Undead Labs’ survival horror title State of Decay has been given a Refused Classification rating by the Australian Classification Board. The developer revealed this news on its official forums, where Executive Producer Jeff Strain said that the game had “run afoul of certain prohibitions regarding the depiction of drug use.” Strain further explained that, “We are working with Microsoft to come up with options, including changing names of certain medications in the game to comply with ratings requirements. Whatever our path forward, it’s going to take a bit…Rest assured we’ll do everything we can to find a way to get the game into your hands.”
This decision was confirmed by Microsoft Australia.
State of Decay is an open world zombie-survival title with an emphasis on traversal and survival rather than zombie combat. It was released on the American Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace on June 5.
The ACB (née Office of Film and Literature Classification) has previously banned Blitz: The League and Fallout 3 for allowing players in-game benefits from the use of real-life drugs (i.e. Steroids and morphine, respectively). Most recently, it refused to classify Saints Row IV partly due to the game’s “alien narcotics.”
The ACB has yet to publish this decision on its website.
Update – 4:15pm: Kotaku Australia has obtained the ACB’s report on State of Decay’s RC rating: “The game contains the option of self-administering a variety of “medications” throughout gameplay which act to restore a player’s health or boost their stamina. These “medications” include both legal and illicit substances such as methadone, morphine, amphetamines, stimulants, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, codeine, aspirin, “trucker pills”, painkillers and tussin….In the Board’s opinion, the game enables the player’s character to self-administer proscribed drugs which aid in gameplay progression. This game therefore contains drug use related to incentives or rewards and should be Refused Classification.”
[Hat-tip to Vooks for this story]