Earlier this week, the Australian Ratings Board announced it had rejected Saints Row IV over an "Alien Anal Probe" weapon in the game, as well as "alien narcotics" that give players super powers. Though the Saints Row series is known for its over-the-top childishly bawdy humor, it seems that the ratings board is rejecting even games where mature content would seem to fit.
Jeff Strain, executive producer at Undead Labs, today announced that State of Decay has also been refused classification by the Australian Ratings Board. State of Decay was released in the U.S. earlier this month for Xbox LIVE Arcade and has become a hit, with Microsoft claiming that it is now the fastest-selling "original" game for Xbox LIVE Arcade. The game is a zombie survival game that puts players in a zombie apocalypse where they have to avoid zombies and build fortifications while also scavenging for food, tools, weapons, and medicine.
It seems that those medicines are what the Australian Ratings Board has taken issue with. In a post to the Undead Labs forums, Strain explains that State of Decay was rejected by the board for depictions of drug use. Players can find medications in-game, including amphetamines and opiates, and use them for effects similar to their real-life counterparts. Strain stated that Undead Labs and Microsoft are working on a solution, which could mean changing medication names to something fake. Strain's post, in full:
Hola Australian State of Decay fans,
I have bad news to share: State of Decay has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board (ACB). We've run afoul of certain prohibitions regarding the depiction of drug use. We're 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.
I know this is frustrating — believe me, we're frustrated too — but each country has the right to set its own rules about content, and it's our responsibility to comply with them. Rest assured we'll do everything we can to find a way to get the game into your hands. Stay tuned.