[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.