Game Developer Won't Edit 'Aliens vs. Predator' To Appease Australian Censors

from the it's-for-adults dept

Rose M. Welch alerts us to the news that game developer Rebellion has decided not to resubmit an edited version of its game Aliens vs. Predator after it was rejected by the Australian Classification Board for being too violent. The company stated that it agrees the game is not suitable for children:
"We agree strongly that our game is not suitable for game players who are not adults... it is bloody and frightening, that was our intent."
But Australia apparently doesn't have an option for such "mature" content, and Rebellion seems to recognize how ridiculous that is:
"We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices."
Hopefully, things like this will make Australia reconsider its censorship of such content.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:38am

    Just one man is in the way of Australia changing its policies. ONE MAN.

    How ridiculous is that?

     

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    Robert Ring (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:40am

    Good for them. Australia is notorious for requiring video games to be censored. It is ridiculous that they feel they have to protect their *adult* population as well as the kids.

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:51am

    "But Australia apparently doesn't have an option for such "mature" content..."

    So mature games cannot be sold in Australia. So are games such as Grand Theft Auto edited to fit the law? And if such games are so edited, what's the point in playing them?

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:02am

      Re:

      They are ether edited or outright banned. That's the exact reason I got Postal 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. They got banned in Australia and I thought "oh, I need to see what this is about." Turns out they were two of the better games I've played.

      So now I need to go out and get AVP. Hopefully Australia won't do this much longer, it's only a matter of time before they ban a game that sucks.

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:22am

        Re: Re:

        Wait, I retract the MW2 thing. It was banned in Russia not Australia.

         

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          Confused, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wait ... MW2 is not violent?
          Or is that violence ok then.

           

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            Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 8:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Don't know. I don't even know if it was or wasn't banned in Australia. I just know that I picked it up after I heard that Russia banned it for the airport section. I can also see why they didn't like that one, not worth a ban but it was intense.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 8:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          it was banned in russia because of the level where 4 russian terrorists walk through an airport and slaughter everyone in the airport (men, women, children, everyone) and then kill the player (an american spy) to make it look like the americans were the bad guy so it would touch off an invasion of the US which takes place later in the game. I guess they don't understand its just a game (pretty violent but still just a game).

           

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        senshikaze (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re:

        but...
        postal 2 sucked ass...

        :)

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:36am

      Re:

      Left 4 Dead 2 went under the knife to appease the Aussie censors. The most noticeable change is that all the bodies disappear instantly.

      comparison
      |
      V

      http://kotaku.com/5395571/aussie-l4d2-gets-a-deep+clean-sanitizing

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:02am

    They are making the same mistake that the US attempts to make with the internet, trying to make it safe for everyone. Real life isn't safe for everyone, so why should the net, video games, etc?

    Australia is becoming the biggest nanny state of all.

     

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    bleh, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:11am

    Yeah this country is becoming more and more shit with this kinda stuff, it's all the shitty parents who don't want to look after their own children that they only had for the baby bonus...

     

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      iNtrigued (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 8:52am

      Re:

      Yeah this [shitty] country is becoming more and more shit with this kinda [shit], it's all the shitty parents who don't want to look after their own [shitty] children that they only had for the [shitty] baby bonus... [Shit!]

      There you go, added a few more shits in there for you. Your Welcome.

       

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    John Doe, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    Can you say Pirate; sure I though you could...

    So what Australia is saying is you will have to pirate this game if you want to play it there. So much for protecting the adults.

     

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      Chill, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:31am

      Re: Can you say Pirate; sure I though you could...

      No. It isn't saying much of anything, except that it want to censor stuff. There is this thing, its called your local import section. You can buy uncut games there.

      Of course if you don't want to pay an exorbitant mark-up, just torrent it.

       

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        John Doe, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 7:43am

        Re: Re: Can you say Pirate; sure I though you could...

        The problem is, you can't really sensor stuff anymore (if you ever could). They can ban it all they want, but there is always a way to get it.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:31pm

        Re: Re: Can you say Pirate; sure I though you could...

        It illegal to import or sell a game that has been refused classification in Australia. so basically, yes, the only option is to pirate it.

         

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    Frosty840, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:37am

    The outright daft thing is that Michael Atknison's stance on clamping down on 18-rated games has caused games rated as 18+ in other countries to be rated 15+ in Australia, making them more easily available to children, while the banned games are disproportionately kept out of the hands of actual adults.

    A nicely counterproductive policy there, I'm sure you'll agree.

    Can't remember if Mike linked this at the time, but here's a link to one of the stories surrounding the hilariously ill-informed standard reply letter sent to people who question this censorship: http://www.gameculture.com/2009/11/16/australian-attorney-general-expresses-unabashed-support-censor ship-letter-aussie-gamer

     

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    WhereThereIsAWillThereIsAWay, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 5:53am

    You Know - like porn

    Can you have someone ship the game to you down under in a plain brown wrapper?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:11am

      Re: You Know - like porn

      There's no problem with buying uncensored versions from online retailers. The OFLC rules only apply to games *sold* in Australia. If you were to, say, buy the US version of a game from Hong Kong, they have no control over it.

      The lack of a proper R18+ rating for games just means that they cannot be sold in Australian retail stores, which as a previous poster has already pointed out, means that many such games are tweaked and then released under an M15 classification, often inappropriately. GTA IV and Fallout 3 are prominent examples.

      So this absurd rule

      a) wastes the developers' time and money,
      b) wastes the gamers' time and money,
      c) costs the retailers in sales and reputation,
      d) makes Australia look like a retarded backwater on the world stage,
      e) compromises the artistic intent of the game,
      f) does nothing to keep the banned games out of the hands of those who really want them,
      g) whilst simultaneously making some portion of the games more readily available to kids.

      Basically Atkinson is an assclown with no grasp of the situation, or ability to think critically.

       

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        athe, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:00pm

        Re: Re: You Know - like porn

        Actually, I'm pretty sure it's illegal here in Australia to import any media that has been Refused Classification. Chances are you wont get caught, but Customs do have the right to inspect incoming packages.

        Cheers,
        athe.

         

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    Michael Lockyear (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:07am

    Excellent! We all need to give the finger to censorship. I hope they do not pay tax to the Australian government on copies they sell online (to Australians).

     

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    mike42 (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:20am

    That explains it...

    This is why the best DIY electronics kits come out of Australia. With no violent video games or porn, what else does a geek have to do with his time?

     

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    Pugs, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:30am

    Fair play to Rebellion for not bowing down to Atkinson, if they don't allow the game they lose out on all it's sales, which will probably be quite high. Their loss, and not Rebellion's problem, anyone who wants the game will be able to import it easily.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:50am

    Awesome, I'll buy a copy to help offset the Politically-Correct-Fail Madness. Maybe I'll just buy two.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:51am

    Odd how they never seem to have that opinion on movies... Like SAW for instance..

     

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    sniperdoc (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 6:57am

    Frickin' AWESOME

    Rebellion deserves a pack on the back. That is an amazing statement and nations need to take note.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 7:11am

    Props to Rebellion, nt

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 7:56am

    "South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has become infamous down under as the man who's blocked an entire country from importing and selling games that are freely available in nearly every other developed country in the world save (on occasion) Germany."

    venezuela will actually have a video game ban starting in early 2010. Australia has it easy compared to them

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 9:17am

      Re:

      the venezuela law is aimed to curb the skyrocketing murder rate in that country....

      hmmm - it would seem to me that the murder rate might be more due to the fact that their dictator leader is a champion of policies that have impoverished his people, restricted freedoms and killed liberties. I think that is more the reason they have a high murder rate than some stupid video game. When will people learn. Communism and socialism breed violence and poverty. But rather than rise up and defeat communist dictators in Venezuela or bonehead assclowns in Australia or fight against the slide to socialism that this jackass obama is taking us to in the US, I guess it is easier and safer to just blame the video games. Sweet.

       

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    william (profile), Dec 9th, 2009 @ 9:31am

    "We will not be releasing a sanitized or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices."

    It's a Rebellion against the Australian Government, see?

    sorry I couldn't resist. XD

     

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    Mechwarrior, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Aussies can buy the games online, though. Nothing is keeping them from buying off of Steam or Direct2Drive, right?

    Or what about buying North American consoles and playing our localized games?

     

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      athe, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 4:03pm

      Re:

      Online retailers like Steam have to abide by the classifications into the country into which they are selling. For example, L4D2 on Steam is the cut down version if purchased in Australia (though there are ways of tricking Steam into thinking you're in another country).

      Cheers,
      athe.

       

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    Anthony, Dec 9th, 2009 @ 12:29pm

    Brisbane

    It's totally stupid that the Attorney General in every state needs to agree to the law change. It's a disgrace that games like Modern Warfare 2 and Grand Theft Auto are edited down to the 15+ level rather than allowing in the 18+ version. Bravo on this developer not editing the game. If more developers start refusing to edit, then there might be more action on allowing 18+ games. Unfortunately the ever AG must agree law is in the consitution so the federal government can't just change the law. Maybe what the federal government should hold a referendum on changing the AG rule, then once passed the government can implement the rating.

     

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    Price Per Head Sportsbook, Jul 31st, 2010 @ 3:44am

    Go Rebellion! Game censorship is a precedent we must avoid at all cost. Australia needs to renew it's laws according to the century we're in.

     

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