We Happy Few's surprise ban back in May came as a bit of a shock to most of us because the game itself outside of its serious subject matter didn't seem all that controversial. In fact, it's theme of an oppressive government controlling what people do and feel made the classification refusal seem more like a self-fulfilling prophecy than anything else.
Which is why it's good news that We Happy Few's initial ban has been lifted thanks to a fresh new R18+ rating,
A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the computer game We Happy Few is classified R18+ (Restricted) with the consumer advice 'Fantasy violence and interactive drug use'.
So yeah, turns out the initial ban was all about the title's use of Joy - a government prescribed drug used to control the in-game population. Where taking it made the game easier - hence serving as potential gateway to your nearest ice dealer. Or so the thinking goes.
We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games also took to its own site to note that the game will be released unmodified in Australia - and that media and community attention played an important role in getting the refusal overturned.
We went to a great deal of effort to get this decision overturned. We Happy Few will be rated R18+ in Australia.
And so, we can all now re-pencil that August 10 release date in our calendars.
The board needs to be staffed by people under the age of 40 who have a background in gaming AND movies. Not orthodoxy.
Why Llian? I'm 46 and sent these bunch of morons an email about this. I have been a gamer since the first arcade machine was put into take aways back in the late 70's. I have also had to put up with idiots in the government telling me what I can play since then. I unlike you, have been fighting for the R rating in oz for a long time and when this organisation bans games still, it pisses me right off, And I let them know just how much it pisses me off in that email I sent to them.
So tell me again anyone over 40 should not be in there! the imbecile age is around the mid 60's now so we wont have to put up with this crap much longer.
I think the poignant phrasing here also is "interactive drug use". R18+ is not for anyone under 18 years of age, and with numerous other adult forms of media featuring drug use, that the board has now initialised that as part of the warning label means games like Cyberpunk 2077 and others, intended solely for adults, will be safe to pass classification.