Update: Devolver Digital has provided a statement, which is added to the story below.
If you were hoping to pick up the ultra-violent Samurai-themed action game Shadow Warrior 2 in Australia, then your luck has run out – unless you own a PC capable of running it.
The sequel was scheduled to release on Sony's PlayStation Network and the Xbox Store last week, but it hasn't appeared in Australian versions of those stores.
The reason? Publisher Devolver Digital has not submitted the game for classification in Australia, according to their local PR representative.
When we reached out for a statement, here's what a spokesperson for Devolver sent back: "being a small team it was not possible for us to create differing versions of Shadow Warrior 2 to comply with the various age ratings systems around the globe. Consequently we decided not to seek a rating in territories where we understood we would be refused one. We are sorry that this has meant there are gamers who wanted to get their hands on some Wang and now cannot."
It's not the first time the publisher has refrained from submitting one of its games to the Classification Board. Last year the publisher released the penis-themed local multiplayer game Genital Jousting, but declined to have it rated in Australia. Since it's a game about penises and penetration – albeit lighthearted and cartoonish in tone – the publisher probably didn't like its chances of getting through.
The publisher's fraught relationship with the board can be traced back to 2015, when Hotline Miami 2 was refused classification. "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," a publisher spokesperson said at the time.
Curiously, Shadow Warrior 2 is readily available on Steam for Australians, even while Genital Jousting is not.