You've gotta love Devolver Digital. If your iconic Hotline Miami collections can't be sold in Australia on PC or consoles, the least you can do is try again on another platform four years later ... only to get banned all over again.
Part of the indie announcements during Nintendo's Direct late Monday night was the news that a Hotline Miami collection, featuring the first and second games, would be coming to the Switch. And because Nintendo's policy demands that games go through a classification process before they can be sold on the eShop, that meant it was the first time in four years the Classification Board would take a look at Hotline Miami 2 following its original RC rating over an implied sexual assault scene.
The developer and publisher of Hotline Miami 2 have responded to news of the hyper-violent action game being refused classification in Australia, which effectively bans it. Kotaku Australia learnt a scene implying sexual assault against a female character prompted the decision. The people behind Hotline Miami 2, however, believe the ratings board "incorrectly portrays" this.
Nintendo's about to unleash a 20-minute information dump on some of the upcoming indie games coming to the Switch. We're expecting to hear some news about release dates for Creature in the Well and Superhot so it's shaping up to be a worthwhile watch.
Attitudes in Australia have changed somewhat over the last couple of years, but there are certain lines the Classification Board still won't cross. And that line still exists for Hotline Miami, with an application through the IARC automated classification process spitting out an RC for the Hotline Miami Collection on June 13 (listed here as Hotline Miami).
But amazingly, you can buy Hotline Miami on the Switch right now — and it somehow has a classification rating of MA15:
Kotaku Australia understands that nothing has been altered or changed with the Hotline Miami games on the eShop right now. The Classification Board hasn't themselves given a rating for Hotline Miami this year, so the ratings are all just through the IARC process. So what's likely happened here is that Devolver has gotten an RC rating once, applied again, gotten an MA15+ rating and decided to roll with that.
So for today, and probably not much of today, you can buy Hotline Miami 1 and 2 on the Switch. But as we saw with DayZ, the Board has the power to override classification rulings — and given that Nintendo have local operations here, the Board will almost certainly ask them to pull use the original RC rating from IARC and have the game pulled.
Or they might do nothing at all. You can still buy DayZ on Steam with an Australian account, and that was supposed to be removed from sale last week. So who knows! Maybe they're just super busy and nobody will notice. Until then, you can grab Hotline Miami Collection for $37.50 on the eShop.