Hotline Miami 2 Is No Longer Banned In Australia - On Switch, At Least, And For Now
The Hotline finally adds an Australian dialing code
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The Switch release of the Hotline Miami Collection is the first time that Hotline Miami 2 has been made available in Australia, and fans are wary about whether or not it will remain available indefinitely.
The Collection is available now on Switch with an MA15+ rating, the second-highest in the Australian system. Hotline Miami 2 was previously refused classification upon release, banning it from sale, seemingly on the basis of a scene that implied sexual assault. At the time, it was banned under the reasoning that Australia does not allow games that "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified."
The local Australian PR representative for Devolver's releases sent us through a short statement, letting us know that the game had been classified under the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) and that "of course the ratings board can still complain and challenge it, and it could be overturned and banned." He also noted that "nothing has been removed from the Switch version that was in the original game." In a follow-up phone call, he clarified that he wasn't sure if the game would be made available on PC, PS4, or any other systems in Australia yet. It's likely that Devolver Digital will take a 'wait and see' approach here, depending on what happens with the Switch version.
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The IARC classification system allows developers and publishers to submit their games for an automated classification process, filling out a questionnaire that determines the game's age rating. As Kotaku Australia points out, Hotline Miami Collection was recently refused classification after one such submission - but it seems that they resubmitted it again and got through.
Ultimately, it's not entirely clear how or why Hotline Miami 2 is available in Australia now, after being unavailable for four and a half years, and there's the possibility that the game's rating will be challenged or overturned, removing it from sale again. For now, though, Australians are able to buy the Hotline Miami Collection, featuring Hotline Miami 2, through the Australian eShop on their Switch.
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