Australian regulators recently declined to provide a rating for a video game over what it felt was an implied sexual violence scene. This effectively barred the game from being sold in country, leaving many people dissatisfied with the decision. Fortunately, the developers have suggested that people just pirate their game if they want to play it.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is a top down shooter that features large amounts of violence and gore; although not more than most mainstream shooters. The issue came with one scene that Australian regulators believed to run afoul of a National Classification Code that bars games that “depict, express, or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence, or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency, and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.”
A gamer who decided that he still wanted to legally pay for the game emailed developer Digital Devolver, and was told by designer Jonatan Söderström to simply pirate it. The email was later confirmed by the company though social media, and has encouraged other Australian gamers to do the same.
This isn’t the first time that Australian regulators have tried to clamp down on video games it deems to be unfit for consumption. Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2 was heavily censored before being allowed into the country, although an unofficial patch was later released by modders to remove the censorship.
It is not common for developers to tell fans to simply pirate their games to get around government censorship. Although to be fair, an Australian government committee did admit that software prices in the country are too high and people should find their own ways to work around geoblocking to get cheaper prices.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will be coming to Steam soon for the rest of the world.