Update: Developer Compulsion Games has released a statement addressing We Happy Few’s refusal of classification.
“As many of you may know by now, yesterday the Australian Classification Board chose not to classify We Happy Few, effectively banning We Happy Few from sale in Australia,” Compulsion wrote. “We are looking into it, and have asked for more information on the decision. To our Australian fans, we share your frustration. We will work with the ACB on the classification. If the government maintains its stance, we will make sure that you can get a refund, and we will work directly with affected Kickstarter backers to figure something out. We would appreciate if you give us a little bit of time to appeal the decision before making a call.
“We Happy Few is set in a dystopian society, and the first scene consists of the player character redacting material that could cause offense to ‘society at large’, as part of his job as a government ‘archivist’. It’s a society that is forcing its citizens to take Joy, and the whole point of the game is to reject this programming and fight back. In this context, our game’s overarching social commentary is no different than Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, or Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.”
Original story: We Happy Few, the BioShock-a-like that started to turn heads at E3 2016, has been refused classification here in Australia.
The game has been refused classification as it falls under the bounds of “Computer 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 Australian Classification Board recently ruled.
We Happy Few is currently in early access on both Windows PC via Steam and Xbox One via Xbox Game Preview.
Normally, a the title in this situation could look at changing the names of real-world drugs to hit a classification like R18+… but as reader Adam pointed out to us, the key drug in play here is already fictional, called Joy. We’ll keep you posted.
Have you played We Happy Few? What did you think of it?