Common sense prevails
After originally being banned for release in March (for its advertised proscribed drug use), the critically acclaimed RPG Disco Elysium has received an R18+ classification rating from the Australian Review Board.
In their report, the board stated that "while drug use linked to incentives and rewards cannot be accommodated at R18+, this game does provide disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences for the player’s progression in the game. It was, specifically, the disincentives for drug use that influenced the Review Board in making their decision. Drug use is not explicitly depicted within the game. The game contains frequent strong coarse language, often used aggressively, which has a high impact. The themes within the game are related to a detective investigating a murder while also attempting to manage his own alcohol addiction, and getting his life back together after his substance abuse. The themes and drug references within the game are inextricably linked".
It seems then that upon closer look, the Review Board realised that the title isn't solely promoting proscribed drug use for mere shock value, and in fact it plays a vital part in the context of the game.
For PC users, the ban had little effect as Steam was still selling the game to Aussie during the entire course of the ban. It is welcome news however that console users will now be 'allowed' to experience the brilliant RPG.