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 Aliens Vs. Predator  Hits Australia Ratings Roadblock, Rebellion Won't Make 'Sanitized' Version
Aliens Vs. Predator Hits Australia Ratings Roadblock, Rebellion Won't Make 'Sanitized' Version
December 4, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

December 4, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

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.

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Matthew Boyd
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Has nobody explained to the Aussie government that banning the game won't stop people playing it? All it will do is increase piracy in the region. Tut tut.

Russell B
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"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"

That's just the right amount of "snark" that they need. It is absolutely ridiculous the way rating systems are considered to be the be-all end-all in game content, and that's a problem many other countries have, in almost every form of entertainment.

Wake up!

Nathan Hill
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Sorry but 'wake up' won't happen. Australia is kind of in a critical political vacume with our two party system devolving into one conservative, corrupt party and a bunch of stupidly uber conservatives from the late 19th/early 20th century forming the opposition (who went through their half dozenth leadership reform this week due to no confidence in leadership). One man holds the ratings system back in Australia yet he is very small fries compared to the larger political crises facing the country at the moment. Props to Rebellion for taking a stand but as an Australian citizen I'll firmly say it will have 0 effect on the ratings board and just mean anyone who wants to play will pirate. People will whinge and complain but the reality won't change unless this whole notion of global economy actually means global standards, global pricing and global releases.

E Zachary Knight
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Alien, rated M (
003557c/83a234f06bb77f3bca2576710078ea78!OpenDocument )

Aliens, rated M (
003557c/aeaad72ec48317b3ca257671007b0362!OpenDocument )

Alien 3, rated M (
003557c/fc25fc2ff1c867efca257671007ac125!OpenDocument )

Alien: Resurrection, rated MA15 (
003557c/52df81179cdfb549ca2576710079c867!OpenDocument )

Predator, rated M (
003557c/993799fff1c0444bca257671007b0db6!OpenDocument )

Predator 2, rated M (
003557c/5e71996cefaa5953ca257671007a919a!OpenDocument )

Alien VS Predator, rated M (
003557c/21a0a31edd8330a7ca257671007a0a6f!OpenDocument )

Alien VS Predator: Requiem, rated MA15 (
003557c/27893750d5d67ccfca25767100789d8c!OpenDocument )

that is all I have to say.

Nathan Hill
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Um yeah the films were rated M yeah because the film system has a different ratings standard. Edit* Oh and in many cases they have been later re-classified from an R rating after initial release.

Vahid Lancaster
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"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".

YEAH - They don't call them "Rebellion" for nothing :)

I'm so glad to finally hear a gaming company stick to its guns and to release a game exactly as it was intended. I never thought that the Austrialian ratings heads were so stupid.

They don't even realise that by blocking the game, they are actually encouraging piracy.

What are they going to do next, play "Big Brother" and look over everyone's shoulder to make sure that they don't get the game?

Mark Harris
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Nathan, this may be somewhat off topic, but I'm ever so curious. If you would indulge me, what is the political definition of "conservative" in Australia? Words, especially in the political arena, can have vastly different meanings across cultures. In an effort to further understand the political landscape of your country, I'm interested in your definition of a "conservative" party. Thanks!

Tony Dormanesh
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That quote sums it up perfectly! Rebellion rocks for that!!

I'll buy extra versions of this game to make up for that backward country's minor game market.

I keep hearing about this one old fart who is able to hold up the entire government over there. Do they still think games are a children's fad or something?

Lets just not even consider Austrailia when making games...

Adam Piotuch
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I feel sorry for you Aussies. It seems like you guys are going to be raised to become children when you're older. Do you have bed times too? do you get fined for j-walking? Do you get spanked when you say a naughty word? You guys need Crocodile Dundee to run for office.

Then again you guys must live in a Disney world where pixies grant you wishes, and Santa actually visits every year. I'd love to see what you guys consider 'horrific' it must be so tame compared to us 'evil' Americans with such violent video games that, with extensive proven evidence, destroy the minds of our adults to the point that we ensue a bloody rampage on the streets destroying everything in our sights out of lust and addiction to violent, murderous actions without question or thought, only being thankful the entire time for our video game gateways into our adventures of unsolicited madness that we project onto the world as mindless zombies doing the video game industry's bidding; which is their secret plan, to destroy the adults by corrupting their mind during their youth.

Ultimately the only reason why violence exists in this world is because of video games, it isn't because of poverty, hunger, racial or religious oppression, nor is it qualms or disagreements between men, women and children. It is, since before the beginning of time and existence, the mind controlling video games to blame, which have corrupted our youth in such a way that adults have all become tools of destruction. The only violent people I know, are those that have played violent video games, not people in gangs, nor those with unstable mental issues, or oppressed, abused people. Forget the other forms of violent media portrayed in movies, music, books (including the Bible), even world war II, all of those are a direct result from video games.

If you can't distinguish my sarcasm, you lack moral integrity.

Nathan Hill
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@ Mark Harris - I'd be happy to talk further but I'd rather not do it directly here as I don't want to undermine the topic. Give me an alternate means of communication and all good :D.