Australian classification board to reconsider We Happy Few ban

Appeal made for Compulsion Games' upcoming title after incentivised drug use denied it a rating

The Australian Government's Classification Review Board could reverse its decision to deny We Happy Few a release on consoles and desktops Down Under.

According to a statement, the board has "received an application to review the classification" for the title, which was denied a rating back in May. It's not stated who made this application, but it's likely to be either the developer Compulsion Games or publisher Gearbox.

The game was denied classification back in May, although at the time the reasons were vague. Since then, the original ruling has been found and the problem stems from the game's Joy mechanic. Players take Joy pills to fit in with the rest of We Happy Few's deluded society - if they stop taking it, NPCs become hostile.

The board believes that this system, which essentially makes the game easier if players take the pill, "constituted an incentive or reward for drug-use" and therefore exceeeded the R18+ classification and was denied a release.

However, with an appeal made the board will meet again next week to reconsider the application. The statement also offers details on how interested parties or organisations can get involved in the discussion, providing they submit an application by Friday, June 29th.

"Please note the Review Board can only consider submissions about We Happy Few itself and not any other matters relating to computer game classification policy or issues generally," the statement warns.

We Happy Few has been available in Early Access since 2016, but Compulsion Games is now building up to a final release on August 10th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. It is almost certainly Compulsion's last title for PlayStation now that Microsoft picked up the company in a surprise wave of four studio acquisitions.

Related stories

Tencent awarded $2.89 million in lawsuit against Mobile Legends CEO

Riot Games parent company wins non-compete suit in China

By Rebekah Valentine

NetEase moves to dismiss PUBG Corp lawsuit

Knives Out developer calls complaint a "shameless attempt" to monopolize a genre

By Rebekah Valentine

Latest comments

There are no comments on this article yet. Why not be the first to post one?

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.