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Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number refused classification in Australia

The violent top-down shooter game has been refused classification, even R18+, because of a scene involving sexual violence.

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Devolver

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been denied classification in Australia, effectively banning the action video game from being legally sold in the country.

The game was denied classification on January 14 by the Classification Board, the government body responsible for classifying films, video games and publications for sale or exhibition in Australia.

The Classification Board assigns the Refused Classification label to 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."

The action, announced on the Classification Board's website, makes Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number the fourth game to be refused classification in Australia, following the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games at the beginning of 2013.

Last year, zombie survival horror game State of Decay was refused classification for its use of drugs as rewards; Saints Row IV was refused classification for its sexual violence and drug-based rewards; and South Park: The Stick of Truth was refused classification for a scene of sexual violence involving minors. Saints Row IV and South Park were later released with the specified content removed.

The board's decision means that Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number -- a game that depicts extreme violence and gore in 16-bit technicolour, as can be seen on its Steam trailer -- will not be allowed to be sold in Australia in its current form.

The move can be largely attributed to a graphic scene of sexual violence depicted in the game, according to a Kotaku Australia report. The report also noted that this scene was not the sole reason that the game was refused classification, which may make it harder for developer Devolver to edit the game and resubmit it to the Classification Board.