Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

February 25, 2011 -

According to a report on Kotaku Australia Mortal Kombat has been refused classification in Australia. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment issued the following statement to the media:

"The highly anticipated video game Mortal Kombat, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) in Australia, has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board and will not release in Australia. We are extremely disappointed that Mortal Kombat, one of the world’s oldest and most successful video games franchises, will not be available to mature Australian gamers. WBIE would not market mature content where it is not appropriate for the audience. We understand that not all content is for every audience, but there is an audience for mature gaming content and it would make more sense to have the R18+ classification in Australia. As a member of the iGEA, WBIE is reviewing all options available at this time."

"The granting of another RC to a video game clearly designed and targeted at ADULTS again highlights the shortcomings of the current classification scheme," said Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, in a statement to Kotaku. " In particular, the absence of an adult classification."

While an adult classification would be helpful to most mature-rated games, apparently Mortal Kombat still would have been refused classification based on its violent content.

Australians can still import the game, though we imagine there will be some sort of extra cost in doing so. No word on whether WBIE is considering modifying the game to meet classification requirements for a teen level rating in the region.

Source: Kotaku Australia by way of Cheater87.


Comments

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

Then they´ll complain about how torrent downloads are affecting bussiness in Australia. Dumbasses.

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Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

 

I CAN tell you that it is neither a nanny state or a save the children thing.

It is simply that it an archaic law set up at the time when politicians thought that games were only played by children.  The only adults that played games were gamer geeks (who were both few and had little political power) and the laws did not affect any of the mainstream.

Cut to modern day and the world has changed.  The problem is that while the legislation is federal, the states administer the law.  In fact they can tailor WHAT ratings are allowed to be sold within their own state.  As such, there must be a unanimous agreement by state Attorneys General.  Enter politics ...

While the Conservative Christian Right are not as powerful as they are in America, they still do have the ear of any politician who can be swayed by the promise of votes.  Currently gamer power is not as potent as "wowser" power. ("wowser" is an old Aussie term equivalent to "prohibitionist").

Now the ACB are merely enacting the current guidelines.  I don't blame them in the slightest.  Their doing their job.  You do get inconsistent rulings between the different "teams" that rate games, but that is taken up by appeal and the game is re-reviewed by a completely different "team".  This is why games get reclassified afterwards.  It is the guidelines that are both archaic and inconsistent with other media and therefore need to be amended to encompass an R18+ rating. 

I believe the tables are turning.  Most SAGs support the change.  Who knows which way the new Liberal (that's the conservative party over here) AG will go?  If he's one of the few dissenters, I imagine bad press and political pressure will be brought to bear by the gamer lobby groups ...

... in the mean time, we just need to patient and wait.  To be honest, there really haven't been that many games (in the general scheme of things) that have been refused classification.  Most are wannabe B-grade games that substitute gore for gameplay.  Left for Dead 2 was one of the few exceptions, but people found ways around it.  It doesn't stop people playing ... it's just an inconvenience.  And it hurts local retailers enough that politicians start to notice.

I've been gaming for long enough not to care anymore.  Life’s to short for aggravation.  If we get an R18+ rating, then that’s a bonus.  In the meantime, I take small comfort that we got the uncensored version of The Witcher well before the US did. ;)

 

 

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

I am happy too see what Warner Bros is doing to help publish this title. In affect leading giving the developers what they need to truly make a game fans will enjoy and everyone will make money in. Mortal Kombat this prequel is to be honest is a total fan service

As for Austurilia its go figure this is the same country that controled how it's Aborginal natives and those who had mixed race how they breed as well as forcing a bunch of English ophrans into slavery to build a Christian school on the island because they wanted to make the Island full of whites and told families who only temperoryly gave their children up that those children died those who left the country as they got older were not granted return because they were never given citzenship.

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

Question:  Is this culture of censorship in Austrailia more along the lines of American-style Christian "family values" or is it more like a nanny state?

I've always been under the impression that the country has an outspoken religious-values contingent.  However, I just realized I'm not sure where I got that idea from...

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

It was down to a couple of reactionary individuals - most publically Attourney-General Mick Atkinson - who played the "think of the children" card, but were really most influenced by his religious beliefs. Which then empowered the American-style Christians. 

That situation itself was created by Australia's archaic law that state Attourneys-General must be unanimously in favour of a change to laws. There have been pushes to have it changed to a majority, but nothing has ever come of it.

Had we had a majority rule instead, we would have had a R18 rating 10 years ago.

Atkinson retired from the position last year, but we have this legacy of pussy-footing around the topic thanks to him. Imagine someone like Jack Thompson getting real mainstream media attention and that is what the R18 debate has been here.

But, this year perhaps ... onwards and upwards. :)

 

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

Now that i think about it, it's hard to say. Remember the whole fallacy a year or two ago between the censoring of Left 4 Dead 2, yet they left the controverial airport mission in Call of Duty or whatnot completely intact. Apparently killing zombies is worse than killing civilians or there's some sort of religious thing along with it, i don't know.

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

 I was under the impression is more of a "save the children" nanny state type thing. In all our talks about australia i don't recall hearing all that much coming from the religious end... 

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

Another day, another needles banning of a game down under. Where is that R18+ raiting everyone was fighting for?

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

I read that someone got a call from their game store saying the ACB banned the importing of this game as well. :( So no importing sadly for Aussie gamers.

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

And here we go again...

I have the feeling I'll be collecting retirement before I see the R18+ rating approved in Australia.

Re: Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

How surprising. /sarcasm

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