Askiisoft and Devolver Digital are literally on the verge of releasing Katana Zero worldwide, which should happen on 18 April 2019. Australia and New Zealand might get it a bit later though, as it's not greenlit by classification boards.
Devolver Digital have announced on their Twitter that Katana Zero will be late in Australia and New Zealand, specifically on Nintendo Switch, due to IARC sending them a "Classification refused" notice. The indie publisher is no stranger to issues with Australian boards but it appears that Katana Zero will still be sold on PC via Steam.
The reason for the classification ruling was not made public yet but the Steam version of Katana Zero specifically states it contains violence, gore and drug use. Violence and gore have been persistent in other games previously approved in Australia, but our best guess is that drug use has proven to be a bit tricky more than once.
It just so happens that the katana-wielding badass of the protagonist is often sampling Chronos, a drug that allows reversal of time as well as limited prophetic abilities.
The refused application was submitted through IARC, which is the automated way of getting a classification and usually saves time for publishers. Devolver Digital noted that they will submit the game for classification again, but this time through the individual rating boards, for a manual review.
Katana Zero may not be a AAA giant that is set to change the industry forever, but it has certainly been well received at previews so far and there is no doubt players from Australia and New Zealand are looking to give it a go as soon as possible.
The mix of pixels, gratuitous gore, cyberpunk themes and synthwave music proved to be mesmerising all around and the game is highly anticipated for the moment, especially for an indie title. It remains to be seen whether the players will be able to purchase it from Steam with an Australian IP address though and how long it will take to resolve the issues with the Switch version.