Hotline Miami 2 creator, Jonatan Söderström, has said that Australian gamers should just pirate the game.
The news comes following yesterday’s announcement that the game had been refused classification by the Australian ratings board over concerns about a scene in which the player character rapes a woman. Despite the scene in question taking place as part of a fictional movie shoot, the censors felt that it breached regulations on “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, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.”
Söderström made the comments in an email to a concerned fan who contacted him following the ruling. In the email (since confirmed as genuine by ArsTechnica), Söderström says that there’s no need to send any money, and that players should simply enjoy the game if it continues to be banned down under.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is the sequel to the hit 2012 indie game, which originally appeared on PC before being later ported to PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Played from a top-down perspective and featuring retro-styled pixel-art, the series sees you placed in a number of environments and required to murder every enemy in order to progress. Notably, the first game was widely reported to have been pirated extensively, but still went on to sell several hundred thousand copies. Perhaps this success despite the odds is what prompted Söderström to take such a relaxed view?
Also last night, the game’s publisher, Devolver, emailed the Australian ratings board to complain about what it sees as a misleading and inaccurate description of the scene in question. Here’s their full statement:
We are aware of the recent report published by the Australian Classification Board in regards to Hotline Miami 2 and have been in communication with them. As such, we and Dennaton Games would like to clarify a few things:
First, to clear up any possible misconceptions, the opening cinematic that was first shown in June of 2013 has not changed in any way. We also want to make clear that players are given an [sic] choice at the start of the game as to whether they wish to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence. The sequence in question is presented below in context, both after choosing the uncut version of the game and after choosing to avoid content that alludes to sexual violence.
Second, in response to the report itself, we are concerned and disappointed that a board of professionals tasked with evaluating and judging games fairly and honestly would stretch the facts to such a degree and issue a report that describes specific thrusting actions that are not simply present in the sequence in question and incorrectly portrays what was presented to them for review.
Though we have no plans to officially challenge the ruling, we stand by our developers, their creative vision for the storyline, its characters and the game and look forward to delivering Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number to fans very soon
Devolver Digital and Dennaton Games
Brian Kale reviewed the original Hotline Miami for Continue Play, and he rather liked it – awarding the game our highest accolade: 10/10. “Hotline Miami is a great game that you need to play. Everything comes together beautifully, resulting in an experience that you simply need to witness first-hand,” he wrote in his Hotline Miami Review.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is due for release in Q1 this year on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Vita. Check out the trailer below, if you don’t know what the game’s all about. And if you know what the song playing over the video is, please do tell us in the comments – we rather like it.