Outlast 2, the sequel to Red Barrels' surprise 2014 survival horror hit, has been refused classification in Australia, meaning it's effectively banned in the country. It joins the likes of Hotline Miami 2 and Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkuni on the list of games that have been banned since the introduction of an R18+ rating in 2013.
According to the board's website, refused classification can result from 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."
That doesn't necessarily mean it's the end for Outlast 2 in Australia: some studios and publishers have previously edited games to accommodate the country's vigilant classification board. Recent examples include The Bug Butcher, which was initially banned due to incentivised drug use, but later altered and granted an M rating.
On the other hand – and like Devolver Digital's approach to Hotline Miami 2 – the creators might opt not to bother. Devolver didn't even try to get Genital Jousting classified in Australia (though it seems unlikely it'd be refused, given the criteria).
Whatever the case, it's a shame. Although I'm not personally eager to walk across a charred baby pit in a video game, I'm certain there are many Australians who are.
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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.