Refused classification due to its depiction of drugs, the surprise ban of We Happy Few in Australia came as quite a shock when news broke
prior to E3. Set in a dystopian version of 1960s London, in We Happy Few the populace is kept under control via a drug called Joy. And it's with that where the ratings issues arose.
According to a new report over at Kotaku
, the report from the board states, "A player that takes Joy can reduce gameplay difficulty, therefore receiving an incentive by progressing though the game quickly." Which in relation to We Happy Few, sounds like action taken without considering the context or the setting. Naturally, this led to widespread backlash.
Turns out the board will be meeting on July 3 to review We Happy Few and the classification.
The Classification Review Board has received an application to review the classification of the computer game We Happy Few. We Happy Few was refused classification by the Classification Board on 21 May 2018. The Classification Review Board will meet on 3 July 2018 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. The closing date to lodge your application for standing as an interested party and any submissions is 29 June 2018. Please note that the Review Board can only consider submissions about We Happy Few itself and not any other matters relating to computer game classification policy or issues generally.
Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to:
Classification Review Board
Locked Bag 3
HAYMARKET NSW 1240
The Classification Review Board is an independent merits review body. It makes a fresh classification decision upon receipt of an application for review. The Classification Review Board decision takes the place of the original decision made by the Classification Board.
With public submissions open to those who want to defend We Happy Few or argue for its release in Australia next month, here's hoping this ruling is overturned. Mainly because We Happy Few presents a dystopian society of a government gone out of control and deals with mature themes in an honest and artistic fashion.