The console release of Gone Home has been delayed in Europe and Australia.
According to the Fullbright Company, a “last-minute complication” with the European ratings and certification is preventing Gone Home from release on PAL consoles. The complication has not been disclosed by Fullbright Company at this time.
For Europe, the Pan European Gaming Information (PEGI) system has been in use since 2003. Titles range from PEGI 3 to PEGI 18, with titles rated based on sexual content, violence, horror and discrimination. PEGI 18 is the equivalent to North America’s “M” rating from the ESRB, containing the highest amounts of violence, sexual content and other disparaging categories, according to the PEGI rating board.
The Australian certification board is much stricter. Tied to the Australian Classification Board, Australia was known for banning or heavily editing many “M” rated titles for years, including games such as Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Mortal Kombat. In 2013, a R18+ classification has been added to allow most “M” rated titles to be released in Australia, but the ACB has not fully enforced the rating at this time, leading to some games, such as Saints Row IV to be banned without re-classification.
Gone Home was originally unrated on the PC where it was released in 2013. For the console editions, released on the PS4 and Xbox One on January 12th, the title received an “M” rating from the ESRB for sexual themes, strong language and drug references.
The Fullbright Company has no timetable for when Gone Home will pass certification, but is promising fans that they will receive updates when they come.
The classification boards in Europe, especially Australia, are notorious for being pretty strict sometimes due to simple things such as drug use. State of Decay was refused classification in Australia because you needed to take aspirin to regain health, for example, and Fallout 3 was partially banned because of the drug use being a gameplay feature. It is possible that the drug references are a reason for a ban or PEGI 18 rating for Gone Home, but that is just speculation. But what do you think? Leave your comments below.