Outlast 2 Australian classification confusion explained by studio

Outlast 2 was refused classification in Australia earlier this month due to what the Australian Classification Board deemed "implied sexual violence". A week later, the same board reneged and mysteriously granted it an R18+ rating, saving it from an effective ban in the country. At the time, it appeared that the Classification Board had simply had a change of heart upon re-assessing the game, but the matter was more complicated, it turns out.

In a statement by studio Red Barrels, via its Australian PR company, a full explanation is provided. As it turns out, the first build provided to the board did in fact contain material which the second build did not – though it was never intended to appear in the game, the statement claims.

"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," the statement reads.  "This video file should not have been sent along with the game code, as its content was not representative of the final game."

It continues: "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."

This suggests that the offending video – which contains implied sexual violence and is described in all its gory detail in this Kotaku story – won't appear in the game for anyone, nor was it seemingly meant to. Outlast 2 is scheduled to release April 25.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.