While the move toward updating Australia's classification system has progressed in leaps and bounds over the past 12 months, yesterday's refusal of classification to Syndicate was a reminder of why it was changing in the first place.
Following on from Syndicate's banning, EA Australia has released a statement saying that the company will not be appealing the decision. The software giant went on to say that any changes it made to the game to get it through would compromise the experience. EA also went on to confirm that Syndicate would be released in New Zealand unedited, with an adults-only rating on February 24.
EA Australia's full statement can be found below:
"It's regrettable that government policy in Australia is denying adults the right to play Syndicate. The game will be not be available in Australia, despite its enthusiastic response from fans. We were encouraged by the government's recent agreement to adopt an 18+ age rating for games. However, delays continue to force an arcane censorship on games--cuts that would never be imposed on books or movies. We urge policy makers to take swift action to implement an updated policy that reflects today's market and gives its millions of adult consumers the right to make their own content choices."
The Australian Classification Board refused classification to Syndicate yesterday, effectively banning the game in Australia. The government body had particular issues with the high level of violence in the game, noting that "combatants can take locational damage and can be explicitly dismembered, decapitated, or bisected by the force of the gunfire. The depictions are accompanied by copious blood spray, and injuries are shown realistically and with detail. Flesh and bone are often exposed, while arterial sprays of blood continue to spurt from wounds at regular intervals."