The Classification Board of Australia today revoked its decision to classify Tecmo Koei's 3D fighter Dead or Alive: Dimensions for Nintendo's 3DS console with a PG (Parental Guidance) rating.
The game was initially classified by the board on February 8, 2011, with the consumer advice of "mild violence and sexualised gameplay"; however, the board now says that new information about the game's contents led to the decision to revoke the initial PG rating.
"Information provided to the Board last week suggested that the game contained content not drawn to the Board's attention in the original classification application," a spokesperson for the board told GameSpot AU. "After considering the response to a show cause notice issued last Thursday, June 2, the Board made the revocation decision. Dead or Alive: Dimensions is now unclassified and cannot be sold in Australia unless it is re-submitted for classification."
The issue first came to light earlier this month, when media reports highlighted that the game was pulled from sale in Europe over child pornography concerns. According to the reports, the female characters in the game were described as being under the age of 18 in the versions of the game in question, making the Australian rating of PG unacceptable. However, Nintendo Australia at the time confirmed that the characters' ages were not listed in the Australian version of Dead or Alive: Dimensions. At the time, a spokesperson for the Minister of Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor, told media that O'Connor was concerned about the issue and was told that the Classification Board had already asked Nintendo for more information about the game.
This led to the board sending Nintendo a show cause notice, giving the publisher a chance to argue why the game should not have its classification revoked. According to Nintendo, the fault lies with the original application made with the Classification Board for the game's rating, which was done by the game's initial distributor THQ, who usually distributes Tecmo Koei titles in Australia.
"When Nintendo Australia agreed to distribute the Dead or Alive: Dimensions game in Australia, it had already been submitted for classification by another video game company," a spokesperson for Nintendo told GameSpot Au. "It was classified PG (Parental Guidance) by the Classification Operations Branch. Nintendo Australia did not submit the classification. The application did not provide adequate information regarding the contents of the game."
Federal Minister for Home Affairs told media in a statement that the board's decision to revoke the PG rating for Dead or Alive: Dimensions was a welcome one.
"The material in this game is clearly not appropriate to be played by children. I am pleased the Classification Board took swift action to address community concerns."
Nintendo told GameSpot AU that Dead or Alive: Dimensions has now been resubmitted to the board for a new classification.
THQ has been contacted for comment. Stay tuned to GameSpot AU as we update the story.