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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.