Yesterday, news came out of Australia that their Classification Board had denied Hotline Miami 2 a rating. This essentially “banned” that game from sale in the country. The decision to refuse classification was thanks to a particular scene that depicted sexual violence.
Those of you who read yesterday’s article probably had an image of how that scene played out thanks to the Australian Classification Board’s description thereof. According to the game’s publisher, Devolver Digital, the ACB embellished their description of the scene, making it seem worse than it actually was.
Furthermore, Devolver Digital states that the game provides an option to self-censor any depictions (implied or otherwise) of sexual violence. It would be interesting to see the full report by ACB to see whether that information was included or not. After the jump you can find Devolver’s official response to the ruling as well as the scene in question.
We are aware of the recent report published by the Australian Classification Board in regards to Hotline Miami 2 and have been in communication with them. As such, we and Dennaton Games would like to clarify a few things:
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 [sic] 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.
Though we have no plans to officially challenge the ruling, we stand by our developers, their creative vision for the storyline, its characters and the game and look forward to delivering Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number to fans very soon.”
– Devolver Digital and Dennaton Games
You can check out the scene below and judge for yourselves whether or not the ACB was over-reacting.
UPDATE: Jonatan Söderström, one of the game’s designers, has just told Australian fans to pirate the game. You can see an email exchange with a fan over here. The exchange has been verified by publisher Devolver.