Aliens vs. Predator banned in Australia

[UPDATE] Sega and Rebellion's xenomorph-versus-hunter-versus-marines reboot refused classification down under; censor cites explicit violence.

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In the '80s-era action film Predator, Austrian beefcake and now California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger famously quipped, "If it bleeds, we can kill it." It seems Australia's Classification Board didn't like the amount of bleeding present in Sega and Rebellion's upcoming Aliens vs. Predator reboot for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, effectively banning the game down under by refusing it classification.

The latest banning comes in the same week that the massively multiplayer online game CrimeCraft was refused classification for showing positive effects from in-game drug use. In Aliens vs. Predator's case, however, it seems violence was the key offender, with a Classification Board spokesperson confirming to GameSpot AU that the game's bloody content was to blame.

Sega Australia has confirmed the banning and has not ruled out appealing the decision. "SEGA Australia can today confirm that the initial submission of Aliens vs Predator has been refused classification by the Classification Operations Board of Australia. We will continue to investigate all options available to us, including the possibility of appeal," the company said in a statement.

In previous game bans in Australia, some developers have opted to make changes to their games in order to pass the classification process. The most recent example is the toned-down version of Left 4 Dead 2. Valve was forced to release the revised edition down under when the original, unedited version was banned.

GameSpot AU has requested a full copy of the board's decision but had not received it at the time of publication.

[UPDATE] The Classification Board has now released its official ruling to GameSpot AU, and Aliens vs. Predator's high-impact violence was indeed a motivating factor for the ban.

"The game contains first-person perspective, close-up depictions of human characters being subjected to various types of violence, including explicit decapitation and dismemberment as well as locational damage such as stabbing through the chest, mouth, throat, or eyes," the board report stated.

"Characters can be stabbed with a Predator's wrist blade or an Alien's tail in depictions reminiscent of impalement. The Predator collects 'trophies' by explicitly ripping off human heads, their spinal columns dangling from severed necks. Heads can be twisted completely around in order to break a character's neck. Eyes can be stabbed through or gouged, leaving empty, bloodied eye sockets.

"It is noted that a player is able to combine manoeuvres together in quick succession, which further increases impact; for example, a Predator can stab a character through both eyes with its wrist blade and rip off their head, with spinal column still attached. Extensive post-mortem damage, including decapitation and dismemberment, is also possible."

Discussion

407 comments
wbezuidenhout
wbezuidenhout

@Oz_Pvt_Parts, Wow, you really seem to be missing the point... The target audience for the developers ARE R18+ (Yes, actually, people older than 18 do play games, I know it's a difficult concept, but try and comprehend it because it will help you a LOT). So they are dead-on with their target audience, the problem is Oz (Playing the part of 'Nanny Nagsalot'), lacking an R18+ rating for games, can't fit it into their MA15 rating (Since the game wasn't made for and doesn't target 15 year olds), and so they ban it (They do, however, have an R18+ rating for movies... Their hypocrisy is almost palatable.).

lightitupf0ol
lightitupf0ol

bwahahhahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahan haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahhaha

Vaultboy-101
Vaultboy-101

But if we aussies order it from another country wont they stop it at customs? Ive seen border security how they take apart all the movies and games and stuff so wouldnt they stop it because its banned? If people have imported before i dont understand how it got through.

Vaultboy-101
Vaultboy-101

And how about with fallout 3 you blow peoples heads off and stuff and arms and legs and everythin but they banned it because of morphine use. Its like Atkinson goes with a pal and they flip a coin. Tails means banned and heads means not banned.But its a rigged coin with two tails so they just ban everything violent. Im not missing the great experience of this game just because some government idiot bans everything.

Vaultboy-101
Vaultboy-101

WAit I never heard anything about getting it in february?I hope thats true so then ill be getting this game on the release day.

Hermes33
Hermes33

@Peligroso_Voce "Ummmm...We don't HAVE an R18 classification...otherwise this would all be a moot point. Get your facts straight before you mouth off." I KNOW you don't have it NOW, but guess what? Checked the news lately? Oh look... surprise surprise! Looks like you might GET it in February 2010 anyway like I said. Hear the whooshing noises over your head? That was my whole point. Aside from making a valid observation about how incredibly gullible people seem to be here - believing everything they read in the "news" at face value - I was just saying that I bet Rebellion KNEW all along about the upcoming public vote and used it by spinning the story to their own advantage. They just played the "banned" card and the "sticking to our principles" story to make themselves look good and boost the sales hype, that's all. But no, you're probably right, Rebellion wouldn't stoop so low to use viral marketing tactics... NOBODY uses that anymore. Rrrrright... :D /sarcasm

CamoBullo
CamoBullo

I'm outraged, honestly. When I first read this in a magazine, I said to myself, "This'll be fantastic game." But now, looking at this, I just feel like having a mass protest. Honestly, I could've rented Left 4 Dead 2 yesterday just to see what was edited. But this... This crosses the line. The closest thing to an R18+ rating is the MA15+ rating, because under where MA15+ and the details of the game, there's a black section where it says "Restricted" in white. And come on, look at Ninja Gaiden II, enemies commit suicide just to attempt to kill you. Blood is everywhere, and I mean everywhere. There can not be one action scene where you don't decapitate someone. The only difference is that the deceased enemies disappear. Team Ninja/Tecmo at least had the decency to do that. Rebellion has to edit the game, they can't let everyone else enjoy it except us. It's bullsh*t.

Oz_Pvt_Parts
Oz_Pvt_Parts

I think that most gamers who voice their opinions over this issue are generally very biased towards the OFLC, or (much more likely) those who want an R18+ category in Aus (which, by the way, is a great country to live in). Nobody I've seen seems to consider both sides of the equation. While the lack of an R18+ rating is unfair on Aussies, everybody must remember that not only the OFLC is to blame... most people who work there are only doing their jobs. And blame also rests with the developers of these banned games... failing to fully consider their target audiences is a MASSIVE mistake. It is up to them to adjust their product(s) and meet expectations (in this case, either the removal of offending material for a subsequent edited version, or staying within the boundaries in the first place). Now, because of the failures of both the developers and the OFLC, gamers will look towards pirated versions.... bypassing the OFLC and denying the developers any profit. Nobody wins.

stormbard
stormbard

Another game I'll have to acquire elsewhere. Unbelievable. I've never loved living in SA, but this is ridiculous!

izzy_reb_02
izzy_reb_02

I came accross a pentition to actually have a R18+ system rating in QLD. So luckily I live in QLD, so if things are about to change, then QLD is a state in Queensland to have a system rating on games R18+ This is wat i found "Finally some people in power are getting in on the act. The parliament of the Australian state of queensland has made the following statement and opened an e-petition: Quote: TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House that the Classification of Computer Games and Images Act 1995 is currently out of step with the wishes of the electorate. Your petitioners, therefore, request the House that it be amended to permit computer games to receive the R18+ classification when they have been refused classification under the Commonwealth Act. " If you live in QLD then sign this http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/EPetitions_qld/CurrentEPetition.aspx?PetNum=1346&lIndex=-1 If this goes to pass then other states will most likely follow to. Except for one

sameera858
sameera858

This is Freaking Bull Sh#T! Why these classifiaction guys go and buy some balls. They just making life harder for everyone! I was waiting for this game for a long time! Now I'm totally Dissapointed! They censor all the R+18 games but I'm pretty sure they not going to change anything about how much R+18 XXX in their computers. Wonder if they like it when theiir favourite porn censored to a MA15+ one! Does it feel the same??? This is totally gay

KillerWabbit23
KillerWabbit23

@ thibbledorfP: You bring up a good point, however, that doesn't justify what they're doing.

Peligroso_Voce
Peligroso_Voce

@HERMES33 "Mark my words. Look for a new "update" in February 2010 when the Classification Board have a "rethink" and finally give it an 18 rating after all." Ummmm...We don't HAVE an R18 classification...otherwise this would all be a moot point. Get your facts straight before you mouth off. @ Aust Gov - Bring on the public consultation for the R18 so we can all get on with enjoying our games!

Hayabusa17
Hayabusa17

actully everyone dont blame australia blame the guy that doesent let violent games come to au

Hayabusa17
Hayabusa17

stupid australia any way wernt the bringin r 18+ games in to australia

bropie
bropie

I am importing this

Latino1982
Latino1982

Well I guess the pirates copies in Australia are going to be high! How many australian gamers are going to download this game? I would do it if my government said: this game is not coming to your country.

poll1sim2
poll1sim2

this is so crap why cant Rebellion just lower the gore down a little bit, and the goverment what frigen tools there trying to turn all games into sutable games for kids WTF, Ive been waiting for this game for nearly a year now and now its not coming out get young people to run the goverment.

thibbledorfP
thibbledorfP

@killerwabbit23. The movie won't be banned because the majority of voters in Australia (in the 35-50 year old range) watch movies, and would be outraged if the govt tried to take that away. Video games are a newer and less mainstream medium, the majority of voters are not familiar with them. So the government can use it as a scapegoat more easily, and violate the rights of video game players much more easily.

bradcv8
bradcv8

who care what the goverment think they can't stop us from getting it, ever heard of buying online. just get a copy from the UK. and the goverment can go get bent.

zerobeo
zerobeo

Im glad that i didnt chose to go to Australia for studies lol

KillerWabbit23
KillerWabbit23

sigh... it had to happen. Again. *crosses out "visiting Australia" on to-do list* Another thing... If this is banned, why isn't the movie? It's just as bad, right? (correct me if I'm wrong)

cube-gage
cube-gage

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

TeaTowlNinja
TeaTowlNinja

Thank god I don't live there anymore, because if I did I'd so be up in arms about the banning of one of THE most successful sci-fi franchises if all time. It's ridculous how facist their rating system is over there, people should have the right to decide for thmeselves if a game is or is not too violent. I mean I grew up on the Alien and Predator films, and I don't remember any occasion where I had the urge to..."stab a character through both eyes with its wrist blade and rip off their head, with spinal column still attached"....Well, beyond the age of 10 :P

SAMARAI117
SAMARAI117

bloody hell!!!!!! i was gonna get this but now its getting BANNED!!!!!! now wat there gonna do a left for dead 2 and make a virson for little kids! people cmon there ruining games like this it wont be the same if it is changed into a crap aus version for 10 yr olds.ppl agree wit me you know its true

ActionManly
ActionManly

"Mummy, did that pixel that was previously occupied by that virtual man's head just turn red?" "Yes it did sonny, yes it did. You are terrible, evil person in the Virtual World." "Mummy, why the heck are you letting me play this R18+ game anyway?" "Because it is MY job, not some moron 'politician's' job to say what is right and not right for my child!"

TongLong
TongLong

LOL!!! Next thing on the banning list, ice cream, puppy dogs, rainbows, and the laughter of children! I think the video game regulatory group down there needs to lay off of the platypus eggs at breakfast or something. Yo want to ban BAD GAMES, ban all of the TV based crap / shovel ware being made for the Wii!!!

zintarr
zintarr

Australia...the new Iran!

cruzerramos
cruzerramos

This is stupid, people should have the freedom to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn't hurt themselves or anyone else, which this game certainly will not.

nevryn
nevryn

@Hermes33 You're one of those people that thinks the government is putting fluoride in the drinking water so they can take over your mind aren't you? This has nothing to do with advertising and more to do with pre-planning. A game is required to be rated in order to be sold. Why in the world would companies WAIT till after the game is finished and printed to see what a notoriously difficult review board will make them change? It would be a total waste of money. Instead you see what the board will say before you spend money printing all those DVDs to send, and decide if it's worth making a localized copy or not. Perhaps banned is the wrong word, but then you're just arguing semantics. But arguing they do this just for advertisement sake is just moronic and paranoid.

partytimekegs
partytimekegs

I'm definitely never going to Australia. Glad I wasn't born there.

Irve
Irve

I hope Rebelion and Sega stick to their guns on this one and people in Oz just import from NZ

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

I am just happy the game is this close to completion.

mabbb
mabbb

When I watch the news after every weekend I always see violence and drunkeness and they go together . There are many reasons why violence happens but the common denominator is that people are not in control of themselves . This has nothing to do with a video game . Australia has strict gun laws which is fine . But it doesn't stop the violence . People get bashed and stabbed instead . It is people who are out of control ! So the government should be asking . What are the things that contribute to people being out of control ?

mabbb
mabbb

It is all to do with seeming to do the right thing about the prevention of violence . So blame the video game . Maybe they should make a game about doctors performing abortions . Oh they couldn't ban that because the Victorian government made into law the removal of a baby from the womb in 2008. Oh I.m sorry I just talked about the real world not a video game !So is an abortion an act of violence or is it simply an operation ?If a feutus is a part of the womans body then why does he/she have an independent blood group and type . Considering we are on the subject of blood ! I have never heard of someone doing something violent because they were pretending to be an Alien or a predator .

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

It's crazy that AUS still doesn't have an 18+ rating. Why is that anyway? Does the Australian government think people stop playing games once they reach 15 years old?

Chickenesta
Chickenesta

Would most of this be fixed if Australia had in place an 18+ or 21+ certification

Airpirate_basic
Airpirate_basic

i think it is the height of hypocrisy that a country that used to forcibly remove mixed-race children from their families and send them to internment centers (until the 1970's, no less) thinks this 'violent' game is dangerous and should be banned.

cadburysgalaxy
cadburysgalaxy

@Hermes33 lol! hit the nail on the head!! this is proof why viral marketing tactics are used so much. just look at all the 'angry' comments n people sayin how much they want the game now! most ppl are far too stupid these days to realize a game can't be banned before the official release, they just love to complain about nothing, love being dumb, love being scammed and lied to! proof that SPIN sells.

Depresso
Depresso

Frankly I don't sharing all the condemnation for the Classification Board who have a very serious and responsible job to do. Surely The developers could have included the option to tone down the game violence. As for Crimseshaft, it serve them right, I think one thing is to entertain the other is to distribute mindless material which is promote the use of drugs. At some point some one has to draw the line. It's not what you show is how you show it, the angle and stance you take that makes a big difference.

spOOoOOn
spOOoOOn

"Characters can be stabbed.... ....reminiscent of impalement" Do these people really get paid for making these earthshattering connections?

CurvedSword
CurvedSword

@ Thereisnotri yeh description which australians use as they think the game is disgusting is what makes us want the game - stupid australians

Thereisnotri
Thereisnotri

What a great advert for the game! After reading the last paragraph of the ruling I can't wait to buy it and play as a Predator ;D

izzy_reb_02
izzy_reb_02

There are games like doom 3 and stuff and it got rated 17+ so.. cant they sumhow change the ratting. Like gosh there are other games that are volience like this game but aint as bad. I wuldnt be happy if they have to edit this game just to sell it in australia. Coz It wuld like the true way of how the species kill each other n stuff. it would be sad if they dont show their true nature on how they hunt n how they kill.

izzy_reb_02
izzy_reb_02

There are other games that are like rated 18 but still went through. Like Turok was like stabbin dinosaurs in the eye when they come close to u and stuff and how u see the T-Rex head blown off.. And Quake 4 had the strogg stabb in the heart of the marines n stuff.. There are other games still went through even though it had volience like that. Its Sad.. Really it is.

Perth2008
Perth2008

Well Atkinson has been fairly consistent, although unpopular, in his message/crusade ... even though OFLC hasn't been. I don't think things will change too much on banning certain media/games, especially as the Liberal Party have shifted from a centrist platform back to the far right (and debatably religious right). So unless changes in legislation to permit R18+ ratings are passed soon, under Labour, it will only get tougher.

wexorian
wexorian

wow another game banned in Australia hehe. they could sell under 18 year it should be enough + people will get game after all they cannot ban player PC or platform after all :P