MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death has just become the first console game in a while to get banned from sale in Australia.
MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death refused classification in Australia
According to the Australian Classification Board, the game has been refused classification. As per the page’s description, a game is refused classification in Australia if they: “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”, or “describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not).”
The official report for MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death has not been released, but as Kotaku Australia has noted, the game has received a ‘Teen’ rating in the US and a ‘B’ in Japan (meaning that it is recommended for people 12 and up).
Game classification has a long and storied history in Australia. It wasn’t until January 2013 that games were allowed to be released with an R18+ rating, which had led to several games either not being released or having content altered. For a while after R18+ ratings were newsworthy in and of themselves, but now they’re more commonplace.
The introduction of the R18+ rating, which only allows people over 18 to purchase a game, has not meant that every game is allowed classification, though. Last year, Hotline Miami 2 was refused classification in Australia due to an implied rape scene (although the game provided context after the scene indicating that the characters were simulating it). Before that, State of Decay was refused classification until the descriptions of some of the medications in-game were changed, and Saint’s Row 4 had to lose a mission where drugs gave the protagonist superpowers.
South Park: The Stick of Truth was also censored in Australia, although some have argued that the censorship screens were more amusing than the content cut out.
MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death – which, let’s be honest, is probably going to benefit from the publicity – is due for release in fall on Vita in the US and Europe.