Red Barrel's upcoming first-person horror game Outlast 2 has been rejected by the Australian classification board.
As reported by Kotaku, the country's ratings board denied the game a classification, effectively banning it from sale.
Weirdly, the game's demo was deemed appropriate, albeit with an 18+ rating for "high impact horror violence, blood and gore."
This is far from the first time Australia's ratings board has denied a game entry into its country. The same thing happened with Mortal Kombat, Hotline Miami 2, and Saints Row 4 (twice, in that instance, as the censored version was still rejected before a scrubbed version fit the bill).
As for why Australia's censor denied Outlast 2, it was for claims of "implied sexual violence" inflicted upon protagonist Blake and his wife Lynn.
Kotaku unearthed the following documentation describing the rejected scene in detail:
Warning: it describes acts of sexual violence.
In one cut-scene in the game ... a female creature prepares Blake for a ritual. She says, "I want to see your true face. Your seed will burn this world." Shortly afterwards, he objects to having psycho-active dust blown into his face, yelling, "Nope! Nope!" before he stumbles into a forest clearing.
His vision blurring, he witnesses what appears to a ritualistic orgy. His wife, Lynn, calls out for his help, saying, "It hurts! Oh god!," as she hangs from chains on a raised platform at the front of the clearing. Humanoid creatures, their skin grey, spattered with blood and scarred, implicitly have sex as others pray, or chant, or gesticulate.
One creature has another bent over a rock, thrusting as they implicitly have rear-entry sex, another sits astride the pelvic region of a creature prone on the ground, moving their hips rhythmically as they too implicitly have sex. Two other pairs of creatures in the clearing are also implicitly having sex.
As Blake yells for the creatures to "Get away from her!" a female creature, her greyish breasts bared, pushes him onto his back, holds his arms to the ground and repeatedly thrusts her crotch against him. As Blake protests, saying "No! Stop that!" the creature thrusts again, before placing its face over his midsection and then sitting up and wiping its mouth.
Although much of the contact between the creature and Blake is obscured, by it taking place below screen, the sexualised surroundings and aggressive behaviour of the creature suggest that it is an assault which is sexual in nature. The Board is of the opinion that this, combined with Blake's objections and distress, constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence.
In the Board's opinion, the above example constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence and therefore cannot be accommodated within the R18+ classification category and the game is therefore Refused Classification.
We've reached out to developer Red Barrels to see if it has any intention of altering this scene to allow for an Australian release. We'll update should we find out more.