Australia's decision to ban zombie shooter DayZ because of its rewarding depiction of cannabis has now resulted in the title being censored worldwide.
Update 1.04 for DayZ has a lot of fat to its patch notes, but in even bigger news the game is being censored worldwide thanks to Australia's baffling decision to ban the zombie shooter thanks to its use of cannabis. Yes, despite a digital version having already been available to play for several years in the overly sensitive nation, the country's classification board has rejected the launch of a physical release. Rather than leaving Australia behind, developer Bohemia Interactive has decided to instead change the game for everyone else.
DayZ has been playable ever since December 2013, but it's only six years later that it has suddenly become a problematic title in which people must think about the harmful influence on precious adults.
Below you'll discover why the Australian Classification Board rejected the physical release of DayZ, and how the game is being altered worldwide.
Why Australia banned DayZ
Despite it only being Australia who has made a fuss about the game's use of cannabis rather than its amount of blood and gore, developer Bohemia Interactive will now be censoring the game worldwide.
Thanks to an insightful article by Kotaku Australia, we know that the Australian Classification Board refused to provide an age rating for the physical release of DayZ because of how its "illicit or prescribed drug use related to incentives or rewards."
"Through general gameplay, the player is able to collect and use a variety of equipment, supplies and weaponry," the ACB's report states. "One of the options to restore the player's health is a marijuana joint, labelled 'cannabis', which is denoted by a cannabis bud in the player's inventory."
In addition to banning physical copies of DayZ, the Australian Classification Board's contempt also resulted in the zombie game's digital version being removed.
How is DayZ being changed worldwide?
Only Australia has raised an issue with DayZ's depiction of cannabis and drugs, yet Bohemia Interactive is still changing the game worldwide so the title can remain prominent in the region.
In a statement delivered to Kotaku Australia, Bohemia Interactive expressed that they do not "want to separate Australian players from the rest of the world, since many people play cross-region."
“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.”
Bans like this are nothing new as Fallout 3 was once refused classification for a similar reason, and this forced Bethesda to remove the word "morphine" from every version of the game across the globe.
As for the changes Bohemia Interactive will likely implement, it's probable that they simply won't follow-through with embedding the unearthed files that included references to cannabis. It's also possible that other drugs such as morphine could be completely removed, but the developers could also perhaps getaway with changing the names to something else.
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