Australia’s classification board has reportedly blocked the release of upcoming horror title Outlast 2 in the region.
Kotaku Australia reports that the inclusion of what was perceived to be sexual violence in the game was blamed. As such, its content could not be accommodated by the existing R18+ rating, and therefore the game has been refused a release entirely in its current guise.
Here’s the official run-down of what the board found. Warning – some of this is pretty graphic, and of course contains spoilers for the game.
[Blake’s] vision blurring, he witnesses what appears to a ritualistic orgy. His wife, Lynn, calls out for his help, saying, "It hurts! Oh god!," as she hangs from chains on a raised platform at the front of the clearing. Humanoid creatures, their skin grey, spattered with blood and scarred, implicitly have sex as others pray, or chant, or gesticulate.
One creature has another bent over a rock, thrusting as they implicitly have rear-entry sex, another sits astride the pelvic region of a creature prone on the ground, moving their hips rhythmically as they too implicitly have sex. Two other pairs of creatures in the clearing are also implicitly having sex.
Although much of the contact between the creature and Blake is obscured, by it taking place below screen, the sexualised surroundings and aggressive behaviour of the creature suggest that it is an assault which is sexual in nature. The Board is of the opinion that this, combined with Blake's objections and distress, constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence.
It's not yet known whether the game will be edited and resubmitted. The board did say that while the removal of this content should make the title eligible for an R18+ rating, this scene alone was not the extent of its concerns.
The R18+ certificate was introduced in Australia in 2013. It was intended to allow games with mature or violent content to make it to market in a country that had until that point had a long history of blocking the release of such titles.
However, Outlast 2 is not the first game to be denied release, with Saints Row 4 and State of Decay also suffering the same fate.