Bohemia will amend DayZ’s drug references to get past Australian ban

Following a ban that saw the game banned from sale in Australian due to drug references, Bohemia Interactive has confirmed it will revise all global versions of DayZ to get it released in Australia.

The Australian Classification Board confirmed last week that even though weed is currently only available via mods, the use of “illicit or prescribed drug use related to incentives” was enough to prevent the physical version of the game from receiving a classification. The Board also went on to withdraw the digital game from sale across the territory too.

In correspondence with Kotaku Australia (thanks, Eurogamer), the ACB said: “Throughout general gameplay, the player is able to collect and use a variety of equipment, supplies and weaponry, with one option to restore the player’s health being a marijuana joint, labelled “cannabis,” which is denoted by a cannabis bud in the player’s inventory. The player is able to select and use it when their vital statistics are low. When the player smokes the cannabis, their vital statistics of food and water increase and their temperature decreases.

“Therefore, in the opinion of the Classification Board, cannabis use during the game acts as an incentive or reward to boost overall health and survivability. The Board noted that there was no instance of intoxication resulting from this drug use depicted within the game.”

Rather than maintain a ban in Australia, Bohemia has confirmed it would rather amend the game globally than make a local version for Australia or remain banned permanently, and 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,” the studio responded.

“At the moment, we are editing the global version of DayZ so it will fit into the Board’s requirements,” it added. “The key objective is to keep the gameplay as authentic as it was, so players are not affected by this change.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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