While we wait for Compulsion Games’ We Happy Few to nail down that release date (it was originally scheduled for release back in April), news out of Australia is not good for those looking to buy the game.
According to Australia’s Classification Board, which handles ratings for games and film in the country, We Happy Few has been denied classification, due to the main game’s use of the Soma-like drug “Joy”, which is used in the game to detract the citizens of Wellington Wells from the Orwellian reality they live in. According to the code, video 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.”
Obviously, this isn’t the first time the Australian Classification Board has been the thorn in the video games industry. Fallout 3 was initially denied a rating for the drug Morphine (which was changed to Med-X and resubmitted), and Rockstar’s Manhunt was denied because of “high impact violence involving torture”. And of course, horror films are not safe. Wes Craven’s classic The Last House on the Left got slapped with a ban in 1987, and would remain that way until 2004 when the film was passed uncut.
There’s no word yet on if Compulsion Games will issue a patch or rework the game to satisfy the Board, but the latter seems unlikely. We Happy Few is set for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC this summer.