Hotline Miami 2 Ban: Australian Censor Has "Stretched the Facts," Dev Says
Developer "disappointed and concerned" by censor's inaccurate description of in-game rape scene.
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Developers at Dennaton Games say they are "concerned and disappointed" following the Australian Classification Board's decision to ban the release of Hotline Miami 2 across the country.
On Wednesday it emerged that the Australian censor refused to classify the ultraviolent top-down shooter, based on what it deemed as scenes of strong violence, as well as what it determined as a rape scene.
One key passage of the report notes:
"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 scene drew criticisms when it was first revealed in June 2013, and since then has been prefaced with a warning of scenes that "allude to sexual violence." Players can now, if they choose, skip the scene. The animation where the lead character drops his trousers has also been removed.
Also, at the time it was clarified that the rape is part of a fictional in-game movie scene between two digital actors. After the incident, a director shouts "cut."
Dennaton Games wrote in a statement that it believes that the Australian Classification Board has "stretched the facts," specifically observing that the game does not feature a rape scene, nor are there any explicit animations such as thrusting, nor does the lead character undress.
The studio also claims that the opening cinematic has not been changed since June 2013, though this is not wholly accurate. A video published at the time shows the lead character undressing, while a new video shows that he does not.
"We are concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree and issue a report that describes specific thrusting actions that are not simply present in the sequence in question and incorrectly portrays what was presented to them for review," the studio wrote in a statement.
Dennaton added that it has no plans to officially challenge the ruling.
"We stand by our developers, their creative vision for the storyline, its characters, and the game and look forward to delivering Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number to fans very soon."