Australian AG Greenlights MA15+ and R18+ Game Ratings Classifications

September 18, 2012 -

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.

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Australia's Classification Board Puts Emphasis on Interactive Elements

September 13, 2012 -

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."

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Australian Capital Territory Introduces R18+ Ratings Classification for Games

August 24, 2012 -

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.

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BigWorld CEO Resigns Following $45 Million Buyout by Wargaming

August 10, 2012 -

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.

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Rumble Down Under: Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam Slams Government Over TPP

August 9, 2012 -

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 NSW Police Commissioner Takes Heat for Video Game Comments

August 6, 2012 -

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.

EA's Firemint and IronMonkey Studios Merge to Become FireMonkeys

July 25, 2012 -

Electronic Arts has merged two of its mobile game development studios into one mega-studio in Australia. Firemint and IronMonkeys will be merged into a single studio now known as Firemonkeys studio.

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Research: Pre-Schoolers Who Play Interactive Games Have Better Motor Skills

July 25, 2012 -

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.

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THQ Australia to Honor GAME Australia Darksiders II Pre-Order Bonus

July 6, 2012 -

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.

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GAME Australia's Remaining Stores to Close July 8

July 6, 2012 -

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.

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Queensland Mom Gets Probation, Community Service for Stealing Over 500 Video Games

June 29, 2012 -

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. 

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Australian Government Fines Apple for iPad Ads Claiming 4G Compatibility

June 22, 2012 -

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.

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Games Australia Has Fire Sale to Pay Off Creditors

June 20, 2012 -

In a not-so-surprising twist, Games Australia administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that at today's creditors meeting stakeholders came to the conclusion that the best thing that could be done for the troubled retailer is to liquidate the company. Today administrators Kate Warwick and Greg Hall were named as the liquidators who will oversea the final and irrevocable sale of GAME's assets.

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Australian Researcher Compares Violent Media Consumption to Greasy Burgers

June 20, 2012 -

In an obvious bid to promote the new book he co-authored with Danya Braunstein, "Growing Up Fast And Furious: Reviewing The Impacts Of Violent And Sexualised Media On Children," Macquarie University Children and Families Research Centre (in Sydney, Australia) deputy director Dr. Wayne Warburton tells Adelaide Now that years of research from every corner of the globe show a definitive link between time watching violent media and the "likelihood" of aggressive behavior in kids.

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GAME Australia Closes 16 Stores, Remaining 15 to be Closed in the 'Coming Weeks'

June 19, 2012 -

GAME Australia administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced that it will "immediately" shut down 16 retail stores in Australia, with the remaining 15 stores to be closed in the "coming weeks." The retailer went into administration (bankruptcy protection) last month, and while there was plenty of optimistic talk about saving the chain in Australia in the lead-up to today's news, most believed the writing was on the wall for the company.

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Australian Parliament Finally Approves R18+ Ratings Category for Video Games

June 18, 2012 -

The Australian government has finally approved the R18+ adult rating category for video games after legislation passed the Australian Federal Parliament with bipartisan support. The new law will finally bring computer games in line with the classification system already used for films and other entertainment..

Shadow attorney-general George Brandis told the Senate that it made sense that the country's classification process would now be uniform "classifying all media according to a single set of criteria."

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Report: All GAME Australia Stores to Close By the End of Next Week

June 8, 2012 -

Citing an anonymous source close to the retailer, GameSpot Australia is reporting that all of Australia's GAME retail stores will be shut down by the end of next week. The anonymous source also asserts that the business is now "$120 million in debt."

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GameStop Brings PSN DLC Purchasing Power to Stores in Europe and Australia

June 1, 2012 -

GameStop International and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have partnered to bring PlayStation Network DLC to 1,600 retail video game stores throughout Europe and Australia. This includes stores in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Consumers can purchase downloadable content in stores using cash, gift cards, and in-store credits from trade-ins to buy the DLC.

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GAME Australia to Close 60 Stores

May 25, 2012 -

PricewaterhouseCoopers, administrator for GAME Australia, announced plans to close a number of underperforming retail stores in the country today. PricewaterhouseCoopers announced that it will close 60 stores in Australia and lay off 264 employees. Seventeen additional employees will be let go at GAME's head office as well.

"This is a difficult time for employees and closing the stores was not a decision we made easily," said Kate Warwick of PricewaterhouseCoopers. "However it is not financially viable to continue to operate at this level at this time."

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Australian Government Calls for Public Comment on Games, Tech Pricing

May 24, 2012 -

Last month the Australian Federal Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy announced that the government would investigate high game and technology prices in the country and this month the Australian government is calling for public submissions on the matter.

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PriceWaterhouseCoopers Meets with GAME Australia Creditors Next Week

May 18, 2012 -

The Australian arm of UK games retailer GAME made headlines on Monday when it told customers that it couldn’t honor its pre-orders for Diablo III. As one might imagine, this was not great for the company's reputation amongst customers, but luckily Blizzard stepped in and saved the day. This news came after news on Monday that it had entered into administration and had named PriceWaterhouseCoopers as the administrator.

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GAME Australia Goes into Administration

May 14, 2012 -

According to a report in the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph video game retailer GAME has announced that its Australian division was going into "voluntary administration." The company has chosen Pricewaterhouse Coopers to deal with its current financial complications, though the accounting firm said that the 92 stores in the country would continue to run while things were sorted out. The company employs about 500 people in Australia.

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Germany's BMZ, Australia's Greens Wage a War of Words Against ACTA

May 8, 2012 -

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) continues to run into hurdles in various parts of the world. Today those hurdles include a sharp rebuke from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Australia's Green party.

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Tales from Down Under: Parliament Calls for Enquiry on Online Pricing, Australian Christian Lobby Calls Game 'Sick'

April 30, 2012 -

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian parliament has decided that an enquiry is necessary to investigate the "imbalance in pricing" for online content and services in the country compared to other global territories.

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Research: Majority of AU and NZ Parents See Games as Learning Tools

April 30, 2012 -

Parents in New Zealand and Australia are embracing the idea that video games can serve as great tools to engage and educate children, according to new research commissioned by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA).

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High Court of Australia Rules Against Hollywood Studios

April 20, 2012 -

In a major setback for rights holders doing business in Australia, the High Court of Australia has ruled that Internet providers have no legal obligation to act on copyright infringement notices sent to them by rights holders. The court ruled that copyright infringement notices provide no "reasonable basis for sending warning notices to individual customers containing threats to suspend or terminate those customers' accounts."

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South Australia to Keep MA15+ Rating

April 3, 2012 -

South Australia will introduce a new law that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing a game with a rating of MA15+, according to a report from Gamespot Australia. A spokesperson for South Australian Attorney-General John Rau told GameSpot that this move is "a more practical measure" than Rau's previously announced plan of removing the MA15+ category altogether.

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Australian Capital Takes R18+ Rating for a Test Drive

March 27, 2012 -

It’s been a long time coming but Australia is finally getting the adult rating for video games that Aussie gamers have been clamoring for.  You know, the adult rating that movies and books in that country already have.

Ahem.

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Australia's R18+ Legislation Passes Lower House

March 20, 2012 -

Australia's R18+ legislation has passed the House of Representatives, with advocates hoping that it will be adopted by the Senate at some point. This puts the adult classification that most Australian citizens have been asking for multiple years on track to becoming law by early 2013. In order for it to pass through the Senate, the bill will require the support of either the coalition or the Greens (both support the R18+ classification). Once it passes the Senate, the R18+ legislation will become law.

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Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Defends ACTA

March 19, 2012 -

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has deflected criticism that the government's ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will lead to internet service providers being forced to play the role of copyright police, among other criticisms about the treaty. The agency claims that ACTA wouldn't require changes to Australian law as it is today.

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Matthew WilsonI am going to pax east, any games you guys want me to check out?03/02/2015 - 11:23pm
ZippyDSMleeNo one remembers the days of Cinemagic and Cynergy eh? :P, meh even MGS is getting to film like....03/02/2015 - 8:44pm
MechaTama31I was about to get all defensive about liking Metal Gear Solid, but then I saw that he was talking about "cinematic" as a euphemism for "crappy framerate".03/02/2015 - 8:29pm
prh99Just replace cinematic with the appropriate synonym for poo and you'll have gist of any press release.03/02/2015 - 5:34pm
PHX Corphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQDFO2KEPo Jim Sterling Makes Fun of "Cinematic" Gaming03/02/2015 - 3:39pm
Matthew WilsonWOW is copping EVE. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18141101/introducing-the-wow-token-3-2-2015 I think its a smart move to deal with gold farmers in this way.03/02/2015 - 1:16pm
Matthew WilsonI guess epic is tired of having their lunch eaten by unity. https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/ue4-is-free03/02/2015 - 12:50pm
Andrew EisenNot much to follow. Kern is being silly and... nothing much else is happening.03/02/2015 - 11:40am
Papa MidnightI ask because, having only just heard of it, I have not, and I was hoping for some insight.03/02/2015 - 11:39am
Papa MidnightHas anyone been following this petition by Mark Kern regarding Kotaku, Polygon, and VG247? https://www.change.org/p/kotaku-lead-the-way-in-healing-the-rift-in-video-games03/02/2015 - 11:38am
ZippyDSMleePaypal shuts down Mega's payment system. https://torrentfreak.com/under-u-s-pressure-paypal-nukes-mega-for-encrypting-files-150227/03/01/2015 - 3:25pm
Matthew Wilsonvalvle planning to release a vr headset this year wtf http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vr-headset-is-named-vive-and-htc-are-making-it/03/01/2015 - 1:05pm
ZippyDSMleeuuuhhhggg in other news been sick since last night.....uuhggg.....I iwsh it did not hurt so much when my tummy wants to leave my body..02/28/2015 - 11:39pm
ZippyDSMleeBrings me to the Q why alt costumes would be needed in competition anyway... http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2015/feb/28/dead-or-alive-community-aims-ban-over-120-overly-sexualized-costumes-dead-or-alive-5-last-round/02/28/2015 - 11:36pm
MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
 

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