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Hotline Miami 2 With Problems in Australia

Ratings Board Rejects Game

An implied rape has been causing trouble for the game Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number in Australia. The Australian Classification Board has denied a rating request due to the rape scene that is included. The board's reasoning gives more details on what drove them to their decision:

"In the sequence of game play footage titled Midnight Animal, the protagonist character bursts into what appears to be a movie set and explicitly kills 4 people, who collapse to the floor in a pool of copious blood, often accompanied by blood splatter. After stomping on the head of a fifth male character, he strikes a female character wearing red underwear. She is knocked to the floor and is viewed lying face down in a pool of copious blood. The male character is viewed with his pants halfway down, partially exposing his buttocks. He is viewed pinning the female down by the arms and lying on top of her thrusting, implicitly raping her (either rear entry or anally) while her legs are viewed kicking as she struggles beneath him. This visual depiction of implied sexual violence is emphasised by it being mid-screen, with a red backdrop pulsating and the remainder of the screen being surrounded by black."

This is similar to the criticism the game earned back in 2013 when a demo was released, also containing said scene (we reported). The difference now seems to be that while the demo's scene is stopped by a voice yelling "CUT!", the final game doesn't seem to feature that interruption as it is not described in the board's text.

However, the publisher Devolver Digital tells Destructoid that the scene is identical to the demo version and that they are disappointed by the board's decision as the rape scene is overexaggerated and that the board didn't get the context. The publisher add that there would also be the option to skip scenes featuring sexual violence and that they stand by the developers' product and don't plan to appeal the decision.

Even though such a skip option also shows the potential to produce a censored version that could be accepted by the ratings board, the developers made quite clear that this is not an option. As ArsTechnica reports, the statement is:

"Just pirate it!" "If it ends up being not released in Australia, just pirate it after release."

Release: Jan 21, 2015 - Author: Once - Translator: Mike Lowrey - Source: Destructoid

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