In September 2009, Valve's Left 4 Dead 2 was refused classification in Australia, prompting publisher EA to submit an appeal to the Classification Board of Australia. This appeal was followed by a resubmission of the title with edits that included the removal of decapitation and dismemberment. In October, the edited version of Left 4 Dead 2 was reclassified with an MA15+ rating.
In the midst of the appeal, EA responded to the banning of Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia, telling GameSpot AU:
"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. EA believes that adults should have the right to make their own choices when it comes to the content they consume."
Today, following the news that Australia will introduce an R18+ rating for games, EA has once again weighed in on the issue. EA Asia Publishing vice president Mark Bradley told GameSpot AU earlier today that the publisher is encouraged by the Australian federal government decision to bring the country's game rating in alignment with other countries.
"Australia needs a rating system that recognises that millions of adults play video games," Bradley said. "The current policy of the Australian government forces an arcane censorship on adults who play games--cuts they would never impose on movies, books, or other forms of artistic expression. This year, the American Supreme Court voted overwhelmingly to affirm that game developers deserve the same creative freedom as film makers and authors.
Today's news is encouraging since continued delays in Australia will keep adult consumers waiting for the right to make their own content choices for entertainment, and increase the risk of adult content being accessed by minors."