Hotline Miami 2 Refused Classification in Australia - Update

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Hotline Miami 2 Refused Classification in Australia - Update

Hotline Miami 2

Hotline Miami 2 has been refused classification in Australia due to drug use, and an implied rape scene.

Update: Devolver released the following statement regarding the classification decision:

We are aware of the recent report published by the Australian Classification Board in regards to Hotline Miami 2 and have been in communication with them. As such, we and Dennaton Games would like to clarify a few things:

First, to clear up any possible misconceptions, the opening cinematic that was first shown in June of 2013 has not changed in any way. We also want to make clear that players are given an choice at the start of the game as to whether they wish to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence. The sequence in question is presented below in context, both after choosing the uncut version of the game and after choosing to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence.

Second, in response to the report itself, we are concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree and issue a report that describes specific thrusting actions that are not simply present in the sequence in question and incorrectly portrays what was presented to them for review.

Though we have no plans to officially challenge the ruling, we stand by our developers, their creative vision for the storyline, its characters and the game and look forward to delivering Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number to fans very soon.

You can check out the scene in question right here, in both the uncut version, and the version for people who chose the option to avoid sexual violence.

Original Story: So apparently, getting the R 18+ rating in Australia changed absolutely nothing. Games are still being censored, and games are still being refused classification, effectively banning them from sale in the region. That's the case with Hotline Miami 2, which Player Attack reporting that the Australian Classification Board found the game "too offensive" for Australians.

Officially, the classification report of the game stated that the game was refused classification as it falls under the category of games that "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified."

Specifically, the following "implied rape" scene is one of the things that pushed the board over the edge. Be warned that this does contain spoilers for the game:

"In the sequence of game play footage titled Midnight Animal, the protagonist character bursts into what appears to be a movie set and explicitly kills 4 people, who collapse to the floor in a pool of copious blood, often accompanied by blood splatter. After stomping on the head of a fifth male character, he strikes a female character wearing red underwear. She is knocked to the floor and is viewed lying face down in a pool of copious blood. The male character is viewed with his pants halfway down, partially exposing his buttocks. He is viewed pinning the female down by the arms and lying on top of her thrusting, implicitly raping her (either rear entry or anally) while her legs are viewed kicking as she struggles beneath him. This visual depiction of implied sexual violence is emphasized by it being mid-screen, with a red backdrop pulsating and the remainder of the screen being surrounded by black."

So there you have it, the Australian Classification Board has determined that Hotline Miami 2 is too offensive for consenting Australian adults to purchase.

We have reached out to developer Devolver to see if they will appeal the decision.

Source: Australian Classification Board via Player Attack

Permalink

Ugh. What is with the fucking Australian government and video games? This really IS censorship this time.

Speaking of Hotline Miami 2, when the FUCK is it coming out?

Well, that's fucking stupid. Wasn't this the entire point of R18+, so games that would until then have to be banned or censored can now just be slapped with R18+ and adults can finally not be treated like fucking children? Laughably funny really, maybe this is the ratings board going fuck you to everyone who campaigned for R18+.

Also, isn't that bit actually part of a movie they're doing? Seem to recall the plot having 2 parts, a movie thing that isn't real, obviously, and a gang that's inspired by the guy in the first game?

For those keeping score: This is what censorship looks like.

Also, from what I've heard the scene described turns out to be fake within the context of the game. As in, the characters are shooting a rape scene for a film. Not sure what bearing, if any, that has on the classification decision, but thought it was worth pointing out.

Why are there still grandmas with no understanding of the medium on the classification board?

I will purchase and play this game any way I can, just to spite them.

Sometimes I wonder what actually goes on at the OFLC. Do they bother playing the games, or just throw darts at a board with the ratings tacked on?

Shamanic Rhythm:
Sometimes I wonder what actually goes on at the OFLC. Do they bother playing the games, or just throw darts at a board with the ratings tacked on?

I think it's a mixture of that and some kind of weird twist of pin the tail on the donkey.

Does this mean I can't buy the game at all (I live in Australia)? Can I buy it on Steam, or does refused classification only apply to retail.

If this refused classification bullshit means I can't legally purchase and play the game, the Classification board can go f*** itself, I really liked the first game and I've been waiting months to play the second game.

Why can't adults buy whatever the hell they want, why does the government have to butt in and dictate what is appopriate for adults to consume?

Jesus Christ this shit makes me want to reenact some choice scenes from the first game at the offices of the Classification Board.
...
I'm just joking.
Mostly.

This sucks and makes me want to smuggle copies of the game into Australia for the beleaguered gamers there.

Zhukov:
Also, from what I've heard the scene described turns out to be fake within the context of the game. As in, the characters are shooting a rape scene for a film. Not sure what bearing, if any, that has on the classification decision, but thought it was worth pointing out.

My guess is they're going to use this bit:

"depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex.. crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.."

..as the crutch. It may simply be a depiction of rape, a pretendies not-real rape, but if their poor morals and standards of decency are still offended then it's bye-byes.

Ronald Nand:
Does this mean I can't buy the game at all (I live in Australia)? Can I buy it on Steam, or does refused classification only apply to retail.

If this refused classification bullshit means I can't legally purchase and play the game, the Classification board can go f*** itself, I really liked the first game and I've been waiting months to play the second game.

Why can't adults buy whatever the hell they want, why does the government have to butt in and dictate what is appopriate for adults to consume?

In the context of this topic and your post, I got a giggle from you self-censoring.

sexual violence or implied sexual violence will automatically get a game refused classification here, i dont know why they even bothered putting it before the board when they knew it was in it

Teoes:

Ronald Nand:
Does this mean I can't buy the game at all (I live in Australia)? Can I buy it on Steam, or does refused classification only apply to retail.

If this refused classification bullshit means I can't legally purchase and play the game, the Classification board can go f*** itself, I really liked the first game and I've been waiting months to play the second game.

Why can't adults buy whatever the hell they want, why does the government have to butt in and dictate what is appopriate for adults to consume?

In the context of this topic and your post, I got a giggle from you self-censoring.

I'm not sure what the Escapist's policy is on swearing, I know on steam forums swearing is censored so I thought it was not allowed so discussions are civil.

So, a serious question. With THAT open of a standard how does literally any game get a rating? I'm serious, we all know killing is "bad". There are times when it is justified but by their rules it doesn't matter because the depiction of a dubious act that is against the standard of morals carried out in our everyday lives is a no no. That's a screwed up system and I feel for you all. All I got to say is, do what ya gotta do. >.>

Sorry Australia.

Still though, at least this confirms that the developers kept the rape scene in despite of all that bitching a year or two ago.

But I really want to buy this from GOG.

So what's this means for me? Buy the damn thing online?

Seriously, fuck these people. Fuck them with a rusty spork that's covered in rape and sexual content, just so that they'll feel extra naughty. We have an R+18 rating for this reason. Adults can choose this. Children CANNOT, I repeat, CANNOT purchase this game. But no, adults can't choose.

I guess that new game about a rape victim, Autumn I think, that should be banned. Why, that even puts the player in a position that lets them see the whole experience from start to finish (NOTE: The board just thinks that this is what happens, they couldn't figure out the movement keys.) That shocking, horrid game must be burnt at the stake lest the children see!

CENSORSHIP, HO!

...

(I imagine this is the part where the grannies board their SS Censor-Ship and sail off with Tony Abbott to shoot any cargo ships containing Hotline Miami 2.)

This is the same country that initially banned the first Risen because it gave you some experience and restored your mana if you smoked weed. Never be surprised by the fools in power here. Our clowns in charge make the US political scene seem very professional in comparison.

BathorysGraveland2:
This is the same country that initially banned the first Risen because it gave you some experience and restored your mana if you smoked weed. Never be surprised by the fools in power here. Our clowns in charge make the US political scene seem very professional in comparison.

Our clowns in charge of video games make the US political scene in regards to video games seem very professional in comparison, you mean. On plenty of other, more important issues, we have the superior clowns.

thaluikhain:
Our clowns in charge of video games make the US political scene in regards to video games seem very professional in comparison, you mean. On plenty of other, more important issues, we have the superior clowns.

Ehh, I dunno. From what I've seen and heard, the majority of our government is compiled mostly of fools. Especially as of late.

BathorysGraveland2:

thaluikhain:
Our clowns in charge of video games make the US political scene in regards to video games seem very professional in comparison, you mean. On plenty of other, more important issues, we have the superior clowns.

Ehh, I dunno. From what I've seen and heard, the majority of our government is compiled mostly of fools. Especially as of late.

Yeah, they've gotten worse, but I still maintain they are superior. No serious attempts to remove existing rights for citizens, at the moment, for example. Abbott is quite the clown, but a comparatively harmless one.

thaluikhain:
Yeah, they've gotten worse, but I still maintain they are superior. No serious attempts to remove existing rights for citizens, at the moment, for example. Abbott is quite the clown, but a comparatively harmless one.

Yes. After he was figuratively slapped in the face and told to sit down in the corner like the little boy he is by Putin a little while back, I should certainly hope so. Haha.

What is the point of an 18+ rating if they are just going to ban games anyway? All this is going to do is boost piracy for the game, and that doesn't benefit anyone.

If an adult is more than happy to watch a bunch of pixels have their way with another group of pixels in a video game (of which the classification board described out of context), why does some group of people across the country whom you have never met get a say in whether or not that is right to watch?

Whats wrong with something like

Hotline Miami 2
18+
This game contains scenes of intense violence and implied sexual assault.

Then just stick that on the store page.

While it sucks for Australians that your ratings agency is run by puritan baboons, I have to appreciate the graphic and explicit depiction of the scene.

Good for you, baboon #1685. That is some E.L. James in the making grade of quality...

Lil_Rimmy:
So what's this means for me? Buy the damn thing online?

Seriously, fuck these people. Fuck them with a rusty spork that's covered in rape and sexual content, just so that they'll feel extra naughty. We have an R+18 rating for this reason. Adults can choose this. Children CANNOT, I repeat, CANNOT purchase this game. But no, adults can't choose.

I guess that new game about a rape victim, Autumn I think, that should be banned. Why, that even puts the player in a position that lets them see the whole experience from start to finish (NOTE: The board just thinks that this is what happens, they couldn't figure out the movement keys.) That shocking, horrid game must be burnt at the stake lest the children see!

CENSORSHIP, HO!

...

(I imagine this is the part where the grannies board their SS Censor-Ship and sail off with Tony Abbott to shoot any cargo ships containing Hotline Miami 2.)

Hehehehehehehe, the SS Censor-Ship. I like that. I like that a lot.

Oh, this shit again? Ugh.


Devolver I love you but I'm not buying a censored game.

erttheking:
Ugh. What is with the fucking Australian government and video games? This really IS censorship this time.

Speaking of Hotline Miami 2, when the FUCK is it coming out?

Err this isn't a videogame thing, if only these sites stopped depicting it as such. Games have been brought upto movie's level, but even movies are ruled by these restrictions. Basically because of a rape scene which they believe had no artistic merit.

That said as always we can just import it, which is why this is not censorship and people need to learn what it means. If it was censorship it would be illegal to possess the unedited movie/game etc which it is not. I can legally buy this game from an online store an import it. It's only the sale of these games in stores that's restricted.

MC1980:
Well, that's fucking stupid. Wasn't this the entire point of R18+, so games that would until then have to be banned or censored can now just be slapped with R18+ and adults can finally not be treated like fucking children? Laughably funny really, maybe this is the ratings board going fuck you to everyone who campaigned for R18+.

Also, isn't that bit actually part of a movie they're doing? Seem to recall the plot having 2 parts, a movie thing that isn't real, obviously, and a gang that's inspired by the guy in the first game?

Laggyteabag:
What is the point of an 18+ rating if they are just going to ban games anyway? All this is going to do is boost piracy for the game, and that doesn't benefit anyone.*SNIP*

No, the point was to bring it to the same level as movies which have R18+. That does not mean you can depict anything you want.

Ronald Nand:
Does this mean I can't buy the game at all (I live in Australia)? Can I buy it on Steam, or does refused classification only apply to retail.

If this refused classification bullshit means I can't legally purchase and play the game, the Classification board can go f*** itself, I really liked the first game and I've been waiting months to play the second game.

Why can't adults buy whatever the hell they want, why does the government have to butt in and dictate what is appopriate for adults to consume?

You can just buy the game from an online store or a gray importer such as ozgameshop.
Because our society has decided that we don't want movies/games etc that show drugs as being a good thing you should do or that rape is acceptable etc. That's what these restrictions are for, and movies/games/TV/music etc are all given the same rules now that games have R18+. Previously games were gimped at M15+ levels.

Magmarock:
But I really want to buy this from GOG.

Then buy it, I probably will too. It's not illegal to purchase, own or play. As long as the store sells it knock yourself out :-)

crap like this makes me happier that i have moved away from this country. also for other reasons that has nothing to do with any entertainment medium but looks like 18+ rating is still a huge problem for these idiots to think straight. they must have monkeys sitting there who do all the decisions.

RicoADF:

Ronald Nand:
Does this mean I can't buy the game at all (I live in Australia)? Can I buy it on Steam, or does refused classification only apply to retail.

If this refused classification bullshit means I can't legally purchase and play the game, the Classification board can go f*** itself, I really liked the first game and I've been waiting months to play the second game.

Why can't adults buy whatever the hell they want, why does the government have to butt in and dictate what is appopriate for adults to consume?

You can just buy the game from an online store or a gray importer such as ozgameshop.
Because our society has decided that we don't want movies/games etc that show drugs as being a good thing you should do or that rape is acceptable etc. That's what these restrictions are for, and movies/games/TV/music etc are all given the same rules now that games have R18+. Previously games were gimped at M15+ levels.

Magmarock:
But I really want to buy this from GOG.

Then buy it, I probably will too. It's not illegal to purchase, own or play. As long as the store sells it knock yourself out :-)

So I can still buy the game from Steam and GOG then, that's great. What's really the point of this refused classification thing anyway, I don't think this game will be sold by any retailer, as far as I know they don't stock indie titles like Hotline Miami, its mostly digital distribution isn't it.

As long as I can buy the game somewhere I'm happy though.

"Too offensive for Australians"

It's like these people don't actually live in this country or something.

Don't you just love governments telling adults what type of harmless entertainment they can and can't enjoy?

RicoADF:

Ronald Nand:
Does this mean I can't buy the game at all (I live in Australia)? Can I buy it on Steam, or does refused classification only apply to retail.

If this refused classification bullshit means I can't legally purchase and play the game, the Classification board can go f*** itself, I really liked the first game and I've been waiting months to play the second game.

Why can't adults buy whatever the hell they want, why does the government have to butt in and dictate what is appopriate for adults to consume?

You can just buy the game from an online store or a gray importer such as ozgameshop.
Because our society has decided that we don't want movies/games etc that show drugs as being a good thing you should do or that rape is acceptable etc. That's what these restrictions are for, and movies/games/TV/music etc are all given the same rules now that games have R18+. Previously games were gimped at M15+ levels.

Magmarock:
But I really want to buy this from GOG.

Then buy it, I probably will too. It's not illegal to purchase, own or play. As long as the store sells it knock yourself out :-)

It's a digital game. They're not making any physical copies. So banning it like this implies they're banning it from being sold on a digital storefront.

I'm sure there's a way to get access to another country's steam store with a proxy or whatever, but still.

Oh fuck me. It's fine to bash a duds head in with a baseball bat but it's a make believe rape scene that pushes it over the edge? Where is the consistency?

With the chance to sound like a broken record:

This is censorship. Not what Target did.

So yea.

Just to play the devil's advocate: was that rape scene really necessary?

CaitSeith:
Just to play the devil's advocate: was that rape scene really necessary?

Why wouldn't it be? If the artist wants it in, then it should be in. The only way that scene gets changed is through a contract between the developer (artist) and its publisher. Or self-censoring if they want to legally sell it in Australia.

Captcha: California. Hotel California you mean Captcha?

EDIT: DOes that mean that Autumn, a game that has more than just an implied rape scene, will get banned in Australia? Well congratz Australians your government is filled with idiots.

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