Typically studios like to avoid 18+ ratings but it isn't always possible in every region. This week, the Australian classification board rated Starfield as an 18+ title, primarily due to depictions of drug use.
The board's rating reveals a few things about Starfield. As you would expect 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 in the game and no nudity. However, the game does earn its 18+ rating due to ‘high impact' drug use.
It is worth noting that the Australian classification board is particularly hard on things like drugs, so it could be a similar situation to Fallout 3 back in the day, when the game faced scrutiny due to having morphine as a medicine in the game. The name later had to be changed to Med-X to pass classification.
Alternatively, this might be a part of the world that Bethesda wants to lean more heavily into. The Outer Worlds also had a variety of fictional space drugs throughout the game, some with obviously negative effects.
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KitGuru Says: Starfield is releasing in September and we'll be getting our next good look at the game in June, so we have a few more months to wait before we get more official news on the game.