EA responds to L4D 2 banning down under

EA "surprised" at Australia's refusal to classify Valve's upcoming zombie shooter; claims adults should have the right to choose.

[UPDATE] Valve announced an update today on the classification status of Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia. The title, targeted for release on November 17, was refused classification by the Classification Board of Australia on September 17. Valve appealed this decision on September 23.

Last week was a bad week for gamers in Australia, with the Classification Board banning Valve’s upcoming zombie shooter sequel Left 4 Dead 2. The game was refused classification (RC) last Thursday, making it illegal to sell, rent, or promote the title in Australia.

The Board’s decision rested on the violence factor, with the Board finding that "the game contains realistic, frenetic, and unrelenting violence, which is inflicted upon 'the Infected' who are living humans infected with a rabieslike virus that causes them to act violently." The ruling goes on to list the various melee weapons that can be used in the game, including a crowbar, axe, chainsaw, and sword, citing that attacks that arise from the use of these weapons cause "copious amounts of blood spray and splatter, decapitations, and limb dismemberment."

Today, publisher EA finally commented on the banning. Tiffany Steckler, an EA spokesperson, told GameSpot AU that adults should have the right to choose what games they play.

"It’s funny that a place like Australia, which has come up with some pretty violent material in the past with something like Mad Max, can effectively ban video games for the same reason," she said.

"EA believes that adults should have the right to make their own choices when it comes to the content they consume."

Steckler would not comment on whether Valve will make any changes to the game following the Classification Board of Australia’s decision.

Left 4 Dead 2 marks the fourth game banned in Australia this year, joining Risen, Sexy Poker, and Necrovision--the latter two of which were approved for sale after being resubmitted with changes. The original Left 4 Dead game was given the maximum MA 15+ rating when it went on sale in Australia in November last year.

Stay tuned to GameSpot AU for more information on Left 4 Dead 2 as it comes to hand.

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71 comments
spazz212
spazz212

lol l4d1 is more violent than the l4d2 cut version

555671ari
555671ari

@ supras989 HIGH FIVE BUDDY! you said it! they could really use an r18 classifaction to their advantage

spetz_naz_basic
spetz_naz_basic

@forgivemefazha: Publishing company in wanting to maximise profits shocker. How dare they, indeed. Besides which, EA could have quietly asked Valve to tone down the violence to get it past the OFLC, and thus be able to 'push its product' into Australia. So for one of the biggest publishers in the world, known mostly for its family-friendly games, to come out with a strong statement like this is very commendable, and lends much weight and respectability to the argument for R18+.

forgivemefazha
forgivemefazha

"EA believes that adults should have the right to make their own choices when it comes to the content they consume." I'm sorry, but that quote is laughable. EA believes in one thing: Profit.The more countries it can push its product into, the better.

RastafariXalpha
RastafariXalpha

FARKIN getting sick of this country, but meh, buy it online from the uk, easy cheaper!!! and you can still play it in aus :):) this ban means nothing there is always a way around

inwmickey
inwmickey

what about resident evil 5? if they bann this L4D2 zombie game why dont they bann resident evil 5?

benboz
benboz

Bring L4D2 to Australia. All us gamers loved the first one, so we want the second one. Stupid Classification Board.

Ps1-2-3
Ps1-2-3

Can someone please tell the Government here that the age of the average gamer is 33 years old and that the average age of the movie watcher is 16.

supras989
supras989

And our country made damn Wolf Creek!! and Saw!!! what the eff, we need an R+18 rating now, because if L4D2 comes out with changes made to make an MA15 standard, those changes will be so minimal that the young kids will still be getting a crazy dosage of violence, if they wanted to be smart about this they would stop doing stupid stuff like this and bring out an R18 rating and then try to enforce their classifications on games better!!, with an R18 rating they would protect the minds of people far far better, adults can handle these games maturely, the board doesnt understand how big the crowd of 18+ gamers is -_-

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

Australia really need to fixed up there ratting system. All it does it let under ages get violent games and then the occasional game gets banned. Why is it when just about every other country has r18 Australia can't? funny how many games here nz which have the aust ma15+ printed on the box have a r18 slapped over the top l4d is one of those.

sinusta
sinusta

First of all the board are retarded for the following reason. The zombies aren't infected with a rabies like virus, but yes they are infected by a virus. They're not living anymore. They're zombies. I heard a lot of people want to go and take this to the news and yes I have a couple of points which could be in our favour so the media don't turn on us. 1) It increases piracy. People WILL download the game and play cracked servers even if they wanted to buy it. 2) Retailers will lose money as the Xbox 360 players will go and import it to Australia or they will go and download pirated region free copies. 3) Violence in the country is already as bad as it can get. Children killing each other in schoolyard fights. Gangs and crime organisations. I don't see how games are going to make it any worse :\ 4) Michael Atkinson needs to gtfo and give us our rating

Scorchgame
Scorchgame

You can see how boring it is to live in Australia with all those tax and rip-off prices. Everyone in Australia are either too lazy or too hard working. Cant get there ass on to the road and protest? The government seems like a free one controlling people's minds and telling us to shut the damn up. O by the way, couldn't even predict a bloody dust storm. What government is this. Well you can blame the police. Very rubbish police here, they will arrive the next the when u call them although they are just a few steps away. THEY promote violence, why not ban the police?

Scorchgame
Scorchgame

Thats what Australians get for not protesting

1r3ap3r
1r3ap3r

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

Deregas
Deregas

Normal individuals are not going to be influenced by a video game into committing violent crimes. Those that will be influenced are those suffering from a pre-existing mental condition and should be getting help for that rather then banning the games.

spacemariens22
spacemariens22

there reason for letting movies threw are they say that there not interactive like games are i know its such a lame reason and left for dead 2 got banned because of the hand held weapons sword axe ect. where as left 4 dead 1 didnt have them. and whats this b.s about humans with rabies? it clearly states on the back cover of the first one how will you survive the ZOMBIE! apocolipse! not humans with rabies apocolipse!

pearcinator
pearcinator

Although i dont really care for L4D2 (i didnt find the 1st one all that good really). We should still have R rated games...i remember back in the day when goldeneye 007 came out and it was rated MA 15+. I was 8 years old and my parents liked the game, they enjoyed watching us (me and my brothers) play the game because we all knew that its NOT REAL! If Mass Effect 2 gets banned here for whatever reason there will be hell to pay!

Tronzo
Tronzo

They're zombies, they're not real... So we have morons who can't tell the difference between a game and reality deciding what we sane adults can and can't play?

Atari_7200
Atari_7200

Hang on, am I dead? Did EA finally get something right!?

Decrate
Decrate

good thing i live in north america

FloatingCorps3
FloatingCorps3

I know you have to be pretty retarded to go on a killing spree from a Video Game I mean I played GTA when I was 7 but I didn't go kill everybody, If a kids is that mentally fractured shouldn't their parents be watching? Ah Ha that's it!! Soccer Mums!! We need to drive all Soccer Mums out of Australia! I know it seems sadistic but I swear I sometimes think People need a licence to become parents

Killingspree303
Killingspree303

If violent games are that bad, why isn't violent movies as bad as games? I just don't get why games containing much violence, sex and/or drugs are so "dangerous" to play. For instance, just because a kid who had played GTA for two days in a row killed real cops, doesn't meant that every person is as retarded as him in their head. It's not like we start to do what we did in the games we play...

msg21998
msg21998

but good thing i live as U.S.

Inconnux
Inconnux

The nanny state strikes again! don't think for yourselves people let the government think for you!

shamashayde
shamashayde

Throughout the 80's Australia was making heaps of the best B-grade zombie / horror movies of the time and they were bloody as hell but totally F***in awesome, I dont see why they ban a game that revels in the type of film making that we wre so successful for.

shamashayde
shamashayde

Its ridiculous that the Aussie Government are living so far in the past when it comes to censorship and what ppl want!. I was only a child roughly 5 years old when the Master System came out, fair enough that videogaming back then was targeting family entertainment as its biggest market but believe it or not my dad was always much more excited then I was every time a new console came out since (not to say I wasn't). Its 2009 now and my dad still gets much more excited over the consoles. The games these days might be much more realistic and mature as far as storylines, gore, and references go. But the fact is that family gaming is probably not as large a market these days with online play now offering mature people to play with or against each other and Single player offering a much deeper story that no movie could do in 90 minutes. If they are banning a game like lfd2 for something like dismemberment and gore there are a heap of games that we also shouldnt have got and why not ban lfd1? If an adult wants to play something violent why not allow it most of the time its funnier than playing a game based on ready steady cook (besides the idea that someones actually making the game). I for one (insert bold assumption -along with many other Aussies) will just find other ways of getting an international copy or something along those lines, which means our government wont be making any kind of tax on the 100's of 1000's of copies that would have sold here on that huge title.

lancebalog
lancebalog

can someone tell me why they passed lfd1 and not 2?

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

There should simply be a very strong Adult rate, where adults must show ID to prove age then they get a game with that rate. Implement a strong law like alcohol or cigarretes must only be sold over age. It cant be that hard. If someone wants the game really bad they are going to import it anyways!

blasterchief
blasterchief

This is all because of one old c*nt unwilling to move his ass out of the way for someone that's actually played a video game.

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

If the game is rated for adults, then theoretically it should only be sold to adults. Why ban a game for adults? Oh wait, the government doesn't enforce the ratings, they just ban the games? Why have ratings then if they aren't going to be enforced? Slippery slope....

xApocalypse2012
xApocalypse2012

Wow...that's totally unfair. I say that's a threat to our justice! And I'm from the U.S! I believe a threat to justice somewhere is a threat to justice everywhere. It'll travel to the U.S....we'll eventually get some bans...Aren't some politicians already trying this bs? Where is our freedom?

jwsoul
jwsoul

So they can watch Saw in down under which to be honest is sick human torture but they will not allow the some what cartoon violence of L4D 2 to be sold! Give me a break! Who ever decided this has probably never played a game in there lives.

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

takitoes makes a good point with the Saw movies. They are MA15+ in Australia, full of graphic violence - one that comes to mind from the most recent, Saw V, is the pendulum trap at the beginning of the movie. Games aren't only for kids. Plenty of adults are gamers. We need an R18+ rating. The end.

AndreasRoeder
AndreasRoeder

Banning such games only promotes illegal downloads and e-piracy.

Gamer4Iife
Gamer4Iife

Australia's game bans are getting more and more random and unfair... :? The funny thing is, gory movies are totally allowed there. Oh, but that's right... Video gamez turn us into teh ser1al k1llaz. :roll: Gimme a **** break.

The_Third_Place
The_Third_Place

"tonyhawksP8 Posted Sep 23, 2009 6:50 am PT Why wasn't Fallout 3 banned then?" It was, do some research

vilester1
vilester1

The government might actually take the classification thing more serious now since a big company like EA games is voicing such concerns and whether EA games will actually alter the game is still in question, cause whats L4D2 going to be like if melee weapons is remove?? Isn't that the main selling point for the game??

unkipower
unkipower

i hate living in Australia :(

SaintRasmus
SaintRasmus

What the he.. is "Sexy Poker" ? and where can i buy it;)

LordFinigan
LordFinigan

People should have the right to choose what content they consume, plain and simple.

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

Some people might not like Electronic Arts for their "tyranny" but at least they have a strong sense of morality.

polakstun
polakstun

i dont get it, how many other zombie games have been made where they are blown to bits and have missing limbs, and the fact that they don't classify the infected as zombie's but humans infected with a virus, that IS a zombie.

WarhammerIIC
WarhammerIIC

apparently the OFLC disagrees and believes we shouldn't make our own choices, because its can make our choices for us! thats just how good they are, they know EXACTLY what we like. thanks OFLC for looking after us![/sarcasm]

dr_satan666
dr_satan666

I honestly just don't understand why the government would object to introducing an R18+.... It's a win/win situation. I mean, the excuse "protecting the children", it just doesn't fly anymore. At least having an R18+ will make it that much harder to get a hold of. No I.D, no sale! It starts with the sales assistants, but it ends with the parents - it's their responsibility to keep it out of the hands of minors.

DigiTM73
DigiTM73

Valve and EA is massive, they'll figure it out. If it doesn't happen, then pull all Australian developers and publishing houses out of this country. Hurt us where it hurts, the economy.

giort08
giort08

Valve and EA should definately appeal this. Monolith did with F.E.A.R 2 and it was approved the second time, un-edited. Do it Valve and EA!