Australia’s notoriously strict classification board has reassessed Compulsion Games’ title We Happy Few and given it an R18+ rating. This comes after initially handing it a rating of RC – refused classification – in May (opens in new tab) this year, due to the way the game depicted and incentivized drug use.
“A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the computer game We Happy Few is classified R18+ (Restricted) with the consumer advice ‘Fantasy violence and interactive drug use’,” reads a statement on the Classification Review Board site (opens in new tab).
In the game, players take the drug ‘Joy’ to blend in with the rest of society, and escape its horrors. It’s also the way you stop yourself from getting killed, so using Joy is integral to your success.
“The National Classification Code and Classification Guidelines requires the treatment of drug use to not exceed high at the R18+ level,” continues the Board’s post. “In the Classification Review Board’s opinion We Happy Few warrants an R18+ classification because the interactive drug use is high in impact. The overall impact of the classifiable elements in the computer game was no greater than high.”
“We are extremely pleased with the decision of the board and excited that our Australian fans and new players will be able to experience We Happy Few without modification,” said Compulsion on its site (opens in new tab). “We want to thank everybody who got involved in the discussion, contacted the board and sent us countless messages of support. Your involvement made a huge difference.”
Good news! The Gearbox-backed game will be available to buy worldwide on August 10. It’s been a long time coming – we wrote about We Happy Few (opens in new tab) back in 2015, and revealed some tasty nuggets in the demo (opens in new tab) released in 2016.