South Park: The Stick of Truth didn’t make it past the Australian Classification Board in uncut form, and in order to secure release in the country, Obsidian has had to replace certain scenes with text descriptions and an image of a crying koala.
As you may recall, South Park: The Stick of Truth was submitted to the Classification Board at least twice; Player Attack obtained copies of reports pertaining to both submissions and the final, accepted version, and was able to reconstruct the chain of events.
The final version to be released in Australia is missing an entire interactive sequence in which the player character, among others, is subjected to anal probing by alien technology.
When Australian players reach this section, they will be confronted by an image of a crying koala accompanying a vivid text description of the events. The Board ruled that the text descriptions are allowable as humour.
This measure was implemented after the Board rejected an earlier modified version in which some elements of the scene had been toned down.
The sticking point is the Australian Classification Board’s content guidelines, which do not permit games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified”.
Under the highest ratings category for video games, R18+, “implied sexual violence that is visually depicted, interactive, not justified by context or related to incentives or rewards is not permitted”.
The full report’s description of the removed content certainly seems to fall into these categories.
South Park: The Stick of Truth arrives on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March.