Bohemia Interactive’s DayZ has not only been refused classification for physical release in Australia but it has also been removed from digital storefronts over “illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards.”
As reported by Kotaku, DayZ was initially granted a MA15+ rating, allowing it to be sold online but alongside blocking its physical release, the Australian classification board had the game pulled from PlayStation Store and Xbox Live.
“Through general gameplay, the player is able to collect and use a variety of equipment, supplies and weaponry,” reads the board’s statement. “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. If the use of cannabis within the context of this game did not act as an incentive or reward, its impact could therefore be accommodated within the R18+ classification.”
In a statement to IGN, Bohemia Interactive said that it’s looking for a solution.
We are aware of the Classification Board’s intention to pull DayZ from the online sales. The game was just removed from the PlayStation and Xbox stores. The reason behind the rejection to classify the game is the specifics of drug use in the game. For example we have morphine in the game. Usage of it is allowed, but has to be [portrayed] in very specific way to fit under Australian regulations.
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. We will do everything in our power to keep the game playable and available for Australian gamers.
For now, Australian players will have to wait or use VPN.