RimWorld’s Been Reclassified In Australia, Clearing The Way For Re-Release

RimWorld’s Been Reclassified In Australia, Clearing The Way For Re-Release
Image: Ludeon Studios

Update: April 21st 2022, 9:30AM AEST

We’ve got even more of a positive update on the whole RimWorld situation, folks!

Posting this morning at around 3:15AM, RimWorld developer Tyne Sylvester announced that the game has gone under review from the Australian Classification Board and has been officially rated, making it purchasable in Australia once again.

RimWorld has been rated R18+ in Australia by the Australian Classification Board for ‘high impact themes and drug use’. This is, according to the Board, ‘because the themes and drug use have a high impact’. Go figure!

In a rare case of a government body in Australia thinking rationally, the Classification Board explained the reasoning for a review and subsequent rating:

The game includes fantasy drug use, but in the Review Board’s opinion, the game mechanic ultimately provides disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences such as overdose, addiction, and withdrawal. Players may choose for colonist pawns to consume drugs in certain scenarios, but this greatly hinders player progress, as characters will succumb to addiction and must deal with long-term negative impacts of their drug use. The drug use is depicted at a distance through a top-down perspective, in a highly stylised, simplified form. The game also contains high impact themes that are justified by the context of colonists surviving in an inhospitable fantasy world.

Get this, guys: drugs in a video game aren’t real! What are the odds of that! Goofs aside, it’s good to see RimWorld back in Australia, and here’s hoping we may see a console launch in future.

This is an update to a previous post covering RimWorld’s ‘refused classification’ being up for review. The original post remains below.

Original: April 11th 2022, 12:45PM AEST

We’ve got a positive update on the whole RimWorld situation, folks!

Just in case you missed it, here’s a little rundown of the TL;DR history of RimWorld‘s release and subsequent battle with the Australian Classification Board. RimWorld was originally released in 2013 as an early access game, received an update in 2016 that added drugs to the game, and came out of early access and became an officially released game on Steam in 2018.

This year, a multi-platform version of the game was refused classification by the Australian Classification Board. This suggested that there are plans to release RimWorld on multiple consoles, which is neat! Unfortunately, the Australian Government HATES drugs, even if they are not in the real world.

It’s pretty funny considering RimWorld has been available for PC in Australia since 2018 with no issues, but the revelation then caused for RimWorld to be removed from sale on the Australian Steam store due to the refused classification. What a relief that the Australian Government is finally taking a stand against drugs existing in a video game, this is exactly what everybody was begging for!

Alas, the drama that ensued has now resulted in the classification refusal now being up for review, announced by RimWorld developer Tynan Sylvester on Twitter.

According to the Australian Classification website,

The Classification Review Board has received an application to review the classification of the computer game, RimWorld.RimWorld was classified RC (Refused Classification) by the Classification Board on 28 February 2022.

The Classification Review Board will meet on Wednesday 20 April 2022 to consider the application. The decision and reasons will later be published on www.classification.gov.au.

If an individual or organisation wishes to apply for standing as an interested party to this review, please write to the Convenor of the Review Board. The names of interested parties will be disclosed in the Review Board’s final decision report, unless requested otherwise.

Considering Sylvester states in the tweet above that they’re working with ‘legal professionals and expert witnesses’ to get the game classified for multi-platform release and reinstated into the Australian Steam library, we can only hope that the Australian Government will reconsider and let us have RimWorld back.

Comments

  • Did the drugs provide a flat positive to the game or was it more like:
    “It’s ok that my colonists partake in a little alien spice now and then, it helps with mora……..aaaaaand everyone’s addicted and become flesh eating cannibals….damn”

  • the biggest issue with whole mess is that there is no consistency when it comes to drug use in games, Fallout 3 was RCed because MedX was originally morphine but was over turned when renamed MedX, then Saints row 4 was RC because of one mission that had a character get super powers from some alien VR only drug ( the anal probe weapon was DLC that was sold seperately)
    Then theres We happy Few and Disco Elysium.

    If the Devs hold firm im certain that the ban will get over turned.

    • Content and culture evolves far quicker than the legislation.
      Morphine to MedX was at a time where focus was purely on the real world links but since then the portrayal of drugs and drugs themselves are no longer bound to stiff definitions and identifications, becoming more about the use, like Disco Elysium and We Happy few.

      I don’t agree with it but you can see the board is struggling to keep up.

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