It was announced a few days ago that DayZ has been refused classification for its physical copies in Australia, despite being rated MA15+ multiple times. However, now more has come out about the matter and it seems that not only is the Australian Classification Board sticking to the rating, they are also planning on stopping all sales of the title, both physical and digital.
The initial rating of DayZ came a few months ago back in June when plans were in motion to publish the title on shelves throughout the country. The issue with this meant that the game was subject to checks where it was deemed "illicit", due to "proscribed drug use to incentives or rewards" as reported by Kotaku Australia.
The report Kotaku received further stated on the matter: "Through general gameplay, the player is able to collect and use a variety of equipment, supplies and weaponry. One of the options to restore the player's health is a marijuana joint, labelled 'cannabis', which is denoted by a cannabis bud in the player's inventory."
As for why this meant DayZ was refused classification, the report confirmed this by saying, "The use of drugs as an incentive or reward during gameplay exceeds what can be accommodated within the R18+ classification and therefore must be refused classification."
Bohemia Interactive did apply for DayZ to be rated by a different classification, although this system can be overruled by the Classification Board should they seem fit to, which happened to be the case in this situation. Ultimately, this led to the Board's decision to not only pull DayZ off physical shelves but too also rip the game from all online stores throughout Australia.
The most bizarre part of this story is that Bohemia Interactive has recently released a statement, as reported again by Kotaku Australia, showing plans to alter the global version of DayZ, to comply with the Board's decision.
Whilst nothing has been released suggesting what this may be, Bohemia Interactive has said, "We don't want to separate Australian players from the rest of the world, since many people play cross-region. We love that DayZ is the place to meet friends and experience the game without dramatic regional lag. We don't want to change that. At the moment, we are editing the global version of DayZ so it will fit the Board's requirements. The key objective is to keep gameplay as authentic as it was, so players are not affected by this change."
Do you think classification needs to be modified to better fit modern games?