

"The use of drugs (marijuana) as an incentive or reward during the gameplay exceeds what can be accommodated within the R18+ classification and therefore must be Refused Classification," the report says.

A month after the RC rating, DayZ developers Bohemia Interactive applied for a separate rating through the automated IARC process. The game was rated MA15+ then, which has the same force as a rating from the Classification Board directly. However, the Classification Board has the power to override IARC ratings with their own.

The Classification Board's decision will mean the game, at some point, will be removed from sale on Steam, the PlayStation and Xbox One stores. It's still currently available online for Aussies, but it's only a matter of time before that's no longer the case (unless you're using a VPN).

A Look Back At Some Of The Games Australia Has Banned

While Australia has a long history of video game development, as a nation we're probably more famous for the games we have banned.

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Update 1412 AEST: As some users have noted, the funniest part is that you can't even use weed in-game right now:

Advance Australia Fair indeed.


Comments

    How will this impact people who've already purchased it?

      Typically, being RC'd only prevent the sale or import for sale of a game, not usage. So if you manage to get a copy into Australia, you can play it. It just cant be sold locally. Or at least, it used to be that way.

      Used to be that people would bring copies back from NZ or Asia with no problems, then Customs started (seemingly randomly) confiscating people bringing them back on the excuse that they could resell the game and hence breach the Classification ruling. Happened with my sister when she brought a game back. Think it was when Mortal Kombat was banned and she happened to be in the US.

      Others I know have brought stuff back into Aus no problem, so it seems hit and miss if thats the case. Either way, the original view was just on the sale or resale, not the actual use.

        It really depends on a few factors, firstly they don't search everyone so often you just walk through without even being stopped. Second, it depends on the knowledge (and dedication) of the person doing the check. It's possible they looked but didn't know, or secretly disagree with the rules.

        Not advocating this as a way to do anything illegal, but I found that if I declare something like food when I come back into the country that's pretty much all they check.

    Sleep sound everyone, the children are now safe.

      Now they can't play DayZ anymore, they're going to have to find some other way to pass the time. Like taking drugs.

    ...Could we possibly just legalise marijuana instead?

      The Narcotic Drugs Act 1967 was amended in 2016 to allow the cultivation of cannabis for medicinal and scientific use. Theres a legality to it now that people probably arent aware of.

      That just makes the ruling even sillier - its legal to use it if you go through proper channels. Which may not actually exist yet, or Doctors are reluctant to use them, but thats a different issue.

      From what I can see (source: https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/medicinal-cannabis/ - has references at the bottom) Tasmania is the only state that doesnt specifically have a policy in place, but they will come Sep 1.

      So what they've done is either say all drugs are bad m'kay, which should include morphine, aspirin, or other over the counter drugs, or that they've applied a moral decision, and disregarded the actual legality of cannibis use. Or done so not knowing the laws that changed in 2016.

        Dude I get your point but that line about “medical or scientific” use isn’t going to apply to the vast majority of people.

          Oh, definitely not. Its the legality thats a stepping stone to legal use though. Not through the guy next door growing his own, but through a process none the less. The ability to grow it for medical or scientific use means those uses are legal and decided federally. The states then do the fine detail around those legal uses. Most did so within days of the changes being enacted.

          Its not the source of all evil that they seem to want it to be, or what it was just a few years ago. I think they're taking a moral stance more than a legal one though, and working off the perception of cannabis being illegal. Which in general it is, for sure, but not completely.

          Mostly though, I was pointing out that there is actually legal cannabis use now, and has been for nearly 3 years. As it stands, its basically a prescription drug, now though I doubt your local GP will be lining up to prescribe it.

            The reason is because the evidence for CBD still isn’t clear - somewhat due to a lack of good clinical trials, and also because in a lot of cases there’s limited demonstrated benefit versus existing treatments. Most of the “it cured my kid’s seizures” stuff is anecdotal. On top of that, THC (the psychoactive component that people who smoke recreationally enjoy) also has mixed evidence for clinical applications (mostly due to potential side effects).

            Morally I think it should be legalised for recreational use, but clinically a lot of the hype amounts to propaganda rather than evidence based practice. Most people hitching the “it’s legal!” cart to scientific study are disingenuous and more interested in recreational legalisation, a separate issue. The RC rating is going to be concerned with the latter all the time, because it’s entertainment, not medical research.

              I remember a study in the last year where researches actually went and evaluated the brands of 'medicinal' marijuana on the market, and found that it contained negligible amounts of the supposedly beneficial chemicals, but lots of THC. So it wasn't a case of the miraculous cure working to control the issues... the kids were just stoned out of their head.

        Morphine was the drug that got Fallout 3 RC so that Bethesda ended up changing the drugs back to the actual-in-universe drugs they'd been using to that point in the original games.

    I really, really hope Cyberpunk doesn't have the same problem.

      I agree.

      Please, give us Cyberpunk 2077.

      pls

      Don't worry, Papa Government will decide what's best for us.

      Only 60 years old are allowed to play Cyberpunk, that seems to be our rating system, R60+... fucken dicks!

        Not even them, because we wouldn't want impressionable teens who play it to see drugs being used. Teens for whom its illegal for them to be playing it anyway under the R18+ classification...

        One of these days the government will wake up and realise we could do away with the damn classification system if they started enforcing parental responsibility instead.

          I see benefits in the classification system as a warning and a 'don't buy this for your kid' way. A while back I was in EBs picking something up, when I saw a middle aged woman with two young children. The game that they'd picked out and she was about to buy for them? South Park - The Fractured But Whole.

          Having already played it, I advised her that it was completely inappropriate for two pre-teens to play, and I hope if she ignored me, that she'd get the same advice from the people behind the counter.

          And then you have idiocy like the Atelier games getting slapped with an R rating.

    Drink booze and become a violent dickhead in real life - no problem!!

    Smoke some virtual weed in a video game - BAAAAAAAAANNNNNEEED!

      Pssh. if you want to smoke weed in a game then go play Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Smoke weed and get additional insight to the thought processes within Chloe's head when she's chilling out. Of course, everyone can then smell it on you, which gives some funny options and minigames... so its all risk vs reward.

    R18+ is NOT a rating for adults, no matter what anyone claims.
    It's a rating for teenage children.

    Adults do not need to be protected from fictional depictions of violence, sexual violence or drug use in media. And, in fact, they are not protected from these fictional depictions in many forms of entertainment media... video games are different, though, because no matter how carefully, slowly, convincingly, or irrefutably it is explained, the Powers That Be appear unwilling to believe that video games are actually played by adults.

    It's beyond a joke.

    I wonder what it's like to be allowed to make decisions for yourself?

      Sorry, Imagination has been Refused Classification.

    I guess the thought process was “ok let’s have a look. Gun ... gun ... gun ... grenade ... gun ... knife ... gun ... HOLY SHIT A CANNABIS LEAF!”

    Amazing how this got banned but Saints Row, which provides drugs in a number of fantastic concepts is banned.
    Also GTA V where you can just stay at home and smoke a bong the whole time in game.

    Nice work Gov.

      I think your first sentence needs a bit of work, since Saints Row IV was banned until they removed Fun Shandi's recruitment quest, which involved the alien narcotics. (And further justified my having a US PSN account)

    guess medicinal marijuana is still a sensitive issue with the classification board

      that's because the classification board and those in the government want to feel naughty when they smoke it.

    Thank fuck I can still murder people wildly while in a drunken haze in the game.

    But a non existant spliff gets it banned...

    Ironyyyyyy

      Does Australia have a homicide problem? No
      Does Australia have a drug problem, yes.
      It's not ironic if you understand the reasons.

        Please, go on, tell me how 'reefer madness' is going to cause the downfall of society too...

    Hey Alex walker, you also might want to add is that the reason they're banning it is due to a completely optional community mod that nobody has to use.

    The so-called "cannabis" isn't even in the damn base vanilla game, but they will be banning it for PC, and even XBOX and PS4 which have no mod support ability.

    There is no existence of "cannabis" at all in the console versions, let alone just the base game!

    The AU Board has gone mad.

      That's not the reasoning listed in the report. And the applications to the board are for future content, not existing content / mods.

      I'll try and get a copy of the actual application next week if possible.

    Meh everyone knows Australia is a nanny/police state. Has been from the get go. You cant do anything in this weird country without the government looking over your shoulder. There's a "WARNING: DONT DO" sign on every corner and rules associated with any remotely fun activity.

    Airsoft? Banned. Fireworks? Banned. Paintball? Must have a license. Video games or movies? Only what the govt approves of. Cycling? Must wear helmet. Marijuana? Only if you're nearly dead and even then, its insanely hard to get approval. Firearms? Pretty much banned. Free speech? Only what the govt approves. Internet? Censored. No piracy. Bitchute banned, 4chan banned by ISPs because they threaten the socialistic status quo by allowing free speech.

    Best get used to it with all these young useful idiots who think censorship and communism are great ideas. Or just get a VPN and bypass the entire charade. Australia is by far the least free western nation, second only to the UK and its police state.

      You are pretty well spot on apart from one thing.Guns aren't banned here,not in the slightest.Despite what everyone thinks nothing was banned in 1996 after PA, just certain firearm types (semi auto's of all kinds and pump action shotguns specifically) were moved from the easily obtainable catB to very hard to obtain to almost impossible to obtain cat C and D as well as more emphasis put on "genuine reasons" and proper storage.Plenty of people still legally have semi autos,just not every hunter/target shooter like it used to be.Actually more guns(and gun owners) in private ownership now than in 1995, i (like many others) do our best to make sure the number stays nice and high!
      Now as for how we are allowed to use our firearms, that's a different kettle of fish and a total can of worms.They aren't banned though,not even close.

    But I'm still allowed to watch 10 seasons of the Walking Dead no problem....

    I thought this was a very belated April fools joke when I saw the headline

    Is there alcohol in the game, and were they okay with that? You know, one of the most destructive drugs known to humanity, which has caused more human suffering and evil than anything else except religion? F****** hypocrites.

      People in bulk are stupid, dude. That's why we can live in 2019, have things like iPads, space stations, and internet, and yet people will still believe in God and drink alcohol while saying "drugs are bad". If you believe in God, you are literally an inexcusable idiot. Never take feedback from an idiot.

        i'll take the religious over socialists any day mate. People who believe in god are fucking geniuses compared to the comrades that essentially pray at the alter of government.

          I think you're confusing socialism with communism here. Generally speaking, religious people are typically more conservative with their world views. We're more likely to be subjected to censorship when these people hold a position. It is likely that some of the Classification Board's members are religious to some degree and that may have some bearing on the decisions made. Unfortunately for Australia, a lot of our politicians, particularly on the right of the spectrum, are from a religious background. I can't help but think this leeches into policies more than it should.

          Last edited 12/08/19 1:08 pm

            i am not confusing socialism and communism, MY opinion is that communism is a pool made of shit and socialism is the slide that gets you there.

            Regarding the right wing in Australian politics and the religious extremists i choose to pray they get cancer and have to retire then get better, i figure it would greatly irk them to know an atheist is praying for them to be forced out of politics.

    When I get home from work, I ALWAYS reward myself with some nice, refreshing cannabis. It's part of my life and regardless of legality, it's not wrong. Just like abortion, which is also currently criminal in my state somehow.
    The classification board can S my D. You don't get to tell me what I can and can't purchase and play in my own home. If I can get cocaine in this country, I can certainly get banned video games, so it's a non-point anyway.

      i fucking love you dude,

      if u do go to jail please don't change.

    We seriously need to have a frigging Bill of Rights in this ridiculous country.

    But every time its proposed the Libs come out and say things like "But how can we make laws targetting [insert minority or political group of choice]" or "How can we ban pornography" or something as if thats an argument *against* it. We're the only first world country I can find that doesn't have one. Hell even China and Russia have one (even if perhaps not well enforced).

    People keep saying "We dont need one, our government has been trustworthy", well has it? It sure as hell doesn't seem like it to me.

    You can build exceptions into bills of rights to ensure majorities don't kick the hell out of minorities. You can still stop people crying fire in nightclubs. Even the US with its famous first ammendment still manages to convict people who try and incite hate crimes. But we need something because this constant erosion of rights is getting beyond tolerable.

    Last edited 11/08/19 3:56 pm

    Weed will eventually be in DayZ: BAN IT NAO!!
    Weed to buy and smoke in-game has been available in Saints Row 1&2 since 2006: Zero bans.

    Explain to me how the Classification Board isn't a complete fucking joke still...?

    why is it a game like grand theft auto where you can smoke weed sell and distribute.
    So is rockstar games special or have i completely missed something here.

    I'm in favor of Microsoft Flight Simulator having inflight beers for pilots as a reward for doing a good takeoff.

    Good thing no games incentivise murdering other players for points or benefits, it might inspire everyone to murder to regain health, or social standing or even incentivise the perks of thieving from the dead...games are definitely so clear-cut that the youth crowd are all murderers...guess just whatever not morphine is in that health syringe will do the trick...few double standards there

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