Only a short week after it was revealed that DayZ has its application for classification in Australia rejected, developer Bohemia Interactive have made changes to appease the Australian Classification Board. These changes will not be region specific but will instead be made across the board to the global release of the game.
The initial reports did not state exactly what the issue was. However, most are speculating that the use of cannabis as an item used to heal players was found to be unacceptable within Australia’s rules regarding the promotion of drug use.
Speaking to Games Industry, the developers stated:
“We don't want to separate Australian players from the rest of the world, since many people play cross-region," a Bohemia spokesperson told the site. "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.”
The decision comes at a time when other games are experiencing similar effects for the promotion of certain activities that may be against certain regional laws. Both Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grant Theft Auto V have had their online games blocked in numerous countries following the implementation of game modes that simulate gambling.
What is interesting in those cases is that the money used has no real-world value, which is to say there is no method of cashing out. However, the decisions stand in most cases. In those games, developer Rockstar games has made no efforts to appease the regions affected for each game, and players have either had to not play those games or use a VPN to bypass the region locks.
The initial decision to not allow the game to receive its rating in Australia has had some call attention to the small group of individuals who have enormous sway over these types of decisions. In Australia, the Classification Review Board is made up of only seven people who range in age from 38 to 68. With such a small group, one must wonder if the decision is made on old-fashioned ideas about the use of cannabis, which is more legal now around the world than it ever has been before for recreational use.
Oddly enough, although medical use of marijuana is legal in Australia, its medical use in DayZ was apparently not enough reason to allow for it to exist.
Compare this to the literal shooting of other players with weapons, and one must wonder where these individuals place their priorities. Consumers are apparently not in any way affected by gameplay that promotes combat and murder, but using a plant to heal wounds? Scandalous!