Australia Overturns Aliens vs. Predator Ban

Australia's Classification Review Board has overturned the Office of Film and Literature Classification's decision of refusing to rate Rebellion's upcoming Aliens vs. Predator video game, which prevented the game from being sold in the country.

The reversal follows a formal appeal from Aliens vs. Predator publisher Sega, with developer Rebellion having previously promised "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."

The PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game has now been rated MA 15+--the highest possible game rating under current Australia law--with the board writing:

In the Review Board's opinion the violence depicted in the game can be accommodated within the MA 15+ category as the violent scenes are not prolonged and are interspersed with longer non violent sequences. The violence is fantastical in nature and justified by the context of the game, set in a futuristic science-fiction world, inhabited by aliens and predators. This context serves to lessen its impact. The more contentious violence is randomly generated and is not dependent on player selection of specific moves.

At the time of the initial decision, Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification cited the February-due title's "various types of violence" as an issue, explaining that "the Predator collects 'trophies' by explicitly ripping off human heads, their spinal columns dangling from severed necks...heads can be twisted completely around...eyes can be stabbed through or gouged, leaving empty, bloodied eye sockets...extensive post-mortem damage, including decapitation and dismemberment, is also possible."

Word of Sega and Rebellion's successful appeal follows an earlier unsuccessful appeal from Valve, which then released a censored version of Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia after the uncensored edition was twice denied classification.

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 21, 2009 10:08 AM

    Money changed hands here.

    • reply
      December 21, 2009 10:34 AM

      seems kind of sudden, doesnt it?

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      December 21, 2009 10:44 AM

      I'm of this opinion as well.

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      December 21, 2009 10:47 AM

      It's not that the same people changed their minds, rather that an independent board over-ruled them.

    • reply
      December 21, 2009 11:42 AM

      For the sake of their economy it did in a sense.

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      December 21, 2009 2:09 PM

      Definiately not bribery. Australia has little corruption.

    • reply
      December 21, 2009 9:56 PM


    • reply
      December 22, 2009 3:25 AM

      I would tend to agree. Sega's argument seems all to similar to Valve's. For them to allow AVP and not L4D2 without some kind of censor leads me to believe there was some under the table deals going on.

      • reply
        December 22, 2009 4:20 AM

        It could just be that pressure is building up for the Australian govt. to stop being retarded on this issue and we're now starting to see an about face. (This isn't the only sign of change recently, either.)

        If L4D2 and AVP had been released in the opposite order maybe they would have swapped outcomes.

        Could also be that money was involved -- and I'd not be surprised if the companies involved had been lobbying the govt. at least -- but it's not definite.

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