When originally released in 2019, Disco Elysium was only available online and so wasn’t submitted to Australia’s Classification Board—a government body responsible for the regulation of movies, publications, and games—for review. Disco Elysium’s expanded Final Cut edition, which went on sale today, was planned to have a physical release and so had to go before the board, where it was refused classification. Though Disco Elysium’s portrayal of drug addiction is hardly a glowing advertisement, taking speed does give a +1 to your Motorics and Psyche stats. According to the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games “illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards” means a game is automatically refused classification and selling, distributing, publicly exhibiting, advertising, or importing it into Australia becomes a criminal offense.
Previously, games that fell afoul of the same rule like Wasteland 3 and Fallout 3 were altered to either remove similar interactions or more blatantly fictionalize their drugs. Disco Elysium was not, which is why it’s a surprise to see Disco Elysium: The Final Cut on sale in Australia on Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store—though it hasn’t shown up on the PlayStation Store here and presumably won’t.
Anyone who already owns Disco Elysium receives the Final Cut as a free update, and we were expecting that to sneak past (it has, I just fired it up, loaded an old save, and was immediately abused by a fully voiced Cuno). But we weren’t expecting it to remain on sale, given that Hotline Miami 2 for instance, still can’t be purchased here.
However, other games that were refused classification in Australia like Katana Zero, Mother Russia Bleeds, and Super Blood Hockey have remained available on multiple digital storefronts. Perhaps Disco Elysium will join them in quietly persisting, or perhaps it’ll disappear. Probably best to grab a copy now, just in case.