With all the developments surrounding Starfield, we now have more information on what the game to offer. Recently, Starfield has received an R18+ rating in Australia, largely due to its “high impact” drug use.
For comparison, the rating is quite high compared to other major Bethesda games, including the recently released 2021 Anniversary Edition of Skyrim, which received a Mature Audiences (MA 15+) rating. It is important to note that the Australian classification board is particularly stringent on drug-related content in games.
What the Australian Ratings Board’s R18+ Rating for Starfield Means
When rating games, the board breaks down each game into six categories, which are: sex, nudity, themes, language, violence, and drug use, and rates their potential impact on players.
The rating for Starfield said that there was no sex and “very mild” nudity, but it did highlight a “moderate impact” for themes and bad language, as well as a “strong impact” for violence. The game’s drug use category received the highest rating, pushing the game to an R18+ classification.
The Fallout 3 Controversy
It’s unclear what this drug use refers to, and what makes it so severe in the eyes of the Australian ratings board. However, it is expected that there may be some controversy around it, much like when Fallout 3 faced scrutiny for including morphine as a medicine in the game. The name later had to be changed to Med-X to pass classification.
Starfield’s Release to Remain Unchanged
The R18+ rating means that it’s illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy the game, and the game may also “include content that may be offensive to sections of the adult community.” Despite the rating, the release date for Starfield has been confirmed for September 6th, 2023.
Bethesda has also announced that a Starfield Direct live stream will take place on June 11th, with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Showcase taking place before the Starfield show.
The board’s rating reveals a few things about Starfield. As expected from an RPG with combat, there is plenty of violence in the game, and a few instances of “strong” language. The rating also reveals that there is no sex or nudity in the game. However, the game does earn its 18+ rating due to its “high impact” drug use.
While this is all we know for now, we will make sure to keep you updated on all developments as new information becomes available.