A version of Left 4 Dead 2 will launch on time in Australia after all. The region's classification board had refused to rate the game thanks to its violent and gory content, but Valve has undertaken edits sufficient to earn an MA 15+ rating, which will allow it to be sold.
"No wound detail is shown and the implicitly dead bodies and blood splatter disappear as they touch the ground," says the Board in its full report (.PDF warning). "The game no longer contains pictures of decapitation, dismemberment, wound detail or piles of bodies lying about the environment."
Valve and distributor Electronic Arts had appealed the board's original decision, which was that Left 4 Dead 2's realistic, frenetic and unrelenting violence" is "high in impact... and therefore unsuitable for persons under the age of 18 to play."
EA says it still hopes to release the unedited version in the region, but the modified edition of the game was necessary to ensure it made its launch date.
"We are waiting until we get the results back from the resubmitted full version, just in case it gets classified after working with the OFLC, we would much prefer to release that one," EA spokesperson Cameron Jenkins told Australia's News.com.
Australian gamers continue to suffer for the lack of a category for mature content equivalent to the ESRB's M rating; titles that fall into this category are refused classification by the government's Classification Board, which effectively bans them from an as-is release in the region without often significant edits.
In August Tom Crago, president of the region's Game Developers Association of Australia, spoke out, calling the classfication system "antiquated" and a "joke," stating that "we are embarrassed at how backward our government is."