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Red Barrels made a mistake with Outlast 2 classification

Update: Australian Classification Board's refusal based on content never intended for game's final build

Update: The story around the classification of Outlast 2 in Australia has taken another turn, with Red Barrels Studio claiming that the version of the game submitted to the Classification board was never intended for public consumption.

In a statement released today, Red Barrels said that the build that troubled the Australian Classification Board contained "a video file for reference taken from an Alpha version of the game." That video file was not supposed to be included, the studio said, and what it depicted "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."

Red Barrels' statement offered no further detail on the exact content of the video file, but the clear implication is that the Australian Classification Board's initial decision was based on content that shouldn't have been submitted in the first place.

Original Story: In a remarkably rare turn of events, the classification board of Australia has decided to give a rating to a game it previously deemed unfit for release.

Outlast 2, Red Barrels' forthcoming first-person survivial horror sequel, was originally refused classification not only for its violence but also one particular scene that contained implications of sexual violence.

However, local games site Press Start has revealed that the Australian Classification Board has since reviewed the game again and is allowing it to be released on April 26th with a rating of R18+.

A statement from the developer also confirms that no changes have been made to the game, nor has an Australia-only version been produced.

"There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide," the studio said.

The classification warns that the game will have 'High Impact' with its themes, violence and sex, alon with strong language, nudity and moderate references to drug use.

It's no secret that the Australian Classification Board can be strict when it comes to the content of video games, with several violent or explicit titles banned from release over the years - even the after the creation of the R18+ rating back in 2011.

The decision to deny Outlast 2 a rating prompted a debate across the nation - even politicians became involved, with one senator urging censors to "leave gamers alone". Clearly, some of these messages have been heard and it will be interesting to see whether the Board is more lenient with its classifications going forwards.

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James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006