I was super shocked and excited to learn this morning that Outlast 2 had been reclassified to R18+ in Australia, both because it was a surprise and also because it marked the second time I’d written a think piece about our classification system’s issues and it being followed by a positive change (the first time being GTA V being slightly reclassified soon after a 2015 article I wrote for Junkee). I thought I must have be a high authority the government looks to when it comes to classification policy in Australia and didn’t even know it.
Alas, this time it is not the case.
It looks like we all jumped the gun a little. Yes, the new rating of R18+ is still correct and yes the game is still coming out on April 26, however earlier assertions that it would be releasing unedited have been met with conflicting reports.
As quoted in our original piece, the developers at Red Barrels told Press Start Australia “there will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide,” which many, us included, interpreted to mean the version approved overseas would be the one that was reclassified.
However, both Kotaku and IGN report representatives from the Classification Board have told them they are “satisfied that that the original version of the game that was refused classification has been modified to allow the game to be classified R18+.”
What does this mean? Well the only way for both statements to be true is if whatever changes have been made to Outlast 2 to fit into the R18+ category have also been implemented in the rest of the world as well. And that’s entirely likely, as this kind of thing has happened before, like with Fallout 3 having all its medications renamed worldwide after the Board kicked up a stink in 2008.
Yeah, so that was fun while it lasted! As to exactly how the game was changed we won’t know until the distributor releases its report, which IGN says won’t be until tomorrow (March 25). My money is they’ve just toned down or removed the offended implied sexual assault scene, although there might be more we don’t know about.
We’ll just have to wait and see. We’ll share more news when we get it.