It was hardly a joint decision, but following the Australian Classification Board’s ruling that DayZ would be banned from sale for its depiction of drugs, Bohemia Interactive has announced it will edit the game to bring it in line with Australian rules. For all versions worldwide.
Last week, news broke that the ACB had rejected the physical release of DayZ thanks to “illicit or prescribed drug use related to incentives”, specifically, the use of cannabis as a reward – even though the drug was not yet implemented in the game. Despite DayZ having been available in digital form for five years, the ACB indicated it would also work to get the game pulled from digital storefronts.
Faced with a complete ban across Australia, the simplest thing for Bohemia Interactive to do was change the game, and the studio has now confirmed to Kotaku Australia this is the plan.
“At the moment, we are editing the global version of DayZ so it will fit into the Board’s requirements,” the studio said. “The key objective is to keep the gameplay as authentic as it was, so players are not affected by this change.”
The alternative route of action was for Bohemia Interactive to simply exclude Australia until a different solution could be found, but the studio said it “[didn’t] want to separate Australian players from the rest of the world, since many people play cross-region.
“We love that DayZ is the place to meet with friends and experience the game without dramatic regional lag. We don’t want to change that.”
Exactly what’s being changed remains a mystery. It’s likely the cannabis found in the files simply won’t be implemented, while other drugs in the game (such as morphine) could get the chop. However, given Bethesda got around Australia’s doobieous drug rules by renaming Fallout 3’s morphine to Med-X (which, to be blunt, is a more exciting name), weed expect Bohemia Interactive to do something similar.