Even though it’s officially refused classification in Australia, it doesn’t look like Steam has paid much attention to Disco Elysium – A Final Cut‘s ban because Aussies can still buy it as of this morning.
The ZA/UM RPG, which has gotten a huge update this morning with new content, voice-overs, controller support, new political vision quests and a hardcore mode, is still being sold through Steam to Australians. The game is officially supposed to be unavailable, with the Classification Board finding that a game that lets you split bags of coke with underage kids and specifically offers achievements and quests for doing speed was absolutely not going to fly under Australian guidelines.
Still, that hasn’t stopped Steam from selling Disco Elysium to Australians as of this morning. What’s interesting is that The Final Cut is now the only version of Disco Elysium listed on Steam, rather than a second app (as some games have done, like Divinity: Original Sin).
Given that Kotaku Australia understood that Disco Elysium‘s developer, publisher and distributor (read: Steam) has been advised that refused classification and unrated games cannot be sold to Australians, it’s interesting to see Final Cut still available. I’m all for ZA/UM giving Australia’s R18+ guidelines the middle finger. Everybody wants the system to change, including the Classification Board, but the Federal Government hasn’t done anything about it yet.
So, for now, we’re stuck with games like Disco Elysium falling through the cracks, both being sold online in an unclassified format in their initial form and then being unreasonably banned when they become popular enough to warrant a retail release.
As the Classification Board recommended, it’s time video games had the same statutory guidelines applied to them as film and TV. We shouldn’t be relying on foreign companies to save us from this weird, bizarre content limbo for video games in 2021. New Zealand makes it work – why can’t we?