Australia's IARC ratings board is rather infamous for banning video games due to violence, sexual content, or various perceived evils, but its latest swing of the ban hammer stands out because the target is seemingly an unannounced Rockstar project titled Bonaire.
As Kotaku AU (opens in new tab) reports, Bonaire was refused classification by the IARC, meaning it won't be allowed in Australia as-is. In the past, games that were refused classification have often been reworked, toned down, or otherwise censored and then resubmitted in the hopes of earning a saleable rating. Rockstar's negotiated similar hurdles with various ratings boards in the past, including Australia's. The original Manhunt game, for instance, was banned in Australia in 2003. In other words, this isn't necessarily the nail in the coffin; it's possible Bonaire will be available in Australia at one point.
The question is, what is Rockstar's Bonaire? It's not listed in any other mainstream ratings boards, I'll tell you that. Kotaku AU rightly pointed out that the best clue probably lies in the name. The real Bonaire is an island in the southern Caribbean, which is noteworthy because small parts of the Red Dead Redemption 2 campaign are also set in the Caribbean. This would suggest that, rather than a full game, Rockstar's Bonaire is in fact new Red Dead Redemption 2 (opens in new tab) content - either some sort of island DLC for the main game, or new content for Red Dead Online (opens in new tab).
The Caribbean section in Red Dead Redemption 2 is short-lived but breathtaking, so it's possible Rockstar wants to revisit the setting in more depth. If I were a gambling man, I'd wager that Bonaire being single-player DLC is more likely than it being Red Dead Online content, if only because Rockstar recently unveiled a ton of new stuff for the latter (opens in new tab) and none of it rubs me as very Caribbean. It also feels like Rockstar has prioritized fundamental fixes and systemic changes (opens in new tab) in Read Dead Online rather than new areas.
Whatever Bonaire is, we'll likely find out in the coming months. We've reached out to Rockstar for clarification and will update this story if we receive a reply.
Here are 19 games that were banned (opens in new tab) across the world, and why they got the axe.