It appears that the popular sci-fi colony management sim RimWorld was refused classification in Australia, effectively banning the game from being sold in stores.
A listing on the Australian Classification Board’s website was discovered by several outlets, though it seems to have since been removed. The applicant on the listing is Double Eleven Limited, a studio that is often contracted to port PC games onto consoles.
The news that RimWorld was refused classification in Australia means it’s fair to assume that the game is likely getting console ports in the near future, though nothing has been officially announced yet. The game being refused classification will likely have no impact on the digital PC version that has been available on GOG and Steam for some time.
The Australian Classification Board is notoriously strict, with many games being refused classification over the decades.
The Refused Classification label is generally reserved for 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 to the extent that they should not be classified.”
While this can include games that are deemed too violent or sexual, the content that seems most likely to trigger an RC label is anything related to drugs. Both We Happy Few and DayZ have been refused classification in the past due to drug use via in-game items.
The Classification Board often deems it “encouraging drug use” if games have in-game drug items that boost a character’s performance or otherwise provide a positive benefit, regardless of if the drugs are real or fictional. This is most likely what got RimWorld in trouble, but it could also be all the forced organ harvesting for the black market.