Wow, this story just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
First Outlast 2 was refused classification by the Australian Classification Board due to a scene that depicted implied sexual assault, then it was reclassified a week later assumingly unmodified. Then the Board said it had been modified while developer Red Barrels said only “one version of Outlast 2” would be available worldwide, implying any modifications would be implemented in all territories.
Well I reached out to Red Barrels, and today they’ve clarified that no changes have been made to Outlast 2, and the reason it was initially banned was because they messed up and sent the wrong footage in to the Board.
Here’s their statement in full:
The original submission of Outlast 2 sent to the Australian Classification Branch contained the final game code and a video file for reference taken from an Alpha version of the game. This video file should not have been sent along with the game code, as its content was not representative of the final game.
In the second submission, the same game code was submitted with a video file reflecting the final game content. The game was then approved for release with an R18+ rating. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide.
So there we go, the version of Outlast 2 scheduled for release next month was never meant to include the scene described in the Board’s original report in the way it was presented to them.
I asked the Red Barrels PR representative whether or not the scene is in the final game at all, and they confirmed that it will be and the newer footage presented to the Board recontextualised the scene and featured some alterations.
The newer footage recontextualizes the scene and is indicative of the final product. The scene as shown in the original video clip had unfinished animations, camera movements, and character placements.
It would seem these newer animations, camera angles and character placements must hide the sexual violence that the Board originally took issue with, but we won’t really know for sure exactly how until we get our hands on the game.
But gee, what a mix up! That’s either the mistake of the century, or the best marketing strategy I’ve ever seen.
Outlast 2 releases April 26 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.