Australia's second game to receive an R18+ games ratings classification is Ubisoft's Spartacus Legends, according to Player Attack. Spartacus Legends is a free-to-play action game to be released on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. It's based on the gritty and gory Starz original gladiator drama Spartacus.
The very first game to be classified under the new Australian video games ratings classification of R18+ is Team Ninja's Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge for Wii U. Prior to the new rating - which went into effect officially on January 1, 2013 - games with the kind of content that Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge contains would be refused classification and would effectively be prohibited from being sold in the country.
Melbourne Australia-based indie game developer Endgame Studios is tired of the high prices that gamers in the region have to pay for video games (compared to Europe and other regions) and has decided to voice their opinion about how much they think it sucks. In a post entitled "A stand against exorbitant Aussie game prices!," the studio says that Australian gamers are asked to pay 50 - 100 percent more than American consumers due to - according to publishers and distributors - currency exchange rates.
As we reported earlier today, Australia now has an R18+ rating for its video games.
But will the extra rating change anything? The government still has the ability to refuse classification. Will particularly violent titles be released under the new adult rating or will they just get banned anyway?
On January 1, the Australian R18+ classification for video games went into effect. Prior to that, Australia remained one of the few developed countries not to have a classification equivalent to a "mature" game rating. In the past, games that had content that was considered too mature for the country's MA15+ category would often be refused classification - effectively games at this level were banned for sale in the region.
GameSpot is reporting that the government of Queensland, Australia will not sell games marked with the new R18+ rating in the state until sometime after February 7, 2013.
A new video game that will be highlighted at the Games for Change conference hosted by RMIT in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday hopes to raise awareness about refugees seeking asylum in Australia. Refugees often take dangerous journeys on the open seas to reach the shores of friendly democracies. The game puts players in the shoes of these "boat people" who are trying to make their way to places like Australia to find safe haven and the kind of freedom and opportunities not available to them in their native lands.
Seizing on a new national survey in Australia, two "experts" have used it as an opportunity to warn parents of the dangers of video gaming. A survey conducted by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association with the help of Bond University, found that right around 95 percent of boys between the ages of 6 and 15 described themselves as gamers. The survey of more than 1200 Australian households also found that the most popular genres among this age group were first-person shooters, action and fighting games and role-playing games.
The federal government of Australia is planning to introduce brand new incentives to help grow and support the country’s game industry, according to an MCV Pacific report.
The Australian government this morning officially announced what we already knew - that the Penny Arcade Expo would be taking place in Melbourne, Australia from July 19-21 at the Melbourne Showgrounds. The announcement was made by Victorian Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher and Penny Arcade president Robert Khoo.
A new study by the Sleep Laboratory at Flinders University (a public university in Adelaide, South Australia) finds that teens who play video games for long periods of time have trouble getting a good night's sleep. The study conducted by masters student Daniel King (supervised by child sleep psychologist Dr.
THQ announced this morning that it plans to close its Melbourne, Australia office - also known as THQ Australia - within a few months. THQ has already dismissed staff from its Melbourne office, according to multiple reports. The company will instead distribute its products within the region through All Interactive Entertainment (AIE).
Australia's Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher unveiled two new programs that he says will give Victorian games developers "valuable support to develop and market high-quality games for a global audience."
The new game programs will be overseen by Film Victoria, who will provide $500,000 to support the development of commercial projects through investment and business support. Mr. Asher said the Victorian Coalition Government is committed to driving and supporting Australia's growing games industry through these new initiatives.
Australia’s Attorney General John Rau has done an about face according to Indaily, who reports that he has given a greenlight to both MA15+ and R18+ games rating classifications. Previously he had made a decision to abolish the MA15+ classification in South Australia when the new 18-rated game classification was approved.
The Attorney General said that the recently released guidelines were "stringent enough" and different enough from an earlier draft he had some qualms about.
VG247 points out the release of a new document released by Australia's classification board, which puts a strong emphasis on the negative effects that games can have due to their "interactive elements."
The Australian Capital Territory has officially introduced the R18+ ratings classification for games, according to Gamespot (Thanks to Cheater87 for the tip). The law was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly this week, making it the first territory in the country to do so. The new rating was introduced earlier this year.
The CEO of middleware company BigWorld has resigned from the company. Earlier in the week it was announced that World of Tanks developer Wargaming had bought the middleware provider for $45 million. CEO John De Margheriti, who was one of the founders of the company, will step down at the end of this week. He will be replaced by co-founder Steve Wang, who will report directly to executives at Wargaming. Despite the departure, De Margheriti's statement seems to indicate an amicable exit from BigWorld.
According to this Computer World Australia report, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has some harsh words for the Australian federal government for its part in pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is currently in negotiations in the U.S. The treaty is an agreement between Pacific Rim countries such as Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the U.S.
Australia New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione is taking a lot heat for comments he made recently blaming the rise of teen knife-related crimes on playing violent video games. Scipione recently told The Daily Telegraph that teens were being desensitized to violence by playing violent video games that reward them for "killing and raping people." Obviously a tired trope related to Grand Theft Auto spewed by politicians.
Researchers at Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia) have come to the conclusion that pre-school aged children who play interactive video games (such as those found on the Wii) have better motor skills than those children who do not regularly play interactive games. Deakin University researchers and a researcher form the University of Wollongong conducted a pilot study in 2009 of 53 pre-schoolers ages three to six years old (31 girls, 22 boys) to determine if there was some sort of association between playing games and the fundamental movement skills of children.
THQ Australia confirmed that it will honor all Darksiders II pre-order DLC bonuses purchased through retailer GAME Australia. The retailer announced this morning that it would close its 15 remaining stores on July 8.
GAME Australia had offered Australian customers who pre-ordered THQ's upcoming game the Deadly Despair DLC pack, but then it went into liquidation. Obviously if the retailer is no longer in business it won't be able to fulfill those promised pre-order bonuses.
GAME Australia will officially shut down on July 8, with the remaining 15 stores closing across the country, according to administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Last month PwC announced that GAME Australia would be closing the remaining stores but did not offer an exact date at the time. The Administrator for GAME Australia also announced that the remaining assets of the video game retailer would be liquidated to pay down the company’s debt.
Earlier this year a 32 year-old woman was charged with 41 counts of stealing and fraud after allegedly trying to boost $2,500 AUD in electronics, games and other merchandise from a Big W department store in Queensland, Australia. When police searched her residence in Ipswich they realized that she had been at it for quite some time.
According to a Financial Times report Apple has been fined AUS $2.25 million ($2.29 million USD) by the Australian government for falsely advertising that its new high definition iPad was compatible with high-speed 4G networks in the country.