Left 4 Dead 2 Refused Classification in Australia

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Left 4 Dead 2 Refused Classification in Australia

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Left 4 Dead 2, Valve's upcoming multiplayer zombie killfest, has been refused classification in Australia, meaning it will not be available for sale in the country in its current form.

The original Left 4 Dead was given an MA15+ rating by Australia's Classification Board but the addition of melee weapons to the sequel seems to be a sticking point for the agency. "It is the use of 'melee' weapons such as the crowbar, axe, chainsaw and Samurai sword which inflict the most damage," the board said in its report. "Those close-in attacks cause copious amounts of blood spray and splatter, decapitations and limb dismemberment as well as locational damage where contact is made to the enemy which may reveal skeletal bits and gore. Projectile shots to infected humans can cause abdominal wounds which can reveal innards or even cause intestines to spill from the wounds."

This kind of violence is apparently considered "high impact" in Australia and therefore completely unsuitable for gamers under the age of 18. Since the country has no gamers over the age of 18 anyway, the board decided that there was no point in allowing its sale.

The news was "hugely disappointing" for Chad Polley, the national marketing manager for Gametraders, who was no doubt imagining a multitude of shiny little dollar signs slowly floating out his window. "Left 4 Dead 2 was expected to be even bigger than the original version," he said. "We had huge predictions of sales."

The jig isn't up just yet, however. A representative from distributor EA said the company was in touch with the Office of Film and Literature Classification, presumably to see if changes could be made to get the game under the wire. "(We) are still working through the submission process with the OFLC and want to explore all opportunities before making any comment," the company said.

There is one bit of good news in all this, however: The Classification Board just wrote possibly the best review for L4D2 that Valve could ever hope for. Decapitations and limb dismemberment? Locational damage and spilling intestines? I am so there.

Source: News.com.au

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I'd like to extend my sincerest sympathies to our Australian friends, and I hope that they can get through this difficult time. I just want you to know, we're all rooting for you. Good luck.

I can understand that they don't want this game sold to people below age 18, but why does this automatically warrant a ban of the game completely? Why don't they just stick an 18+ sticker on the box? Can someone from Australia explain this?

Malygris:
There is one bit of good news in all this, however: The Classification Board just wrote possibly the best review for L4D2 that Valve could ever hope for. Decapitations and limb dismemberment? Locational damage and spilling intestines? I am so there.

Thanks for pouring salt on open wounds...

This kind of stuff really needs to stop. The contradictions, the stupidity, the unfairness is only making us look backwards compared to everywhere else. It's not even our choice! Everyone here wants an R18 rating, the average age here is 30, so why is this system still in place...

Michael Atkinson.

He seems to think by using this system we're staying true to our morals... no we're not Michael. We're being forced into your morals. Seriously, just do this one thing and everyone will leave you alone about it and you'll be loved again. Please listen to reason.

I hope they make the changes only for there. Also, Yahtzee better import.

Couldn't they just import the game or get it online from Steam?

Hopefully 4chan will raid the shit out of the classification board.

Woem:
I can understand that they don't want this game sold to people below age 18, but why does this automatically warrant a ban of the game completely? Why don't they just stick an 18+ sticker on the box? Can someone from Australia explain this?

It's because the Australian system doesn't have an R18 rating for games. If a game gets classified over MA15+ then it's "refused classification". Which isn't really banning, just means it can't be sold from retailers here. It's a stupid loophole that's been used for years now and the only person stopping it from changing is Michael Atkinson.

A man who just buries his head in the sand against the outcry of people, not just gamers, yelling for an R18 rating that would bring us up to speed with the rest of the world. You could say he's the Jack Thompson of Australia... only he actually holds a seat of power and still has a job.

(Sorry for double post)

Our classification system is rooted. The first 2 God of War games were no problem. MadWorld? Sure, come right in! Saints Row 2? Welcome to your new home! GTA 4.

Then we censor No More Heroes - removing all the blood and dead bodies. Because that's bad.

Left 4 Dead was fine... Oh, but melee weapons!? That's just unacceptable! Shotguns to the face are politically correct, but using an axe is just rude.

I am glad my kids wont have to think about hitting someone with a blunt object while they torture informants in Saints Row 2.

Epic dickish manouvre on the oflc's part, im glad i live in the uk where games are incredibly rarely banned because of violence.

I feel for the aussie gamers.

Yeah i'm not gonna be happy if we lose the good stuff from the game just because a bunch of moralising dicks in australia don't like it. And i thought the nanny state in england was over the top.

Other than that you have my sympathies!

damn, sounds like they beefed up the death animations for zombies in quite a nice way!!! i'm a little more excited now haha

Yassen is correct. This has meant that games in the past like the GTA series, Manhunt, Postal, Dark Sector, Vietcong and Leisure Suit Larry have been banned, or have had to be modified before they are allowed on sale in Australia. Sometimes it can be minor things changed, such as drug references taken out, violence toned down a tad, or in the GTA series, the ability to beat up prostitutes and steal your money back from them taken out.

Australians have petitioned to have games treated and classified the same as other forms of entertainment, but without progress being made.

Realistically though, there is nothing stopping Australians from importing an overseas uncensored version or banned version of a game in a compatible format.

The Blue Mongoose:
Our classification system is rooted. The first 2 God of War games were no problem. MadWorld? Sure, come right in! Saints Row 2? Welcome to your new home! GTA 4.

Then we censor No More Heroes - removing all the blood and dead bodies. Because that's bad.

Left 4 Dead was fine... Oh, but melee weapons!? That's just unacceptable! Shotguns to the face are politically correct, but using an axe is just rude.

I am glad my kids wont have to think about hitting someone with a blunt object while they torture informants in Saints Row 2.

I'm curious: is the Fallour 3 Point Lookout DLC allowed? You know, the one with the axe. Or does this law not apply to downloadable content?

Malygris:

The jig isn't up just yet, however. A representative from distributor EA said the company was in touch with the Office of Film and Literature Classification, presumably to see if changes could be made to get the game under the wire. "(We) are still working through the submission process with the OFLC and want to explore all opportunities before making any comment," the company said.

Nonono Nooo nononono...NO NO NO...nooooo. No. In case I didn't make that clear: NO.

See, the issue here is, this might mean Valve might remove/alter content for everyone because of this... It's a small possibility, after all Valve has done "localized" content before (TF2 in Germany for instances)... But just the possibility...

I want my localized dismemberment and gore intact.

damn Australia that sucks i really send my condolences to ya for missing out on good games thanks to power mad politicians like Atkinson. I say form a rebellion and try to get him out of office and then exiled.

Woem:
I can understand that they don't want this game sold to people below age 18, but why does this automatically warrant a ban of the game completely? Why don't they just stick an 18+ sticker on the box? Can someone from Australia explain this?

Nothing will happen without mass protests.

Someone enlighten me because I'm not sure exactly how this works...but all of Valve's games are tied directly into Steam. Which means, if you live in Australia, and you have access to Steam...could you not still buy it and download it through Steam?

Or has it been banned from Steam as well in Australia?

It's because of the misconception that gaming is something only children do.

Curses and blast! If only I was able to buy Manhunt, then I would have the knowledge to assassinate Michael Atkinson!

Woem:
I can understand that they don't want this game sold to people below age 18, but why does this automatically warrant a ban of the game completely? Why don't they just stick an 18+ sticker on the box? Can someone from Australia explain this?

Simple, they have a 15+ but no 18+. Because its too graphic its above the 15+, but with nothing else to give it it remains unrated and retailers can't carry it.

Effectively this lets them ban games without banning them.

Woem:
I'm curious: is the Fallour 3 Point Lookout DLC allowed? You know, the one with the axe. Or does this law not apply to downloadable content?

I think DLC flies under the ACB's radar because they don't bother to rate that kind of stuff; maybe they figure if the core game passes their standards they don't have to bother with the expansions?

DaxStrife:

Woem:
I'm curious: is the Fallour 3 Point Lookout DLC allowed? You know, the one with the axe. Or does this law not apply to downloadable content?

I think DLC flies under the ACB's radar because they don't bother to rate that kind of stuff; maybe they figure if the core game passes their standards they don't have to bother with the expansions?

So they could release a "friendly" version and add the gore in a free DLC?

Theres a petition to allow l4d2 sales in australia unsensored for those that think this is archaic. Are we communist china yet?

http://www.petitiononline.com/l4d2inoz/

Remember, just cause ur not australian doesnt mean this wont affect you, valve may potentially change the entire world's copy to please the OFLC

DRADIS C0ntact:
Someone enlighten me because I'm not sure exactly how this works...but all of Valve's games are tied directly into Steam. Which means, if you live in Australia, and you have access to Steam...could you not still buy it and download it through Steam?

Or has it been banned from Steam as well in Australia?

Well no, nothing is stopping us from downloading it from steam.... yet.

If that mandatory internet filter goes through then they'll block sites that sell games that are R18. No, not just blocking us from downloading the game, the whole site. That means steam will be blocked, newgrounds and anywhere else you can think of.

This really is unacceptable.

Thankfully this internet filter probably won't go through. Even if it did, the public backlash would be so immense that they would take it down. Oh wait, that would require the government having common sense. Nah, we're boned.

It's times like these that make me happy I live in a country where even neo-nazi meetings are allowed.

DRADIS C0ntact:
Someone enlighten me because I'm not sure exactly how this works...but all of Valve's games are tied directly into Steam. Which means, if you live in Australia, and you have access to Steam...could you not still buy it and download it through Steam?

Or has it been banned from Steam as well in Australia?

I was under the impression that Steam games were region-locked. So if a game is released in the US on the 10th of a month and in the EU on the 15th, even though the US can DL it off Steam on the 10th, the EU still can't. This of course means that if it never gets released in Australia, it'll never show up on an Aussie's Steam list to buy.

I might be wrong about that though.

As for the more general point: Australia, get your act together. Protecting Children is all well and good, but stopping people who are over 18 from buying a game directed at people who are over 18 is just illogical.

How long would it take to impliment an 18+ rating to games? A week, tops perhaps? If the incumbent Government spearheaded the idea, one would assume they'd have more support from gamers in general - those who are already over 18 and wish to buy games as well as those who are perhaps in their mid teens and can access the games anyway (likely through their parents (yes, I believe all game purchases pre-18 should be at parental discretion)) who will soon hit voting age.

What better way to garner support? It's not like Gamers are a small, secluded sect of society anymore. One need only look at the worldwide sales numbers to see that much.

Malygris:
Since the country has no gamers over the age of 18 anyway, the board decided that there was no point in allowing its sale.

Yahtzee's got a very old voice for a minor! \o/

I am aware that the quote was satirical in nature, thank you.

Malygris:
Left 4 Dead 2 Refused Classification in Australia
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Permalink

l2searchbar nub

lols had to be done (im kidding btw but we did beat you to it)

This is great news (provided you are not an Aussie)!

This is why I hate my Country... FUCK YOU STEPHEN CONROY!!

However, I wasnt going to buy this anyways. But i know a lot of people who did, so i sympathize.

The one thing I hate about living in Australia is this shit. This utter bullshit purely because we don't have an R 18+ rating.

If it wasn't for my slower paced music currently I'd be quite a bit more pissed.

But the oridingal Left for Dead was an 18 as well, so how did Austrialia get that? Was it massively cut?

Why are they so dense that they can't create an 18+ certificate? If they made one this would be sorted out and nobody would be pissed off.

Amnestic:

DRADIS C0ntact:
Someone enlighten me because I'm not sure exactly how this works...but all of Valve's games are tied directly into Steam. Which means, if you live in Australia, and you have access to Steam...could you not still buy it and download it through Steam?

Or has it been banned from Steam as well in Australia?

I was under the impression that Steam games were region-locked. So if a game is released in the US on the 10th of a month and in the EU on the 15th, even though the US can DL it off Steam on the 10th, the EU still can't. This of course means that if it never gets released in Australia, it'll never show up on an Aussie's Steam list to buy.

I might be wrong about that though.

As for the more general point: Australia, get your act together. Protecting Children is all well and good, but stopping people who are over 18 from buying a game directed at people who are over 18 is just illogical.

How long would it take to impliment an 18+ rating to games? A week, tops perhaps? If the incumbent Government spearheaded the idea, one would assume they'd have more support from gamers in general - those who are already over 18 and wish to buy games as well as those who are perhaps in their mid teens and can access the games anyway (likely through their parents (yes, I believe all game purchases pre-18 should be at parental discretion)) who will soon hit voting age.

What better way to garner support? It's not like Gamers are a small, secluded sect of society anymore. One need only look at the worldwide sales numbers to see that much.

Malygris:
Since the country has no gamers over the age of 18 anyway, the board decided that there was no point in allowing its sale.

Yahtzee's got a very old voice for a minor! \o/

I am aware that the quote was satirical in nature, thank you.

@ The bold section
It is illogical. Thats the point. When we have a huge % of gamers in the country over the age of 18, it is very illogical not to have the 18+ rating.

It is a man called Stephen Conroy our current Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy(i think), and I quote "Australia with NOT have an R18+ rating for video games while im in Parliament"

You know the reason why he wont.. he is a Catholic(dont hate me for it, not hating on religion).

So everyone, a round of applause to Stephen Conroy, the 2009 Internet Villain of the Year.

Edit: Stephen Conroy also proposed "Clean Feed" and is still trying to get it passed in Parliament. If you dont know what it is, look it up and you will hate him as all Australians should.

Fortesque:

Amnestic:

DRADIS C0ntact:
Someone enlighten me because I'm not sure exactly how this works...but all of Valve's games are tied directly into Steam. Which means, if you live in Australia, and you have access to Steam...could you not still buy it and download it through Steam?

Or has it been banned from Steam as well in Australia?

I was under the impression that Steam games were region-locked. So if a game is released in the US on the 10th of a month and in the EU on the 15th, even though the US can DL it off Steam on the 10th, the EU still can't. This of course means that if it never gets released in Australia, it'll never show up on an Aussie's Steam list to buy.

I might be wrong about that though.

As for the more general point: Australia, get your act together. Protecting Children is all well and good, but stopping people who are over 18 from buying a game directed at people who are over 18 is just illogical.

How long would it take to impliment an 18+ rating to games? A week, tops perhaps? If the incumbent Government spearheaded the idea, one would assume they'd have more support from gamers in general - those who are already over 18 and wish to buy games as well as those who are perhaps in their mid teens and can access the games anyway (likely through their parents (yes, I believe all game purchases pre-18 should be at parental discretion)) who will soon hit voting age.

What better way to garner support? It's not like Gamers are a small, secluded sect of society anymore. One need only look at the worldwide sales numbers to see that much.

Malygris:
Since the country has no gamers over the age of 18 anyway, the board decided that there was no point in allowing its sale.

Yahtzee's got a very old voice for a minor! \o/

I am aware that the quote was satirical in nature, thank you.

@ The bold section
It is illogical. Thats the point. When we have a huge % of gamers in the country over the age of 18, it is very illogical not to have the 18+ rating.

It is a man called Stephen Conroy our current Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy(i think), and I quote "Australia with NOT have an R18+ rating for video games while im in Parliament"

You know the reason why he wont.. he is a Catholic(dont hate me for it, not hating on religion).

So everyone, a round of applause to Stephen Conroy, the 2009 Internet Villain of the Year.

Edit: Stephen Conroy also proposed "Clean Feed" and is still trying to get it passed in Parliament. If you dont know what it is, look it up and you will hate him as all Australians should.

Actually its Michael Atkinson, SA Attorney-General that is holding it back due to his religious beliefs and parental status

PezNic:

Fortesque:

Amnestic:

DRADIS C0ntact:
Someone enlighten me because I'm not sure exactly how this works...but all of Valve's games are tied directly into Steam. Which means, if you live in Australia, and you have access to Steam...could you not still buy it and download it through Steam?

Or has it been banned from Steam as well in Australia?

I was under the impression that Steam games were region-locked. So if a game is released in the US on the 10th of a month and in the EU on the 15th, even though the US can DL it off Steam on the 10th, the EU still can't. This of course means that if it never gets released in Australia, it'll never show up on an Aussie's Steam list to buy.

I might be wrong about that though.

As for the more general point: Australia, get your act together. Protecting Children is all well and good, but stopping people who are over 18 from buying a game directed at people who are over 18 is just illogical.

How long would it take to impliment an 18+ rating to games? A week, tops perhaps? If the incumbent Government spearheaded the idea, one would assume they'd have more support from gamers in general - those who are already over 18 and wish to buy games as well as those who are perhaps in their mid teens and can access the games anyway (likely through their parents (yes, I believe all game purchases pre-18 should be at parental discretion)) who will soon hit voting age.

What better way to garner support? It's not like Gamers are a small, secluded sect of society anymore. One need only look at the worldwide sales numbers to see that much.

Malygris:
Since the country has no gamers over the age of 18 anyway, the board decided that there was no point in allowing its sale.

Yahtzee's got a very old voice for a minor! \o/

I am aware that the quote was satirical in nature, thank you.

@ The bold section
It is illogical. Thats the point. When we have a huge % of gamers in the country over the age of 18, it is very illogical not to have the 18+ rating.

It is a man called Stephen Conroy our current Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy(i think), and I quote "Australia with NOT have an R18+ rating for video games while im in Parliament"

You know the reason why he wont.. he is a Catholic(dont hate me for it, not hating on religion).

So everyone, a round of applause to Stephen Conroy, the 2009 Internet Villain of the Year.

Edit: Stephen Conroy also proposed "Clean Feed" and is still trying to get it passed in Parliament. If you dont know what it is, look it up and you will hate him as all Australians should.

Actually its Michael Atkinson, SA Attorney-General that is holding it back due to his religious beliefs and parental status

Still... Fuck Stephen Conroy for the Clean Feed thing then. If we do get an R rating, and Clean Feed gets passed, we wont be able to play to anyway.

yeah conroy is a tool aswell, u cant filter the internet, shouldnt even try. Bout the only good thing that is gonna come out of the labor government is the optical fibre network they are gonna build, but thats 10 years away -_-

The money spent on the filter to "protect the children" would be better spent on our police force to actively track down child abuse and pedofiles

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