Mystery Rockstar Game ‘Bonaire’ Banned In Australia

Mystery Rockstar Game ‘Bonaire’ Banned In Australia

Australia’s been on a bit of a ban frenzy of late, but the latest slapping of the RC sticker might be the most intriguing to date.

Amidst the chaos of a string of refused classifications being handed out to Hotline Miami, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, We Happy Few and the ongoing drama with DayZ, another title was banned through the automated IARC classification process.

What’s interesting about this one is that it’s from Rockstar Games, with the title simply listed as Bonaire:

I couldn’t find any listings for Bonaire or other relevant applications from Rockstar or Take Two on ratings agency boards in South Korea, Europe’s PEGI system, or Taiwan’s Game Software Rating Information. The application was filed through the IARC process, and apart from the refused classification rating, there’s not much else to go on.

The only potential hint might be in the name itself. Bonaire is an island in the Caribbean, a region which has appeared in Red Dead Redemption 2 before. The fifth chapter of the game takes place in Guarma, and while you can’t return to Guarma by normal means once you’ve finished the chapter enterprising players found ways to glitch their way back to the tropical land with a canoe.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Players Are Using A Canoe To Escape The World

The world of Red Dead Redemption 2 is large. Though after you spend enough time running around the deserts and swamps of RDR2, you might want to take a vacation. Maybe go visit a new exotic land? Some crafty players have figured out how to do just that and all it takes is a canoe and some patience.

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So there’s some logic behind the Caribbean being the next location for Red Dead Online. I reached out to Rockstar’s Australian team for confirmation and clarification, but received no response by the time of publication. The Classification Board also hasn’t responded to queries about the title, or supplied reasoning for its ban, but it’s understandable they might be a bit delayed today given everything.

The RC rating makes Bonaire — whatever this is — the second game under the Rockstar Games name to be refused classification in Australia, unless you include San Andreas‘s revoked rating following the Hot Coffee scandal. The only other Rockstar game directly given an RC in Australia was Manhunt, which was banned following a review from the Federal Attorney-General.


  • Do DLC’s have to be resubmitted? because 3 of the 4 RC’s today have been DLC.

    And what about the base games do they suddenly become RC’d as well?

    • Yes. In theory, any game should get resubmitted every time it changes. DLC changes the game, which means new content that wasnt considered the first time through.

      In theory, every time a game (including MMO’s) gets patched it should be reclassified as well. Think how much Fortnite has changed since its original version.

  • Just hearing about this game gives me a bonaire.
    Alright I’ll see myself out.

    Also what the fuck are the classification board doing, did someone shit in all their cereals?

      • it sure seems like something has changed though because of so many in such a short period of time.

        are we sure 4chan didn’t somehow get control of the ‘automated process’?

      • This may be automated, but there should be very little sympathy for the Board. They are in a position similar to that of judges in court. Judges have a degree of flexibility in applying the law to a factual matrix. The Board seems to wallow in an inflexibly dogmatic approach and finding nothing but square pegs and round holes. This despite perfectly reasonable alternative interpretations of the underlying facts being pointed out to its members (by me and others) on a semi-regular basis.

        • Sometimes those applying the law have flexibility, other times they dont. The Commissioner of Taxation for example has quite wide discretionary powers under the Income Tax Act, but none under the GST Act. For GST he’s just acting on behalf of the States, which is important.

          Trust me, its a nightmare at times. An Uber driver should be registered for GST as soon as they earn $1 for example, because the law says Taxi drivers have to do that. AirBnB is the same, they’re considered hotel operators. The ATO Commish has no power to change that, so its a case of them convincing the States to all change the law for it. The ATO wants to and hopefully they can. Its attached to a big enough issue that it might be cleaned up.

          The classification board is also a Federal body operating under State laws, so would be in a similar situation. They wouldnt have much discretionary powers when it came to enacting the Classification laws. They would when it came to publicising the decisions though, because thats under different laws that are Federal.

          Judges are enacting and interpreting law from within the State or Federal legal framework, and have a lot more discretionary powers because of that. So become more responsible for their decisions as their hands arent tied as much.

          This is surprisingly common by the way, people just dont see it. There are a lot of areas that are run Federally but are just conveniences helping the States. And most of the time they would have no discretionary powers because of that. A lot of medical stuff for example, so there is consistency across State borders.

        • This may be automated, but there should be very little sympathy for the Board. As I understand it, this automated result is from the publisher answering an online questionnaire about the content in their game. The “Board” won’t have even heard about it, let alone refused anything.

          Kotaku should stop searching the database every day looking for a clickbait article heading.
          There’s something there called “sh072419-msixvcflight-1” that was refused classification too, but I don’t remember reading anything about that – probably because they can’t attach the word “Rockstar” to it.

    • At this point I personally like to think the classification board are just straight leaning into the madness…

      No longer do they actually review the games. No, now they’ve got a spinning dart board in their offices that decides the fate of games, and recently they’ve just had a spree of ‘good’ throws.

  • I could understand this happening in the past, but now that we’ve got an R rating for video games, it’s absurd to see any game (bar extremely indecent sexual titles) ever get refused classification. Instead, it seems the only thing that has really changed is that titles that would have once been considered MA are now being labelled R, while anything that should actually be R gets RC instead.

    Meanwhile, those that are fans of the banned title are only left with one option, which is to put themselves at risk by either importing or pirating the title.

    The whole situation is ridiculous.

    • I’d go with importing, or just setting up a foreign console account. That simple enough, especially for the Switch.

  • Its weird where the line gets drawn, im sure content wise gta5 and even some cods to date have had worse actual scenes in them compared to an implied scene in hotline miami. Whether its interactive shouldnt matter and if its right for tv, which you can choose to watch, it should be right for games, which you choose to play. Hell i didnt buy southpark stick of destiny expecting sunshine and roses

  • The AU govt bans just about everything. You can’t even play a stupid video game without some worthless “classification board” reviewing it first. Australia has always been an overregulated police state, I mean can you honestly name any fu activity that doesnt have some ‘board” or “authority” that oversees it? Books, magazines, video games, films, TV shows, the internet, firearms, smoking, camping, fishing, driving…ALL are regulated or banned or outlawed or oveseen by faceless politicans or an authority of some kind.

    WHY can we not just DO something for once without the govt telling us what and how and where we can do it? This most definitely isnt a free country anymore. Anything and everything fun is regulated out the ass.

    Good thing I have a VPN, a great connection and places to buy PSN/XBL/Switch cards. I will be buying and playing ALL of this “banned” content. The govt can go jump. You do not need to waste time importing these days. Customs cant yet search through your internet connection (give it time though lol).

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