The cute “return home to your village to be a postie” simulator Lake was a nice surprise when it was shown at E3 this year. Unfortunately, you can’t play the game on Xbox right now.
The charming ’80s adventure launched on Steam and Xbox last week, but for Australians it’s only available on Steam. And if you’ve read Kotaku Australia or followed anything about video games in this country for a long while, chances are you’ve already guessed why Gamious’s cute adventure isn’t on console.
That’s right: it’s another refused classification. The game received an automated refused classification rating after the developers submitted their application through the IARC system, meaning the game technically shouldn’t be available for purchase or play digitally or at retail anywhere in the country.
The developers confirmed this directly via Twitter when pressed, and while they were still investigating, they added that the most likely cause for the rating was a couple of scenes with “very short and mild references to soft drugs”. (It’s a game set in 1986, so I’m just going to guess here: weed.)
We understand your frustration. Of course we also have to respect age ratings, as they exist for a reason. But in this case, the very short and mild references to soft drugs in one or two scenes are the reason for the entire game to be blocked.
— Lake (@Lake_The_Game) September 5, 2021
Fortunately for Aussies, Steam has worked out that they can just continue to sell games that are refused classification to Australians with no repercussions, as evidenced by their complete refusal to do anything about Disco Elysium: A Final Cut‘s initial ban. So if you want to give Lake a go, or try the demo, the Steam page is still accessible for local accounts.
And because people always tend to forget, it’s worth reiterating that the Classification Board themselves — along with literally every other stakeholder and person with a solitary interest in video games and legislation — has called for the classification guidelines to be overhauled. (The board themselves have been calling for an overhaul for years, in fact.) Those recommendations were filed as part of a report that has been sitting with the Communications Minister.
Since the middle of last year.