Australia's Classification Review Board has reversed its ruling that refused classification to We Happy Few back in May.
The game will now be released in Australia with an R18+ (Restricted) classification, with consumer advice of 'Fantasy violence and interactive drug use'.
The Board's original refusal stated games could not be classified that "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality."
Within the world of We Happy Few, entire populations are high on Joy, a hallucinogenic drug that induces literally insane levels of happiness. It also causes them to attack anyone not high on Joy. The player can choose to take Joy themselves in order to blend in, however doing so changes their reality.
So... it's pretty clear what the Classifications Board took exception to.
Without an official classification, games and other media can not be legally sold within the country. Today's reversed ruling will be happy news indeed for Gearbox Publishing, which petitioned for the game's reconsideration.
Developer Compulsion Games is also happy with the outcome, stating on its site "we went to a great deal of effort to get this decision overturned. We are extremely pleased with the decision of the board and excited that our Australian fans and new players will be able to experience We Happy Few without modification."
Today the Review Board noted that classifications require the treatment of drug use to not exceed "high" at the R18+ level. Upon review it was unanimously determined that We Happy Few's drug use content was within those acceptable limits.
Though we're guessing it was likely a close call.
We Happy Few will release to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 10.