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The Australian Classification Board, the governmental committee that decides the content rating of video games, has refused to rank Devolver Digital’s Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. This decision effectively bans the title from being sold in Australia unless the developer censors the unacceptable explicit content.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has fallen under the category of “Refused Classification”, indicating that the offensive content featured in the game falls outside of the existing adults-only rating in Australia. Should Devolver Digital remove the offensive content the Classification Board would reconsider the title at some point in the future. The Australian Classification Board offered only a generic statement as to what sort of content prevented ranking:

“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.”

Despite being a top-down, 2D action game the Hotline Miami franchise continues to be very controversial compared to other titles as many games that were once banned in Australia are now accepted into the market following the introduction of the R18+ rating two years ago. Devolver Digital’s issues with the Classification Board are hardly unique as the Australian government is notoriously conservative in censoring content and banning titles from the open market. Even after the introduction of the adults-only benchmark many developers are forced to censor particular content before being allowed to receive classification. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, even as an unreleased sequel, has already gained a reputation as controversial from demoed footage that insinuated a sexual assault.

(Update:) Devolver Digital has issued a statement following the Australian Classification Board refusing to rank Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. Devolver Digital has stated plainly that the offensive content in the demoed introduction is optional and will not be altered. The developer has also said very clearly that the judgment by the Classification Board will not be challenged. This is an unfortunate position for Australian gamers but Devolver Digital has preferred to be principled in keeping the game as it stands rather than censor it to pacify the Classification Board. The whole statement can be read on the official Devolver Digital website but the important parts are as follows:

First, to clear up any possible misconceptions, the opening cinematic that was first shown in June of 2013 has not changed in any way. We also want to make clear that players are given an choice at the start of the game as to whether they wish to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence. The sequence in question is presented below in context, both after choosing the uncut version of the game and after choosing to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence.

Second, in response to the report itself, we are concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree and issue a report that describes specific thrusting actions that are not simply present in the sequence in question and incorrectly portrays what was presented to them for review.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is expected to release in early 2015 on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC.

Thomas Nelson

Born in Niagara Falls, the northeast edge of the rust belt, amateur author and audiophile Thomas Nelson has exhausted almost two decades as an elitist PC gamer. His interests include history, ideology, philosophy, politics and spending an obscene amount of time staring at a computer screen. He has a degree in broadcasting and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree at Buffalo State University in political science. Thomas is currently writing for TechRaptor, a video game and tech publication.

  • Anonymoose

    How does a country built by murderers and rapists find it in themselves to ban things that are ‘offensive’?

  • AsatorPrime

    Absolute bunch of cunts! It’s hard to be proud of Australia sometimes.

  • Ncrdrg

    “standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults” – Reasonable adults can live with tits and violence in videogames without feeling the need to ban them.

  • kek

    this wont stop anyone from playing the game. Baning shit like this is useless and a waste of time
    I’m sure australia has bigger problems then MUH FEELINGS! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! QQ

  • bazzar

    Australia is a commonwealth of thieves not rapists and murderers, they were hung. But yeah fuck this country of mine.

  • Zanard Bell

    And yet, GTA V is still sold there? Uhm, fuckwut?


    And people wonder why we Aussies pirate so much compared to other countries…

  • Thomas Nelson

    From what I can understand about the Board it has to do with how much a developer is willing to censor or how aggressive the publisher is in selling to Australia. As far as I know Rockstar and T2 fight pretty hard for justified sales.

  • Jess

    >Implying adults are just as impressionable as children
    Lol, Australia.

  • Speed Racer

    Sometimes i hate this country

  • Reptile

    Wow, an Indie game being banned just like the “big guys”. Those guys have future!

  • Australia strikes again. Didn’t they just recently change their rating system or something so games like this could be sold. Well you can always go to torrents, no ratings, no questions asked :).

  • Je Suis Charlie! Er, except, y’know, videogames. And tweets. And Facebook posts. And…

  • Typical

    Amazing that the adults in Australia are such fragile beings that this is too violent for them. I must rethink my entire position on Crocodile Dundee re: a model of toughness.

  • Father Agnostus

    Well well, seems like this is another game I absolutely MUST have!