Here is the official reason why Disco Elysium was banned
Australians were supposed to have access to Disco Elysee on consoles next week with the re-release of the RPG. But a denied classification note essentially put an end to that. And while the reasons for Disco Elyseethe actual ban on turned out to be pretty obvious – I called it two years ago – now we can reveal the more precise reasoning for scoring.
The game was officially banned under Games Clause 1 (a), which states that games may not “represent, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug or drug addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or odious phenomena ”which would offend what most adults would consider to be standards of morality and decency.
In short: a game that allows you to share a gram of cocaine with a minor child, after having stolen the coke from his violent father? Probably not OK in Australia.
This is particularly the case with the guidelines for denial of classification, which state quite explicitly that “the use of illicit or prohibited drugs linked to inducements or rewards” will be denied classification.
Therefore Disco Elysees writing was still on the wall, really. What saved it so far is its digital-only release on Steam, where games can be streamed to Australians without being ranked first. This is always available online, although as was the case with DayZ, there is every chance that this will change once the Final cut the edition ships next week.
Interestingly, the first thing the classification committee report mentions is a new feature. “[Disco Elysium] contains online interactivity in the form of integration with the Twitch streaming platform, which allows viewers of the stream to vote on which dialogue options the player should choose. The game also contains in-game purchases in the form of item purchases, ”the report begins.
He then presents Clause 1 (a) again and gives some examples of exactly how Disco Elysee violates Australia’s Denied Classification Guidelines:
Players can access a number of items in their inventory, including a substance called “Speed ’Saint-Batiste’ Preptide! ‘” Shown as a pill bottle with white triangular pills alongside it and accompanied by text which explains the user effects of the substance include “+1 Motorics” and “-1 Morale”, as well as an item called “Speed Bottle” depicted as a brown bottle with a straw inserted in it. The accompanying text explains that substance user effects include “+1 Motorics” and “-1 Morale” and the item description reads: “How convenient! Someone fitted this tiny amphetamine bottle with a straw. That’s the speed of the trucker on the go.
In a sequence, the player can select an option to use a stimulant by selecting “Okay, my body is ready.” Let’s do this. (Try some speed.) ”
From a distant rear perspective, an orange pill bottle is lifted towards the player’s face as he leans forward. The text description explains, “You lift the bottle of Preptide, close one nostril and inhale * furiously * with the other. The rush is almost immediate. It tastes bitter and caustic, and it stings a bit in the nose. The text is accompanied by a narration. A yellow effect frames the screen and the sign “Motorics Raised” appears on the screen as a yellow tint flashes on the screen and a snorting sound is heard as the player character is shown leaning back with the pill bottle positioned against his face. A sign indicating “Morale damage -1” appears on the screen following the performance.
The sign is followed by a sign that says “Secret task completed: find speed and sniff it +30 experience”. The text also appears in the panel on the right side of the screen. The “tutorial agent” explains through text and audio that: “In the lower right corner of the screen there is a SPEED button! It gives +1 to MOTOR SKILLS: Perception, Speed of Reaction, Hand / He Coordination, Know-How, Interfacing and Calm. It’s long before a blank check, but it damages your morale.
“Speed” is a common street name for stimulant drugs, particularly those in the amphetamine family (including methamphetamine). These are prohibited drugs, as specified in Schedule 4 of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations.
It seems Disco Elysée: The final cut Specifically added additional text and audio to highlight that there is now a speed button, which the original game did not have. Not that it would have helped: secret quests and achievements for taking drugs, which can explicitly be beneficial for passing certain skill tests, were never will pass Australian guidelines.
I emailed the Classification Committee to ask if ZA / UM, or a representative on their behalf, had requested that the decision be overturned. I haven’t gotten a response on this at the time of writing, and have yet to hear from ZA / UM or their PR reps if they are going to challenge the Australian ban. Hotline Miami approach).
That said, Hotline Miami is a good reminder of how these things can play out. You can still buy Disco Elysee on Steam for PC, and if you want it on consoles, the Switch could be your best shot later this year. Hotline Miami Collection was available to Australians for a short time, until Nintendo quickly pulled it off sale to Australians. But you can still grab it through, say, the US eShop. And the time Disco Elysee hits the Switch, all this nonsense could be over.
As for those who already have Disco Elysee on PC, the ban shouldn’t affect you at all. You will still have the game in your library and it will still be patched as usual – but if the game is taken off sale it simply will not be visible to Australian users and new accounts will not be able to purchase the Game.