Well, there's quite a few of us happy here at AltChar, now that we've found out that the Australian Classification Review Board unanimously decided to rate We Happy Few with R18+, which means the game will be selling Down Under after all.
The entire ruckus threatened to hurt Australian gamers the most, especially the ones who backed We Happy Few and Compulsion Games' Kickstarter campaign. This left Compulsion with a choice to either refund their customers Down Under or try to fight it. Thankfully, they went for the latter.
In order to qualify for an R18+ rating, Australian National Classification Code and Guidelines stipulate "the treatment of drug use to not exceed high". We Happy Few in fact relies on Joy, although in different capacities across different parts.
That's not to say that We Happy Few is a junky game, in case you're not familiar with it. In fact, Joy is a wonderful storytelling tool, a friend, an enemy and everything in between. I could probably go on for an hour but the trailer above will tell you more.
Thankfully, after reviewing We Happy Few, the Board found Joy's "impact" to be "no greater than high". As a result, the game will sell with consumer advice reading, "Fantasy violence and interactive drug use". We guess that's fair enough, especially seeing as how the entire Wellington Wells are, after all, Joyed out of their minds.
Compulsion Games are over the moon with the decision, claiming they're delighted that "players will be able to experience We Happy Few without modification". They thanked everyone involved, for messages and posts, which apparently "made a huge difference".
Now it's pretty commendable from Compulsion Games to consider modifying We Happy Few to appease Australian authorities but the mere thought of having to resort to such a move makes us shudder. It's already ironic to censor a game that criticises censorship - having to butcher it to be able to deliver it to your fans is downright a crime.
We Happy Few launches on 10 August 2018 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.