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Update

Awfully Nice Studios has gotten in touch with us with the following statement:

We have been in the age rating process for our upcoming console release in Australia. Seem like this triggered the ban from Steam as well.
The reasoning behind is, is sad but at the same point also funny. We have a powerup called “Speed powerup” where Harry injects himself a surringe.
Looks like the combination of the injection with the word “Speed” someone could assume that it’s a drug.

Original Story

Awfully Nice Studios‘ popular indie title The Bug Butcher has been banned from sale on Steam in Australia. This information comes to us from TechRaptor site partner Censored Gaming, who posted the information in this Twitlonger message earlier today.

Censored Gaming’s post shows that, despite having being released worldwide with no Steam rating earlier this year (January 19, 2016), the title was recently given a “Refused Classification” label by the Australian Classification Board. This means The Bug Butcher is unable to be sold in Australia. The time between the release date and the rating by the Australian Classification Board indicates that Awfully Nice Studios had submitted the game for rating, possibly in preparation for a release on a different platform (as Steam doesn’t require ratings for games to be published on the platform). Neither the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) or the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) websites list The Bug Butcher at the time of writing this article. However, the developers have discussed on their forums releasing on console and mobile, in hopes of being able to continue supporting the game if it does well there.

The only information that we could find that would explain why The Bug Butcher has been banned from sale in Australia is what’s displayed on the Australian Classification Board’s page for the game. To quote: “The computer game is classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code, Computer Games Table, 1. (a) as computer 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.'” 

It is worth noting thatThe Bug Butcher has a very cartoony art style, with a simple colorful aesthetic that avoids the realism many other games attempt to depict. While many monsters die, it isn’t with the level of graphic violence that can be seen in some of Australia’s uncensored titles like Doom or Grand Theft Auto V. There is a single drug power-up in the game that is one of four random power-ups, but that is far less than games like Fallout 4 which have a whole series of drugs (which are actually used like real world drugs, and not as temporary power-ups).

Awfully Nice Studios hasn’t publicly commented on the Australian rating of The Bug Butcher at this time. TechRaptor’s has reached out to Valve and Awfully Nice Studios for comment; at the time of writing this article we haven’t received a response. We will keep our readers updated on any responses we receive from them.

Stay tuned to TechRaptor and Censored Gaming for further information on this situation.

The Bug Butcher is available on Steam right now for $7.99 US or your regional equivalent, and has a free demo to try.

Let us know your thoughts on this rating in the comment section below.

More About This Game

Brandon Bobal

Partner Manager

Brandon writes articles with focuses on video and board games, and Magic: The Gathering. When he isn't doing research for his weekly Magic: The Gathering column, he can be found enjoying the outdoors.



  • Nin

    Maybe there’s someone new aboard? Would explain why MeiQ got banned recently despite other similar niche JRPG’s being fine.

  • dunnockteeeteee

    I hope people of the future look back at the Victorian moralising of our rating boards and laugh.

  • Brandon Bobal

    Well, right now we look at the Comic Code Authority with disdain and amusement – stand to reason that one day, the video game rating boards would go the same way.

  • Is it me or is Australia going full retard?

  • Shaun Joy

    At least that one had a “reason” for it, being the touching element regarding the product. Its a shit reason, but it’s a reason I could “understand” because there’s at least some sort of “risky” content. I’ve reviewed Bug Butcher myself…..and I literally am at a loss of what they banned it for. This doesn’t make sense whatsoever, this is as friendly o fa game as they come

  • Nin

    Only good part about Australia is that they have a pirate party. Which is full retard in a different sense depending on who you ask.

  • MonsterGogo

    I wish when this happened the dev would just re-submit an Australia version; Everything that offends the board members’ feelings should be replaced by australian flags and tiny Australia outlines.

  • Kalavinka

    GET RID OF THE NONSENSE THAT IS REFUSED CLASSIFICATION

  • Sam Guglielmo

    Best guess: one of the powerups was a drug that made your character shoot faster and be invincible, and showing any drug in a positive light is instant refused classification.

    At least that’s best guess.

  • Cats736

    The Australian Classification Board is in serious need of reform. All employees needs to be removed and replaced with competent, sane and reasonable ones.

  • Ricolfus

    Are you implying that we don’t look at it now and laugh at how ridiculous it is?

    Especially when Australia has gotten, since 2012 (IIRC), an R18+ rating for games, it makes no sense why these games get refused classification when there is this classification that should be used.

    I’m actually starting to consider getting vocal and trying to change things.

  • Psyvenrix

    Mate, our ratings boards have ALWAYS been full retard 🙁

  • Joshua Madoc

    Good to know that the country I live in still likes to go full spastic.

  • Joshua Madoc

    In other words, it needs people who are in touch with film, games, music, etc., which is everything the current board isn’t, because they’re all old, only listens to Gold FM, and only watches Australian TV shows?

  • coboney

    Based on their statement, they may. However that does cost money to do for them

  • The game is still currently available to purchase in Australia on Steam. I just bought it myself. Hopefully it won’t get removed from my library after purchasing it.

  • Casey

    That would follow as being true since Saints Row 4 had a mission yanked out (among other things) that also depicted drugs being used and giving the characters powers. Shaundi’s loyalty mission to be specific.

  • Australia really jumping on the police state band wagon, eh?

  • How about firing them and replacing them with… no one. That would be much better.

  • Australia continues to be a bad place for gamers.

  • Yeah, I can def tell. Feel sorry for you guys.

  • hurin

    LOL. I remember that in Postal 2 you can heal yourself by smoking crack. I take it that game is also banned.

  • Cats736

    Australia requires a rating board, that is not an option.

  • Of course it is an option, it just requires politics to abolish it and make Australia a bit less of a regulatory police state

  • NorBdelta

    After having a look at the Steam page it seems rather harmless. Silly Australian nanny state.

  • Kain Yusanagi

    What it needs is a rating system, not a rating board. A strict classification system that is agreed upon by all rather than a handful of people making value judgements.

  • DeathSwagga

    It is now rated: M – violence.