Australian government bans over 200 mobile games

June 30, 2015 - Andrew Eisen

Ugh.

It is so hard for me to refrain from editorializing when I write these types of stories but... I'll do my best.

The Australian Classification Board has the ability to refuse classification to any game it feels falls outside the scope of its highest rating.  This effectively bans these titles because it's illegal to sell games in Australia that aren't rated.

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June is 'Entertainment Ratings Awareness Month'

June 2, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Merchants Association has declared June as "Entertainment Ratings Awareness Month," as it does every year.  As part of "Entertainment Ratings Awareness Month, the trade group encourages all retailers of entertainment and video games to promote the ratings systems in place intended to help parents and guardians make informed decisions about purchasing and consuming age-appropriate content for their children.

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Why 'Tychus J. Findlay' is missing his cigar in 'Heroes of the Storm'

May 22, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Some fans noted that the cigar-chomping StarCraft character Tychus J. Findlay was missing his trademark stogie in the recent Heroes of the Storm trailer, prompting some to ask Blizzard why it removed it from the MOBA game. As detailed in this Reddit thread, the answer is fairly straightforward and simple: ratings.

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'Hatred' gets a release date

April 28, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Today Creative Destruction released a new trailer for its mass murder game Hatred and revealed an official release date for the game.

"We wish to announce Hatred's release date, it's set for June 1st, this year of course. ;)," the company wrote in the description for its latest trailer (which you can watch to your left).

"Fun fact is that we wanted to release it on May 19th, but our team will be occupied with playing The Witcher 3 at the time. :D," the post adds.

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ESRB expanding ratings to mobile and digital platforms

March 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association's (ESA) Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) will soon start rating games on mobile and digital platforms with the help of the global game ratings organization, the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC).

The IARC, which launched in 2013, is already working with PEGI in Europe, ClassInd in Brazil, USK in Germany, and the Classification Board in Australia (who announced earlier in the month a year-long trial run of using the system - with the right to reject ratings it doesn't agree with).

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Australian Classification Board Turns To IARC To Streamline Ratings Process

March 11, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Australian Government announced this week that it would trial for one year a new system to speed up ratings for entertainment products. The Australian Classification Board will work in conjunction with International Age Ratings Coalition to use its ratings to streamline the process. A trial period will begin next month, and will be overseen by the Classification Board. The announcement was made by Michael Keenan, the Minister for Justice.

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ESRB Gives 'Batman: Arkham Knight' a Mature Rating

February 24, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Batman: Arkham Knight has been given a mature rating by the ESRB for its North American release, much to the surprise of Rocksteady, whose previous Batman games have all been rated "T for Teen" in the past.

Speaking with IGN, Rocksteady founder and the game director Sefton Hill expressed surprise at the rating:

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Developers Sound Off On Metacritic

February 20, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

MCV has an interesting report on the shifting attitudes of the media and game developers towards review aggregation site Metacritic. Eurogamer, which recently eliminated reviews scores altogether from its reviews earlier this month, thinks the biggest problem with Metacritic is how certain parts of the industry use metascores to approve or deny developer bonuses, among other issues.

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Eurogamer Dumps Review Scores

February 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Eurogamer announced this morning that, like Kotaku did earlier in the year, it will no longer be using review scores when it rates games. Instead games rated by the publication will use descriptors such as "Recommended," "Essential," or "Avoid." Some game reviews will not carry a descriptor at all.

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'Mortal Kombat X' Rated R18+ in Australia

February 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Australian Classification Board has rated Mortal Kombat X the highest rating it can give under its present system: R18+. The game, set for launch in late April worldwide, was given the rating due to "high impact violence, blood and gore, online interactivity."

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'Hotline Miami 2' Designer To Australian Gamer: 'Just Pirate It'

January 16, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

If you are worried that you won't be able to play Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number in Australia due to it being refused classification in the country by the Australian Classification Board, then perhaps Hotline Miami 2 designer Jonatan Söderström (from Dennaton Games) has an answer you might like: just pirate it. At least that is what he told one fan who emailed him and offered to send him money directly to get his hands on the game when it is released later this year.

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Devolver Digital Releases Statement, Video Related To Australia's Refusal To Classify 'Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number'

January 15, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier today we reported that the Australian Classification Board refused to give Dennaton Games' Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number classification in the country - effectively banning it for sale.

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Poll: Should 'Sexism' Factor Into a Video Game's Rating?

November 20, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

The ESRB currently has 30 different content descriptors to use in its game ratings covering violence, sex, nudity, crude language, references to alcohol and even real-money gambling.

Not only do these descriptors list potentially objectionable content so that consumers can make informed purchasing decisions, they also factor into what age group the game is ultimately recommended for: Everyone, Teens, Mature or Adults Only.

This week's poll asks "Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game's rating?"

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New Zealand's Rating Board Head Not Happy With Companies Avoiding Classification

November 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

New Zealand's chief censor in charge of rating games is not happy with some game developers and publishers who are skirting the classifications process in the country by launching them digitally, according to this NZ Gamer report.

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Sweden's Dataspelsbranchen Researching Gender Equality Content Ratings for Video Games

November 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Joystiq (thanks MaskedPixelante) reports that the trade group representing the video games industry in Sweden - Dataspelsbranchen - is doing research on a new content system that would rate how video games promote gender equality.

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ESRB Details Sexy Content in 'Dragon Age: Inquisition'

October 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to data gleaned from the ESRB, the next iteration of BioWare's popular RPG will be extra sexy.

According to descriptions from the ESRB on certain moments in Dragon Age: Inquisition, sexual acts such as fellatio are implied, topless scenes are shown and lots of sexy language is used. Here's more from the ESRB:

"A female character briefly depicted in front of a man's torso," it rasps, "(fellatio is implied)."

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ESRB Celebrates 20th Anniversary

September 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Seeing that government regulation was in the wings if it didn't do something, the Interactive Digital Software Association (now known as the Entertainment Software Association, or ESA) decided that the industry needed a self-governing ratings system.

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Uncensored Version of 'Left 4 Dead 2' Now Available in Australia

September 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The uncensored PC version of Left 4 Dead 2 is finally available to consumers in Australia via Steam today (thanks Blue's News). The uncensored version of Valve's co-op zombie survival shooter sequel now carries an R18+ rating and is for sale - for a limited time - for 75 percent off its normal asking price.

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'Left 4 Dead 2' Finally Gets R18+ Rating in Australia

September 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The PC version of first-person cooperative zombie survival game Left 4 Dead 2 has finally been reclassified in Australia with an R18+ rating (thanks Cheater87). The game, now has warnings for "high impact violence," "strong impact themes," and "mild impact language."

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'Only God Forgives' Co-Star Bags on Film, 'GTA V'

August 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Christian music publication Breathecast has an interesting article on actress Kristin Scott Thomas, who says that she would not let her 12-year-old son watch her new film, "Only God Forgives." That makes sense. In the article she also laments about video games and their evil influence on young people.

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Video Standards Council Appoints New Chair

July 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The UK video games regulator, the Video Standards Council (VSC) has appointed a new chair to take over from Baroness Shephard of Northwold who was appointed in 2005. The new Chair will be Tony Lake, who has served as a vice-chair for the organization since December 2009. According to the VCS, Tony Lake has an extensive background in law enforcement, having served for 36 years in the Police Service and working for five different police forces during his career.

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'The Evil Within' Edited For Japan, Cut Content to Become DLC

July 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

When Bethesda Softworks releases the horror game The Evil Within in Japan, it will be missing some content. Bethesda had scheduled Shinji Mikami’s upcoming survival-horror game for an August release, but the publishers announced that the game would be delayed until October.

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Report: Western Australian Amendment Meddles With R18+ Rating

July 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On January 1, Australia finally and officially implemented an R18+ classification for games - something the government took a very long time to put in place. The goal of the rating was to allow games rated "Mature" elsewhere in the world to have a similar rating in Australia.

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June is 'Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month'

June 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It's June, which means it's time for the Entertainment Merchants Association, the Digital Media Association (DiMA), Music Business Association (Music Biz), and National Association of Theatre Owners to remind consumers that this month is "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month." This coalition of trade groups representing various industries has chosen June as the month to raise awareness on all the ratings systems available for entertainment - something they have been doing annually since 2004.

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The Sims 4 Rated 'Adults-Only' In Russia Because of Same-Sex Relationships

May 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Russia's ratings agency that handles video games has given The Sims 4 an 18+ age rating due to the inclusion of same-sex relationships. The game violates a law that protects children from "information harmful to their health and development."

The Sims Russia Twitter account announced earlier this week that the game had earned the restrictive rating. Previous Sims games released in the region have all been rated T (Teen) or 12+ but a law passed in 2010 is the reason for the more restrictive rating.

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Australia Considers Automating Classification Process for Games, Film and TV

May 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Australia's government pushes for an automated solution to speed up the work of the Classification Board (the government ratings agency in charge of classifying ratings for games and other forms of entertainment) in the country, civil liberties groups and anti-pornography groups in the country are sounding alarm bells.

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TIGA Urges PEGI To Lower Pricing on Games Rating Certification

April 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK video games industry trade group TIGA has written an open letter to European game content rating system PEGI calling for a review and adjustment of its pricing policy, which the groups claims is charging indie developers in the UK "unreasonably high and repetitious fees." TIGA wrote the letter in response to complaints from its members about PEGI’s pricing policy.

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Report: 'Bravely Default' Banned in Saudi Arabia

April 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Destructoid blog (from a reader named "Lord Spencer" who lives in Saudi Arabia), the government has banned the Square Enix 3DS game Bravely Default for promoting sexual behavior in children and pedophilia. While it is not at all shocking that the government in this country bans a particular game, the reasoning for the Bravely Default ban is as over-the-top as one can get.

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Ubisoft and The Australian Classification Board Explain Why Watch Dogs Was Reclassified R18+

March 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Both Ubisoft and the Australian Classification Board have issued statements explaining why Watch Dogs was reclassified in the region as an R18+ game.

1 comment | Read more

Watch Dogs Gets a New R18+ Rating in Australia

March 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Watch Dogs has been reclassified in Australia and will come with more content warnings when it is released this Spring, according to CVG. The open-world hacking-themed action game was originally classified by the Australian Classification Board in September last year with a rating of MA15+.

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Poll

Which group is more ethically challenged?:

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You're not permitted to post shouts.
InfophileI know the ZE series was in the red in Japan, but international series boosted it to profitability. That may not mean it's more profitable in the west, but it does mean ZE3 wouldn't exist without the western market.07/04/2015 - 7:54am
Consterwhy aren't "Video game players" an option on the poll? :P07/04/2015 - 5:19am
Andrew EisenThat was quick! Pretty accurate cosplay of the new Ghostbuster uniform and proton pack: https://twitter.com/mirabellemusing/status/61673135125394227207/03/2015 - 6:23pm
Matthew Wilson@mast I dont know, but I do know it got a cult fallowing here.07/03/2015 - 6:22pm
MastermuneWasn't the Zero Escape series more popular here than in Japan?07/03/2015 - 6:19pm
Matthew Wilson@mast given the game was revealed in the US, I wouldnt be shocked if it was released at the same time.07/03/2015 - 6:15pm
MastermuneI don't trust the big AAA worldwide simultaneous releases though.07/03/2015 - 5:57pm
Mastermune@Infophile I have come to the conclusion that smaller games like zero escape, JRPG's and the like are actually worth preordering sinc they are limited quantities and since they usually release in japan first we know if there are any issues.07/03/2015 - 5:56pm
Infophile@Matthew! Awesome news. I'd preorder on that shout alone if I didn't have a policy against preordering anymore.07/03/2015 - 5:16pm
Matthew Wilsonzero escape 3 was announced today.07/03/2015 - 4:21pm
Matthew Wilson@pnx I am guessing a ddoss since that is what happened to neogaf, but sony needs to do a investment in psn as a whole. steam is still the most reliable and fastest digital platform I use.07/03/2015 - 3:06pm
PHX Corphttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/psn-is-down-sony-investigating/ not again: PSN is down, Sony investigating07/03/2015 - 3:04pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/2015/07/03/digital-extremes-trespasser-keystone-pc/ if true, this is funny and embarrassing for Digital Extremes. companies need too have better security.07/03/2015 - 2:57pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-destiny-the-hardcore-gamers-slot-machine/2300-6425852/ this is very good, and well researched.07/03/2015 - 12:41pm
InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
 

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