It seems that the ultra-violent Hotline Miami 2 was too much for the Australian Classification Board, as they have refused to classify the upcoming title from Dennaton Games.
To be clear, the board’s refusal to classify the game is basically a move that makes the game unsellable within stores in Australia. The reasoning behind the decision is peculair: the refusal wasn’t due to the game’s ultra-violence, but the implied rape scene featured in the game.
Apparently, the Australian Classification Board completely forbids sexualized violence in video games. Despite the addition of the R18+ certificate for “classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are high in impact”, this particular scene went too far.
We’ve also gotten a hold of the transcript from the Board’s report for Hotline Miami 2 (via Player Attack) which describes the scene in full detail:
“In the sequence of game play footage titled Midnight Animal, the protagonist character bursts into what appears to be a movie set and explicitly kills 4 people, who collapse to the floor in a pool of copious blood, often accompanied by blood splatter. After stomping on the head of a fifth male character, he strikes a female character wearing red underwear. She is knocked to the floor and is viewed lying face down in a pool of copious blood. The male character is viewed with his pants halfway down, partially exposing his buttocks. He is viewed pinning the female down by the arms and lying on top of her thrusting, implicitly raping her (either rear entry or anally) while her legs are viewed kicking as she struggles beneath him. This visual depiction of implied sexual violence is emphasised by it being mid-screen, with a red backdrop pulsating and the remainder of the screen being surrounded by black.”
That’s pretty vivid stuff. However, Devolver Digital has responded to the decision by pointing out the option given to players in the beginning of the game: a cut or an uncut version. The cut version is rape-free, which they’ve demonstrated:
The publisher has also released a public statement, accusing the Australian Classification Board of manipulating the truth when they detailed the scene:
“[W]e are concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree and issue a report that describes specific thrusting actions that are not simply present in the sequence in question and incorrectly portrays what was presented to them for review.”
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation 3 some time in early 2015.
[Editor’s Note: The article originally said “[..] is basically a move that bans the game in the country,” wording that was misleading. This has been amended to be more accurate to the facts.]