Although it didn’t design the game with Australia’s ratings system in mind, CD Projekt RED is hoping that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt won’t encounter any problems retailing in Australia thanks to the still-new R18+ ratings category.
“The fact that there’s a higher rating now available in Australia might potentially mean we won’t be forced to do any changes to the game to release it there and that’s a good news of course for both us and Australian gamers,” CD Projket RED’s Agnieszka Szostak told games.on.net.
“But we’ll know that for sure once the game will be sent for rating.”
Szostak confirmed that the developer hasn’t made any particular effort to rein in its content in line with international content guidelines.
“We don’t create the game with any specific rating in mind. We implement in it things we believe will create the best gaming experience,” she said.
“Whether those are meaningful choices, deep relationships between characters, sex scenes, bloody combat or curses. If we think they are needed there to make the game world living, breathing and believable they will be there. Rating of the game is a secondary thing really.”
The most important thing, she added, was to make a game good – then “money will follow”, she said, commenting that thinking about “money, wide audience, ratings, sales charts” before the game itself is approaching development backwards.
In 2011, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was refused classification in Australia for a depiction of a sexual act offered as a reward for a side quest, which fell outside MA15+ content guidelines. The quest was modified slightly to remove this implication and was classified MA15+ without incident. It’s worth noting that such a depiction would probably still be considered problematic under Australia’s R18+ guidelines, which came into effect on January 1, 2013.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is expected on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014.