UPDATED: Outlast 2 Cleared for Australian Release by Classification Board

UPDATED: Outlast 2 Cleared for Australian Release by Classification Board

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UPDATE 2 (3/27/2017 7:30 PM ET): Red Barrels has reached out to us with an explanation of just what happened with the classification of Outlast 2. The PR representative explained the confusion as follows:

"The original submission of Outlast 2 sent to the Australian Classification Branch contained the final game code and a video file for reference taken from an Alpha version of the game. This video file should not have been sent along with the game code, as its content was not representative of the final game.

In the second submission, the same game code was submitted with a video file reflecting the final game content. The game was then approved for release with an R18+ rating. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide."

So, it sounds like the refusal to classify was based on outdated material, and that there were no changes made to Outlast 2 after all. That's good news for everyone involved.


UPDATE: The Australian Classification Board has told IGN that at the request of the Australian distributor for Outlast 2, the report on the reclassification will not be released until March 25. More importantly, the Board said that "it is satisfied that that the original version of the game that was refused classification has been modified to allow the game to be classified R18+." This makes it fairly clear that not only was the game edited to remove the content that the Board found objectionable, the worldwide version has received similar edits. We've reached out to Red Barrels to confirm this, and will update with any reply we receive.


ORIGINAL STORY:

Red Barrels announced today that Outlast 2 has now been classified for release in Australia.

Last week, the Australian Classification Board refused to classify Outlast 2, effectively banning the game from release in that country. At issue was a scene that the Board said contained "implied sexual violence" that "cannot be accommodated within the R18+ category."

The decision caused a bit of irritation for some, including our Senior Editor, Liz Finnegan, who took issue with the decision. It was even brought up on the floor of the Australian Senate, as Senator David Leyonhjelm urged the board to "Leave gamers alone." But today, Red Barrels announced that the game has been classified in Australia. It's not clear if the game has had changes made or not, so it could be that the game was edited for worldwide release, or that nothing in the Australian version have been changed.

In a statement given to Press Start earlier today, Red Barrels said,

"Outlast 2 has been rated R18+ by the Classification Branch in Australia and will be released 26th April 2017. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide."

Outlast 2 will release worldwide on April 25 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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Well that sucks. I would have liked to see the original. Thanks Australia :I but least my brothers down under get to play it which is nice

I'm confused, how exactly does the statement "make it clear" that the worldwide version of the game has been changed? It sounds like they just edited the AU version to me.

Well fuck that noise, not buying this game.

Well, I certainly hope that it doesn't mean all versions have been lessened just because some cranky old men and women in one country bitched and refused to give it a rating. If it has been, then I guess it'll just be another in a long string of games that I won't be buying for one reason or another.

Australia once again ruining it for everyone lol.

I'm not worried. 3.5 seconds after release, a fan will release a patch to enable the blocked content.

Will the crying koala bear take up the duty of the demon blowjob dream then? That would be marginally more disturbing I guess.

Xorph:
I'm confused, how exactly does the statement "make it clear" that the worldwide version of the game has been changed? It sounds like they just edited the AU version to me.

Have to agree here. It only sounds to me like the Aussie release has been edited, I don't see anything that indicates the worldwide release has been changed.

008Zulu:
I'm not worried. 3.5 seconds after release, a fan will release a patch to enable the blocked content.

Which nobody in Australia will download because they'd have pirated the original game anyway...

theSovietConnection:

Xorph:
I'm confused, how exactly does the statement "make it clear" that the worldwide version of the game has been changed? It sounds like they just edited the AU version to me.

Have to agree here. It only sounds to me like the Aussie release has been edited, I don't see anything that indicates the worldwide release has been changed.

Red Barrels said after the classification that only one version would be available worldwide, and then the board said that the game was modified, leading to speculation that the edit was going worldwide. Thankfully, as you can see from tonight's update, none of the versions of the game were changed, and the initial refusal to classify was based on an outdated video.

ahhh so it turns out it was their screw up not the censorship board for once

I'm confused, if they sent the wrong version of the product to the ACB and that was refused, but the real version of the final product was certified, then has Red Barrels changed content or not?

I mean it seems fucking weird they sent both a fraudulent copy to the ACB AND they edited content. If the only content change was something they were going to do anyways, then ... what?

I fail to see why they would change all copies internationally to service just the Australian and German markets ... moreover they could just change content for legal local distribution of those countries withut modifying content elsewhere.

I'd like to hear the minutes of this decision, because it sounds like Australian distriutors want to withhold information on a consumer product and this should be seen as ethically grey, given a distributor shuldn't be asking the government to occult and obfuscate or inveigle rational consumption of products. I'm not particularly interested in this myself, but if there is active occultation of facts concerning the right of rational consumption, it should be reported so that Australian purchasers can buy it elsewhere or not buy it at all at their choice.

This sounds shady as fuck and heads should fucking roll if there's proof of collusion on this.

Either Red Barrels has done the wrong thing, the ACB has done the wrong thing, or local distributors have done the wrong thing, or a mixture of all three ... and the only people that will be hurt is the consumer.

 

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