Sega's Aliens vs. Predator
reboot is too gory for Australia's ratings board, which has denied it classification, effectively blocking its release in the region.
The Rebellion-developed title offers too wide and detailed a range of violent gameplay, like dismemberment, neck-breaking and eye damage, the classification board told consumer website GameSpot
Rebellion said in a statement sent to Gamasutra that it's "disappointed" in the board's decision, but added, "As we understand the law in that country, the authorities had no choice, as 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."
Australia lacks a rating for mature content, which often means that games that fall into that category don't get classified. And games without ratings can't be sold in the region, so developers of such games are often blocked from release without edits.
Sega plans to appeal the rating. Appeals against the ratings board decision are seldom successful; Valve undertook the same tactic for Left 4 Dead 2
, was denied, and had to release an edited version
of the game in the region.
Generally, developers must edit the content the board has reported objectionable to reduce what classifiers describe as "impact," and then re-submit the product for another evaluation.
Rebellion says it won't be submitting an edited version for another round of classifications, however. "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," continues the statement.
High-profile titles like Fallout 3
and Left 4 Dead 2
are two more examples of games that have come up against a ratings board many of the region's developers criticize as overly conservative and dated.
Interestingly, the Australian board made something of an exception
for Blizzard's World of Warcraft
, assigning it an M rating and allowing the developer to sell and operate its MMO there.
Many hoped WoW
's success was a sign of progress for mature content in Australia, but Vogster MMO CrimeCraft
, which according to the board rewarded depictions of drug use, was blocked just last week