South Australian Attorney General John Rau says the state is finally ready to adopt a long-proposed R18+ adult rating for games, but only if the lower MA15+ rating is eliminated and all games in the category pushed into the new, higher rating.
The Australian government has been pushing for
an R18+ game rating, which would allow games targeted at adults to be released rather than banned as "unclassified" in the country.
But these efforts have long been held up by the conservative southern state
and its previous attorney general, Michael Atkinson, whose approval for the change was necessary along with that of five other state attorneys general.
Now, the Australian federal government has indicated it will likely introduce an R18+ rating on its own if the attorneys general don't agree to one in their next meeting in July. This would leave each state to decide on its own whether or not to embrace the new rating.
If that happens, Rau tells Gamespot Australia
his state would go along with the proposal, but "with the quid pro quo that MA15+ is eliminated as a classification and all games that are now rated MA15+ will be made R18+."
The change, Rau said, would help ensure that there is "a clear gap between material for adults and material for children and empower responsible parents by making sure game classifications are helpful."
Rau, who replaced Atkinson last March
, says he has come to this decision after 12 months of deliberations on the matter, and the he has the support of South Australia's cabinet for his proposal.
Titles that receive adult-level ratings in other countries often receive an MA15+ rating in Australia, the highest currently available, rather than going unrated and thereby being banned from sale in the country.
Some such titles would likely be re-rated if an R18+ rating was introduced country-wide, with other previously unclassified games released under the new adult rating.