Banned Games of 2023

Two games were banned in Australia in 2023.

POSTAL 4: NO REGERTS (2019) and MUGEN SOULS (2012) were first classified under the automated International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) system. Manual reviews confirmed both as Refused Classification.


Postal 4: No Regerts

Developed by Running With Scissors / 2019 / MobyGames

POSTAL 4: NO REGERTS was banned in Australia under the automated International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) system.

Running With Scissors attempted to explain its disappearance from online platforms.

March 7, 2023
#POSTAL4 is coming to PlayStation® on March 21st!
Experience the long awaited sequel to the “Worst Game Ever™” on the PS4™ and PS5™ for the first time ever!
Get ready to experience the new chapter of the POSTAL Dude’s adventures from the comfort of your couch!

March 20
We had to remove it [from PS5/PSN store in Australia] because the ACB refused classification.

March 22
Steam doesnt use IARC…so they only pull games that get banned and the gov of those countries lets them know to pull it (Germany, NZ). Playstation uses IARC, and the IARC refused classification for us, so we will try directly with the ACB but it wont be fast or cheap.

March 24
…it’s an automated refusal via the IARC application. We’re trying to work directly with ACB. So we’ll see.

– Twitter @RWSstudios

Despite putting the idea forward, they did not go on to submit it directly to the Classification Board.

Postal 4: No Regerts (2019) - Game Cover 1
PlayStation 5 Cover

An enquiry revealed the reasons for the IARC decision.

September 2023
On 16 August 2022, the International Age Rating Coalition’s Global Rating Tool (IARC Tool) refused classification to POSTAL 4: NO REGERTS based on the developer disclosing ‘illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards’.

The IARC Tool is an approved classification tool under the ‘Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games)’ Act 1995 (the Act).

When making decisions, the IARC Tool must apply the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games 2012 (the Guidelines). The Guidelines state that ‘illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards’ must be refused classification in Australia.

This means that the computer game cannot be sold, hired, advertised, or imported into Australia.

– Classification Board

The National Classification Database lists the RC decision as 21 March 2023, not 16 August 2022.

Manual review

The Classification Board confirmed the refusal after receiving a number of complaints.

September 28, 2023
There were multiple complaints and enquiries received about the RC rating for POSTAL 4: NO REGRETS. The Board checked this computer game in May 2023 and confirmed the RC rating due to ‘interactive drug use related to incentives and rewards’.

– Classification Board, Annual Report, 2022-2023

The Classification Board’s manual review of POSTAL 4: NO REGERTS warrants its inclusion in the Game Censorship Database.


Mugen Souls

Developed by Idea Factory – Compile Heart / 2012/2023 / MobyGames

In March 2012, NIS America announced a forthcoming PlayStation 3 release of MUGEN SOULS.

Their press release warned, ‘Due to the sensitive nature of some content, NIS America has decided to edit certain aspects of this title for its North American and European releases’.

The problem content was a bathhouse mini-game and over 100 CGs that it unlocks.

In July 2012, the same censored version received an M (Sexualised imagery and sexual references) from the Classification Board.

Mugen Souls (2012) - Game Cover 1
PlayStation 3 Cover

The applicant was Namco Bandai Partners Australia.

Uncut release

In April 2023, the Hong Kong-based Eastasiasoft released the uncut version on Nintendo Switch.

It was banned in Australia under the automated International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) system on June 26. The National Classification Database listed it as ‘Modified’, indicating the original, now removed, IARC rating was lower.

June 28, 2023
Nintendo Switch players, please note that while MUGEN SOULS has recently been delisted in Australia, you can rest assured that it will remain available on the eShop in North America and Europe without content changes.

– Twitter @eastasiasoft

They confirmed the Classification Board had manually checked the original IARC rating and upgraded it to RC. This may be the first instance of a review of an IARC decision resulting in a ban.

July 2, 2023
It was properly reviewed, so it won’t come back. MUGEN SOULS will remain available in other regions and as physical copy.
IARC rated but manually reviewed by ACB which caused the rating update/delisting. Our version is based on the original Japanese release, which differs from previous English releases and is higher rated. (ESRB Mature / PEGI 18).

– Twitter @eastasiasoft

The Classification Board’s manual review of MUGEN SOULS warrants its inclusion in the Game Censorship Database.

Censorship sequel

In October 2013, NIS America revealed the sequel, MUGEN SOULS Z (2013), would be coming to PlayStation 3.

Their press release again warned, ‘Due to the sensitive nature of some content, NIS America has decided to edit certain aspects of this title for its North American and European releases’.

Once more, the problem content was the bathhouse mini-game and associated CG images.

In March 2014, the same censored version received an M (Sexualised innuendo and nudity) from the Classification Board.

Mugen Souls Z (2013) - Game Cover 1
PlayStation 3 Cover

The applicant was Bandai Namco Games Australia.

In 2023, Eastasiasoft issued the uncut version on Nintendo Switch. The automated International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) system awarded it an RC rating on 14 September.

It is unknown if there was a manual review by the Classification Board.