Australia will get a slightly edited version of Call of Duty: WWII, apparently because Activision didn't want "threat of sexual violence" to appear on the game's box.
Activision has provided us with the following statement: “The Australian version of Call of Duty: WWII is the same version scheduled for release worldwide on November 3."
We asked whether that meant that all versions of the game have been edited as described below (which seems likely), but the company had no further comment to make on the matter.
Original story continues:
In August, Call of Duty: WWII was rated R18+ in Australia, with the Board advising consumers it contained "high impact violence and threat of sexual violence, [and] online interactivity".
However, on Tuesday the Board revealed that the game's classification had changed because Activision had submitted a modified version for review.
The new version is still rated R18+, but the Board now notes that it contains "high impact violence, [and] online interactivity" – there's no mention of sexual violence.
The Classification Board told Kotaku that the original version of Call of Duty: WWII contained "a reference to sexual violence that is justified by context", and that the scene was edited in the game's second submission.
The scene in question is spoiled below.
According to Kotaku, this is the scene that was altered:
In one section of the game, the player controls Rosseau, a female spy, as she infiltrates a German building. While inside, she witnesses a woman as she is dragged by a Nazi soldier into a closet, against her will, screaming, "You're all pigs!"
Rosseau opens the closet door, as the soldier says, "Leave. This is none of your business." The player is then given the option to kill the soldier or leave.
If the player chooses to leave, the player closes the door, as the soldier is heard unziping his fly and viewed advancing towards the woman. She screams, "Ah! Get away from me!" as Rosseau leaves.
It is implied that the soldier is going to sexually assault the woman, but at no time is the assault depicted.
According to the Board, in the edited version of the game the prisoner is wearing pants rather than from a skirt, and there is no audio track of the NPC soldier unzipping his fly.
In the Board's opinion, the removal of the audio track means that the consumer advice of "threat of sexual violence" is not required.
In New Zealand, Call of Duty: WWII is rated R16. In its decision, the New Zealand Classification Board noted that the game contains "graphic violence and offensive language", but did not recommend any edits.