A few days ago, there was some controversy surrounding DayZ and its physical release being blocked in Australia. Now we know that the reasoning behind the Australian Classification Board’s decision for having DayZ banned in Australia. According to the board, “illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards” was the why the game got the axe.
However, the main factor in this decision isn’t yet implemented in the game. It’s not clear if the use of cannabis will ever be, or if its purpose really was to heal the player, as the report received by Kotaku Australia from the Australian Classification Board states:
“Through general gameplay, the player is able to collect and use a variety of equipment, supplies and weaponry. One of the options to restore the player’s health is a marijuana joint, labelled ‘cannabis’, which is denoted by a cannabis bud in the player’s inventory.”
Australia allows drug use in games under the R18+ classification guidelines, as long as it isn’t “detailed or realistic,” something that isn’t considered to be the situation here. So, DayZ was ultimately refused classification.
A couple of months ago, DayZ developer Bohemia Interactive managed to have the game rated MA15+ for a physical release through the automated IARC process. However, the Australian Classification Board was able to override those ratings and it is doing so, eventually led to the removal of the game from Steam and the PlayStation and Xbox stores. Bohemia Interactive recently issued a statement regarding this situation:
“The Australian player base is a big and very important part of our community. At the moment we are looking for the best solution to keep the game on the Australian market and pass the classification according to all regulations,” said the statement.
A compromise will probably eventually be reached in order to keep the game in stores. Seeing DayZ banned in Australia for a feature that isn’t even functional may sound far-fetched, but that’s where Bohemia Interactive is sitting right now.
This also isn’t the only game to come under fire for weed as Fallout 3 was another title that experienced some hardships in Australia for drug use. The game was eventually unbanned because the “reward and incentive” part of the drug use was toned down.