According to a posting
at the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), the entity has refused to give official classification to Eidos' upcoming Atari Australia-distributed video game version of Reservoir Dogs
, meaning that the game cannot be sold in stores.
The game's application for classification was filed by Atari, the game's publisher in Australia, but it appears that application failed to comply with the country's classification guidelines (G, PG, M, MA15+), since the content was apparently too extreme to do so. However, the official OFLC explanation of the reasons for the banning is yet to be posted on the Government institution's website. A report on the APC website
notes that, when asked if Atari planned to resubmit an amended version of the game for reclassification, PR and Promotions Manager David Wildgoose replied: “That’s the end of the matter.”
Due to the game's unclassified status, the decision by the OFLC has made it illegal to sell or rent the game in Australia. The announcement is particularly notable because Reservoir Dogs
is not likely to be released until at least September, according to many release lists, so it seems likely that Atari filed a beta version for classification ahead of time to avoid the recent troubles
it ran into with Marc Ecko's Getting Up
, which "was refused classification three days before its worldwide release", according to a statement made at the time.
Due to a quirk in Australia's classification system, it is impossible for game titles to be rated MA18+, a mature rating which can be applied to games, meaning that games in Australia can either be rated MA15+ or banned entirely. In recent months, this topic has come under more intense discussion in Australia, Electronic Frontiers Australia renewing the call for a MA18+ rating to be instituted, since Australia is one of the only major Western countries not to allow 'adult' classification of games.
Thus, the country has one of the strictest histories of video game censorship in the Western world, outside of Germany, having previously banned titles including Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
, and NARC