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State of Decay 'banned' in Australia: developer

The Classification Board has now confirmed that it has also refused classification to the game State of Decay.

Just one day after Saints Row IV became the first game to be refused classification after the R18+ laws passed, the Classification Board has reportedly followed it up by giving the same treatment to State of Decay.

(Credit: Undead Labs)

State of Decay is a "zombie-survival open-world game" created by Undead Labs for the Xbox 360 and PC.

It was released to most territories on 5 June, but has been awaiting classification for Australia.

In a post on the Undead Labs forum, a poster named Undead Jeff — identifying themselves as a developer — said:

I have bad news to share: State of Decay has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board (ACB). We've run afoul of certain prohibitions regarding the depiction of drug use. We're working with Microsoft to come up with options, including changing names of certain medications in the game to comply with ratings requirements. Whatever our path forward, it's going to take a bit.

I know this is frustrating — believe me, we're frustrated, too — but each country has the right to set its own rules about content, and it's our responsibility to comply with them. Rest assured we'll do everything we can to find a way to get the game into your hands. Stay tuned.

At the moment, there's no report or announcement on the Classification Board site. We'll update as more information or verification comes to hand.

Update: Kotaku has, once again, received a copy of the Classification Board's report regarding its decision. The report said:

The game contains the option of self-administering a variety of "medications" throughout gameplay, which act to restore a player's health or boost their stamina. These "medications" include both legal and illicit substances, such as methadone, morphine, amphetamines, stimulants, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, codeine, aspirin, "trucker pills", painkillers and tussin.

The report concludes: "in the board's opinion, the game enables the player's character to self-administer proscribed drugs which aid in gameplay progression. This game therefore contains drug use related to incentives or rewards, and should be refused classification."

Updated at 4.34pm AEST: added detail about the Classification Board's report.