The Australian Classification Board frequently comes under fire by gamers, a lot of it justified, due to their very strict approach to game ratings, including outright refusals to classify some games that have led to them being unavailable for purchase within the country. As if Australian gamers didn’t already have enough to deal with: what with their habit of getting games months after their domestic release and at significantly inflated retail prices.

But this week the Australian Classification board has apparently leaked information concerning a forthcoming horror title from Bethesda Softworks that goes by the title Endless Summer. As the ratings report pictured above shows.

Assuming for now that Endless Summer isn’t an ultra-violent reinterpretation of Bruce Brown’s 1966 surf movie The Endless Summer, a video game version of the Spongebob Squarepants PSA, or a very dark take on the Beach Boys album, it’s a pretty safe bet that the title is actually a codename, designed to appear as innocuous as possible. Another game listed on the ACB’s website is an inoffensive-sounding title called Cook’s Mad Recipe, which has been rated R 18+ for “high impact sexual references and drug references“. Unless it’s another chef simulator hosted by Gordon Ramsay, it’s safe to that Cook’s Mad Recipe isn’t that game’s actual title either.

A screenshot from 'The Evil Within'

The fact that the version of the game is listed as modified suggests that changes have been made in order to fit with the ACB’s ratings system. Similar changes were made to Silent Hill: Homecoming (which had to have a certain scene involving a power drill modified) and The Witcher 2 (altered so that sex was no longer offered as a reward for completing a sidequest).

One possibility is that “Endless Summer” is actually a codename for Bethesda’s forthcoming horror release, The Evil Within, which is not yet listed on the ACB’s website and therefore could be hiding behind a different name. The Evil Within is the most likely candidate out of Bethesda’s known future releases, though based on what we’ve seen so far in the gruesome and frightening trailer and screenshots, it’s difficult to believe that the game would get by with merely an MA 15+ rating now that the recently introduced R 18+ rating is available (to give some context, God of War: Ascension and Dead Island Riptide have both been rated R 18+).

A Bethesda representative has since contacted Joystiq on the matter, simply saying, “We have nothing to share at this point.” Mysterious. Game Rant readers, share your speculation on Endless Summer in the comments.

Source: Australian Classification Board [via Joystiq]