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We Happy Few Successfully Appeals Australian Ban, Classified R18+

07 July 2018

Compulsion producer Sam Abbott told Kotaku that the Board's original decision to refuse We Happy Few for classification made sense based on the information it had to go on at time. Basically, many people in the We Happy Few universe abuse a drug called Joy that makes them happy without ever having to experience any kind of bad feeling or memory. The Board said "the game's drug-use mechanic making game progression less hard constitutes an incentive or reward for drug-use" and was therefore refused classification.

We Happy Few developer Compulsion Games also took to its own site to note that the game will be released unmodified in Australia - and that media and community attention played an important role in getting the refusal overturned. In the Classification Review Board's opinion We Happy Few warrants an R 18+ classification because the interactive drug use is high in impact.

While this does technically "reward" players for using the drug, We Happy Few actually seems to have a message of anti-drug use.

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"A player that takes Joy can reduce gameplay difficulty, therefore receiving an incentive by progressing through the game quickly", the report read.

More details will be published on the Classification Review Board decisions page once it's been properly prepared.

Gearbox Publishing saw this as a misunderstanding of We Happy Few's themes and issued the appeal that led to this overruling following the decision made late last month. "We Happy Few is classified R18+ (restricted)".

We Happy Few Successfully Appeals Australian Ban, Classified R18+