Compulsion Games was jubilant to share some fantastic news with gamers about the upcoming first-person, satirical horror game, We Happy Few. After the game was initially refused a rating classification in Australia, the ratings board has now reversed its decision on appeal. This is something that has Aussies cheering and clapping from their bedrooms, coaches, chairs, and benches, given that it's one of the rare times where a game has been given a rating after initially being rejected.
The news came courtesy of a post over on the official Compulsion Games website, where the developers announced that after the initial decision that took place earlier this year, the studio was given an opportunity to appeal the ban. Compulsion Games absolutely did take the opportunity to appeal the decision on We Happy Few in Australia, and the studio won the appeal, allowing the game to be sold in the region with an R18+ rating and without any of the content being cut.
The game was initially rejected over a month ago due to references to drugs. As some of you may know (or not know) We Happy Few is set in a 1960's style dystopian depiction of London, rife with paranoia and fear. In order to control the citizens, the government REQUIRES mandatory consumption of a drug called "Joy", which works very similar to Prozium from the movie Equilibrium or the suppressants in The Giver. However, in We Happy Few, "Joy" sends you on a hallucinogenic trip thinking that things are better than what they are, almost like Bliss from Far Cry 5.
The Australian Classification Board originally believed that We Happy Few was promoting drug use as a positive thing, when in fact the game is about escaping from the dystopian society because the drugs are bad.
Australia's ratings board refused to give the game a rating classification, this meant that it was effectively banned as no store would carry it Compulsion Games appealed the process and were also given the opportunity to have gamers send in additional letters to the Australian Classification Board in order to help convince them as to why We Happy Few should be allowed classification.
The appeal process actually worked, and the Australian Classification Board rated the game R18+, which is the highest rating that can be afforded to a game in Australia.
This means that when Compulsion Games and Gearbox Publishing finally release the game for PC, PS4 and Xbox One at some point this summer, it will also be available in the land down under. It also means that if you live in Australia you won't have to try to subvert the law by ordering the game from another region or attempting to import it from another shop.
As for the game itself, a lot of people have been looking forward to the crowdfunded title's full release. It's oftentimes compared to BioShock and old British TV comedies due to its design and unique art-style. While it does sport combat, a lot of the focus is on attempting to solve various puzzles, complete quests and escape from the island.
Now that the game is no longer banned in Australia, you'll be able to play it for yourself when it launches in full for home consoles and PC.