Kotaku AU has reported that Activision has modified a scene in Call of Duty: WWII for Australia to modify a sexual scene in the campaign story.
The game is currently rated R18+ in Australia. The game was first rated on August 31, 2017 with an additional content descriptor “threat of sexual violence.”
There is a scene in the campaign which depicts a Nazi solider pulling away a female officer into a closer, but players have a choice on what they want to do next.
The description of the scene is as follows:
In one section of the game, the player controls Rosseau, a female spy, as she infiltrates a German building. While inside, she witnesses a woman as she is dragged by a Nazi soldier into a closet, against her will, screaming, “You’re all pigs!”
Rosseau opes the closet door, as the soldier says, “Leave. This is none of your business.” The player is then given the option to kill the soldier or leave.
If the player chooses to leave, the player closes the door, as the soldier is heard unziping his fly and viewed advancing towards the woman. She screams, “Ah! Get away from me!” as Rosseau leaves.
It is implied that the soldier is going to sexually assault the woman, but at no time is the assault depicted.
However, on October 17, 2017, Activision re-filed the game for classification and got the “threat of sexual violence” content removed.
The Australia Classification Board sent the following statement to Kotaku AU:
“On 13 October 2017, Activision Publishing applied to the Australian Classification Board to classify a modified version of the game Call of Duty: WWII,” the board said via email. “On 17 October 2017, the Australian Classification Board classified the modified game R 18+ with consumer advice of ‘High impact violence, online interactivity’.”
Activision has since modified the game for the Australia version and removed the audio depicted sexual scenes, which led to the classification description to be changed.
In the Board’s opinion, the modifications to this game – which include the change of dress for the female prisoner (was in a skirt and top, now in a pants and top) and the removal of audio that implies a soldier is unzipping his pants – do not contain any classifiable elements that alter this classification or exceed a R18+ impact level.
In the Board’s opinion, the removal of the audio track means that consumer advice of threat of sexual violence is not required. Therefore, this modified computer game warrants an R18+ classification with consumer advice of high impact violence [and] online interactivity.
What’s really odd about this is that even after the removal of the sexual scene for the Australia version, the Classification Board still gave the title a R18+ rating. It’s not clear why Activision decided to remove the scene to get back the same rating as before. Other Call of Duty games before have received MA15+ ratings. but some did get the R18+.
Kotaku AU reached out to Activision AU PR, but have not heard back.