Last week, zombie shooter DayZ – which has been out in various forms for six years – had first its physical release banned in Australia, and then its digital version as well. In order to get the game cleared, Bohemia Interactive is changing every version across the planet just to comply with Australia’s classification guidelines.
Since it’s impractical to create a new version just for Australians, and because Bohemia Interactive would like to sell the game in the region despite the classification board’s decision, then the same edit – the precise nature of which hasn’t been made public yet, but which it’s assumed revolves around drug use – is going to be made for everyone, from North America to Europe and beyond.
“We don’t want to separate Australian players from the rest of the world, since many people play cross-region,” the studio told Kotaku Australia in a statement. “We love that DayZ is the place to meet with friends and experience the game without dramatic regional lag. We don’t want to change that.”
“At the moment, we are editing the global version of DayZ so it will fit into the Board’s requirements. The key objective is to keep the gameplay as authentic as it was, so players are not affected by this change.”
It’s an extreme move, but not an unprecedented one; Fallout 3 was refused classification for similar reasons, and to get around the board’s decision Bethesda simply removed the word “morphine” from every version of the game and it was cleared.