“If it ends up being not released in Australia, just pirate it after release,” designer Jonatan Söderström wrote in an email to a fan.
Söderström’s message was revealed in an email sent to one fan last night, which has since been verified as legitimate by Ars Technica.
UPDATE 15/1/15 3.45pm: Hotline Miami 2 publisher Devolver has issued a response to the Australian Classification Board’s decision to grant the game a rating, and provided video evidence of the scene in question – which it claims has been incorrectly described.
The publisher also points out that the scene can be skipped entirely via an option on starting the game that will skip over sections with implications of sexual violence.
- “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 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
And – possible NSFW warning – here’s the scene in question:
Australia’s a pretty tiny market, so Devolver won’t be losing a great deal by not releasing locally. Since the publisher has elected not to censor the game or challenge the Australian Classification Board’s decision, that looks rather likely at this point.