South Australian Attorney General Wants to Scrutinize Ratings Classification Board

September 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

South Australia Attorney General John Rau recently told the Australian Broadcasting Network (ABC) that the country's new video game classification (R18+, which went into effect in January of this year) rules are not being applied properly to games and the ratings process needs further scrutiny from the country's policy makers.

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EB Games Australia Apologizes for Fake Cocaine Display to Promote GTA V Launch

September 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

EB Games Australia has apologized publicly for a Grand Theft Auto V publicity stunt at one of its stores. Apparently a Grand Theft Auto V display in one of its Queensland stores used sherbert as fake cocaine.

"Regrettably, one of our EB Games store locations in Queensland set-up an unauthorised display within the store in support of the launch of the Grand Theft Auto V video game," Debra McGrath, EB's national brand, events and marketing manager said.

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Sony Aims to Sell Five Million PS4s by March 2014

September 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

During its Tokyo Game Show press conference today in Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said that his company wants to sell five million PlayStation 4 consoles in the first four months of availability. Sony hopes to hit this goal before the end of its 2013 fiscal year, which closes at the end of March 2014.

"Our plan is to sell 5 million PS4s by the end of 2013," House said.

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'Whore of the Orient' Takes Heat for 'Racially Insensitive' Title

September 3, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A prominent member of the Australian-Chinese community is speaking out against "Whore of the Orient," the latest game from L.A. Noire creator Brendan McNamara and Australian development studio Kennedy Miller Mitchell.

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No Wii U Price Cut for Australia

August 30, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

This week Nintendo of America announced that it plans on knocking $50 off the retail price of its Wii U console in September and that it would launch a special Wind Waker HD Limited Edition Wii U Bundle that includes the game, the Wii U console, a specially branded Zelda gamepad, and a digital copy of the Hyrule Historia book.

While America is getting all of this, apparently Australia is getting a big fat goose egg.

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Gold Farmer Converts $75K Worth of Virtual Gold to Bars, Gets Robbed

August 13, 2013 -

Australian nurse Katrina Fincham had struck it big by playing World of Warcraft. After earning around $75,000 by farming and selling gold in the popular MMORPG from Blizzard, she decided to convert that cold hard cash into cold hard gold bullion. After doing that she put it in her wall safe at her Adelaide home. All was right with the world, but then something horrible happened: her house was robbed and her wall safe was emptied!

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Sony Australia in $53 Million Dispute with the Australian Taxation Office

August 9, 2013 -

Sony Australia is in a dispute with the Australian Taxation Office over $53 million AUD, which comes from five years of tax adjustments (back taxes owed and penalties) that the company believes are in error. A Sony Computer Entertainment Australia spokesperson confirmed the news with GameSpot, but added that its PlayStation business in Australia has not been affected by it. Sony is appealing the assessment.

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IGEA CEO: Get Rid of Australian Classification Board

August 2, 2013 -

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), the trade group representing the interactive entertainment industry in Australia, thinks that the rating system there is a mess and that the board that oversees it is more a hindrance than a help.

IGEA CEO Ron Curry says that the whole system needs to be overhauled because the classification system is dysfunctional and administered by a handful of government bureaucrats. He thinks that the system needs a serious revamp and that it needs to be administered by members of the industry instead.

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Saint's Row IV Secures MA15+ Rating in Australia

August 2, 2013 -

After being refused classification and losing an appeal on the first submission, Saint's Row IV has finally managed to secure a rating in Australia by the Australian Classification Board. After a modified version of the game was resubmitted, the Australian Classification Board classified the game as MA15+. At issue was a mission that contained the use of "alien narcotics" which improved the super powers of players for a limited time within the game. Publisher Deep Silver and developer Volition decided to remove the mission from the game.

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GTA V Rated R18+ for Australia

August 1, 2013 -

Take Two Interactive's and Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V passed through the Australian Classification Board review process and survived, earning an R18+ rating for the region. Many were concerned that the game might end up getting refused classification on its first pass through the process much like Saint's Row IV and State of Decay did earlier this year. Saint's Row IV still remains effectively banned in the region, even after the game went through a second review earlier this week.

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Poll: What Do You Think of Australia’s Proposal to Ban Region Locked Consoles?

July 31, 2013 -

You may have noticed that video game prices in Australia are much higher than most everywhere else.  If you haven't noticed...

Video game prices in Australia are much higher than most everywhere else.

It's true, so long as they weren't banned, your favorite titles can run you 50 to 100 percent more Down Under than Up Over and that sucks.  Well, it sucks for Australians.  I live in America, but I am nothing if not empathetic so I feel for my gaming brethren with the funny accents.

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Australian Classification Board Reaffirms 'Refused Classification' Status for Saints Row 4

July 29, 2013 -

It looks like the unedited version of Saint's Row IV will not manage to get an R18+ rating in Australia. Re-reviewing the original decision, a three-person panel of the Australian Classification Review Board reaffirmed the ban and refused to classify the game. This effectively bans the sale of the game in the region on all platforms.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 62

July 29, 2013 -

On this week's show (Episode 62) hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the very public meltdown and rage-quit of Fez developer Phil Fish, Nintendo's decision to remove content from the next Super Smash Bros. game because of the Internet, Australia's hypocrisy when it comes to game ratings and drugs; and the results of last week's poll on Game Politics. Download Episode 62 now: SuperPAC Episode 62 (1 hour, 1 minute) 56.5 MB.

Is Taking Drugs in a Game Worse Than Selling Them? The Australian Classification Board Seems to Think So

July 26, 2013 -

The Australian Classification Board has refused classification on several games in recent weeks because they featured interactive drug use, but as web site Stevivor points out (thanks to Cheater87 for the link), different rules seem to apply to making and selling drugs.

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Saint's Row 4 to be Resubmitted to Australian Classification Board Next Week

July 22, 2013 -

You may recall that way back in June that Saints Row IV was officially the first game to be refused classification under the new ratings system in Australia. The Classification Board rejected the game (effectively issuing a ban on the sale of it in the region) because it contained content that the board felt was above and beyond the highest rating a game can get in the country - R18+.

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State of Decay Gets R18+ Rating in Australia

July 12, 2013 -

Undead Labs' zombie-survival action game State of Decay is no longer banned in Australia. The game has been granted an R18+ adult rating by the Classification Board, paving the way for it to be sold in Australia. Undead Labs resubmitted a modified version of the game that removed and replaced the contents that the Board found to be beyond the pale - interactive drug use that directly benefited gameplay.

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Research: Violent Games Do Not Adversely Affect Prosocial Behavior

July 5, 2013 -

The results of research conducted by Morgan Tear and Mark Nielsen from the University of Queensland (Australia) concludes that playing violent video games does not diminish prosocial behavior (in other words, it doesn't make participants anti-social as some research has claimed). The results of the research was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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Undead Labs Resubmits State of Decay to Australian Classification Board

July 3, 2013 -

GameSpot Australia is reporting that Undead Labs has resubmitted its zombie themed action game State of Decay to the Australian Classification Board.

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State of Decay Refused Ratings Classification in Australia

June 26, 2013 -

Undead Labs' State of Decay is the second game to be refused classification in Australia under the country's new ratings system. The game was refused classification because it includes interactive drug use that "aids in gameplay progression," or rewards the player for engaging in drug use.

Writing on the Undead Labs forum, executive producer Jeff Strain shared the bad news with fans.

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Australian Classification Board Reveals Specific in Saints Row IV Ruling

June 26, 2013 -

Yesterday we reported that Saints Row IV had earned the dubious distinction of being the very first game to be refused classification under Australia's new age rating system for games. Now GameSpot has figured out exactly what got the game banned. Two things managed to get the game bumped from an expected R18+ rating to basically being banned in Australia.

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Saints Row IV Refused Classification in Australia

June 25, 2013 -

Saints Row IV earns the dubious distinction of being the very first game to be refused classification under Australia's new age rating system for games. The ratings board announced that Saints Row IV "includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context. In addition, the game includes elements of illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards. Such depictions are prohibited by the computer games guidelines."

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Australian Video Game Researchers Seek Common Ground to Improve Future Research

June 7, 2013 -

Monash University researcher Dr. Andy Ruddock from the School of English, Communications and Performance Studies and Brendan Keogh from the School of Media and Communication at RMIT (both in Australia, in case you didn't know) will host a seminar to discuss how better collaboration between media effects researchers and games studies researchers can find common ground and work together to improve understanding on the effects of violent video games on real world behavior.

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Classification Board Delays Release of State of Decay in Australia

June 6, 2013 -

The Australian Classification Board has held back the release of Undead Labs' open-world zombie survival title State of Decay for Xbox 360 in the region, according to the developer's official Facebook page.

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Aussie Gamers Raise $500K During Starlight Week 2013

May 30, 2013 -

Gamers in Australia have managed to raise $550,000 for the Starlight Children's Foundation as part of Starlight Week 2013, which took place in 400 EB Games (owned by GameStop) stores in the country April 29 - May 5. The week-long event offered in-store competitions, promotions, and donation drives.

Starlight CEO Louise Baxter expressed his gratefulness to EB and gamers in the country for their hard work and generosity:

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Australia Bans Dead Island: Riptide Ad

May 30, 2013 -

A new television ad for Dead Island: Riptide has been banned by Australia's Advertising Standards Board, despite appeals by its local distributor AIE that the content it was banned for was "contextually relevant" to the game. The content that got the ad yanked for broadcast was a couple committing suicide to avoid getting ripped apart by a pack of zombies.

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German Commissioner Expresses Concern over Xbox One's 'Always-On' Kinect

May 28, 2013 -

Update: This Kotaku story citing an unnamed Microsoft rep. notes that the Kinect does not have to be on all the time:

"Yes, you can turn the system completely off," the Microsoft rep said. "This would use no power and turn everything off. We’ll share more details about how it all works later."  Article author Stephen Totilo speculates that this involves pressing the console's power button.

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Australia's Bureau of Statistics Releases City Building Game

May 20, 2013 -

Australia's Bureau of Statistics has released an interesting game for iOS devices that uses real census data (circa 2011) from the country's various towns called Run That Town. Players build a town using real census data (which can include the real town they live in… in Australia) and run it.

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Layoffs Hit Team Bondi

April 18, 2013 -

Staff at L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi have been laid off after the company's in-development title Whore of the Orient was unable to find a publisher, according to a report on MCV Pacific. According to Superannuation Warner Bros. backed away from a potential publishing deal "right before last Christmas," the publisher never officially or publicly confirmed that it had anything to do with the project.

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Sega Studios Australia Closing Later this Year

April 5, 2013 -

Sega has confirmed with Kotaku that it plans to close its Brisbane-based development studio later this year. Sega said that it would close Sega Studios Australia later this year, but gave no particular reason for shutting down the operation.

The publisher says it will shut down Sega Studios Australia later this year; no rationale provided.

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R18+ Rated Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition Coming to Australia May 1

April 5, 2013 -

Now that Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition has managed to get an R18+ rating in Australia, Warner Bros has decided to give the mature rated PS3 and Xbox fighting game a release date. It will hit Australia on May 1 and will be priced at $39.95.

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Andrew EisenNeo - If you're not bleeding then it's probably not you who needs to go to the doctor.11/23/2014 - 5:45pm
Wonderkarpgood. that kind of behavior is unnecessary.11/23/2014 - 5:44pm
WonderkarpGeorgina Young - Are Video Games Sexist? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX9LV4GuG9E11/23/2014 - 5:43pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://deadspin.com/starcraft-player-says-hell-rape-opponent-is-booted-f-1662346891/+Fahey11/23/2014 - 5:40pm
Wonderkarphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4a9tMGSTG411/23/2014 - 5:32pm
WonderkarpDan Vavra of Warhorse Studios at the Nordic eCommerce Summit 2014 on Game Journalism and why ethics are important11/23/2014 - 5:27pm
WonderkarpGame Dev Ashley Ross on the Block/Blacklist https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2n603f/thoughts_on_the_recent_igdaggautoblocker_incident/11/23/2014 - 5:25pm
Wonderkarpwhich is interesting cause this the first one 100% made by 2k games after the THQ buy11/23/2014 - 4:17pm
Wonderkarpbleh. the more I play WWE 2k15 on PS4, the more I get disappointed.11/23/2014 - 4:09pm
Neo_DrKefkaIt happened around 1030 this morning. I was not blooding because blood was on my hands11/23/2014 - 3:50pm
Andrew EisenThat depends on a lot. Were you bleeding at the time you requested to leave or did you want to leave work to go to the doctor over an incident that happened on a different day that you didn't file an incident report for?11/23/2014 - 3:21pm
Neo_DrKefkaThat would be a major OSHA violation correct?11/23/2014 - 1:54pm
Neo_DrKefkaOff topic but I was at work and went over to the first aid kit to get some eye drops. I look at my hand and noticed blood on my hands. My employers said their is no incident report and they won't send me to see a doctor and that I am abandoning my job.11/23/2014 - 1:54pm
MaskedPixelanteThe more I hear about AC Unity being rushed out, the more I think Ubisoft was telling the truth about why they couldn't add female co-op models.11/23/2014 - 1:14pm
IanCI wouldnt say the 360/PS3 version were superior. They were different games.11/23/2014 - 11:49am
MechaTama31It's hard to rank my top 5 against eachother, but they would include Ghostbusters, Back to the Future (all of it), Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Shawshank Redemption, and The Princess Bride.11/23/2014 - 11:09am
Andrew EisenTrue, but I liked the fact that rather than do a crappy looking version of the PS3/360 version, it went with an art style more suited to the Wii's strengths.11/23/2014 - 12:26am
Wonderkarpif I had the money, I'd buy one of those expensive proton pack replicas11/22/2014 - 11:25pm
Wonderkarpthats the wii version though. the PS3/360 version is far superior.11/22/2014 - 11:19pm
Andrew EisenOdd that there was no hose connecting the thrower to the backpack. Was there just no more horsepower left in the Wii to animate it? And did seriously no one on the dev or QA team notice the Ghostbusters patch on the player's sleeve was backwards?11/22/2014 - 11:17pm
 

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