Outlast 2 was recently unbanned and rated in Australia after originally being refused a classification by the ratings board in the land down under. On March 17th it was announced that Outlast 2 was banned by the Australian Classification Board, even though the demo for the game was rated R18+.
A few days later on March 20th a Liberal Democratic Senator of New South Wales, David Leyonhjelm, appealed to the ratings board to reconsider the nanny state-style censorship governing over games. On March 21st the Australian Classification Board reversed their decision, and unbanned ban of Outlast 2, giving it an R18+ rating.
However, it appears as if the appeal from Leyonhjelm wasn’t all that was at play in the board reconsidering Outlast 2. According to a statement issued to IGN, the Australian Classification Board stated…
“[…] it is satisfied that that the original version of the game that was refused classification has been modified to allow the game to be classified R 18+.”
The game being modified to receive the rating implies some form of censorship took place to move the game from being banned to being rated R18+, as indicated on the updated classification page.
We previously reported that the developers, Red Barrels, mentioned that the game would only have one version that would receive a worldwide release. This indicates that Australia is getting the same version of the game that Asia, Europe and America is receiving. If, however, what the Australian Classification Board is saying is true, then this means that the game was censored in order to receive the R18+ and that it will not be released uncensored in Australia or anywhere else in the world.
The scene in question was supposedly an implied sexual assault that took place off-screen in Outlast 2, but details on the scene are sketchy.
At some point today, March 25th, it was stated that the distributor would release a statement on the decision made by the Australian Classification, to clarify the issue regarding the game being unbanned and rated R18+. Presumably this will include a full explanation on what was edited or censored in order to achieve the rating.
(Thanks for the news tip Liz)