EA won't appeal Aussie Syndicate ban

EA Australia confirms it won't challenge Classification Board decision banning game; shooter still on schedule for a February 24 release in New Zealand.

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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."

Discussion

100 comments
Hellsasin
Hellsasin

Telling us what we can play? Communism or democracy?

tweakstuff
tweakstuff

Sorry EA, but this looks like another game I'll have to get from pirate bay due to our medieval laws on game classification! Telling me I CANT have something, makes me want it MORE!

x4u4
x4u4

i would prefer using money in max payne 3 rather then wasting my money on syndicate

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

I wasn't gonna bother with this game, but having read the detail of the ban... Never mind game review scores. The Australian Classification Board have done the best review EA could have hoped for! I expect to see adverts run with a full list of what the ACB didn't like. They are a marketing execs wet dream.

valdarez
valdarez

Most EA games are offensive, but then, I'm referring to the level of quality and support they receive. ;)

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

Censorship is bad enough, but when a government starts delegating whats "offensive" in the entertainment industry...thats when the people are sheep and not doing their job with its elected officials. Fascism isn't fashionable.

lee0577
lee0577

2 things here, firstly its a given that EA knew it would be banned and deliberately went ahead with this for publicity, secondly who the hell cares anyway? This aint syndicate, just some deus ex wanna be.

jeffeger
jeffeger

I don't get all the negative comments. Yeah, this is not an isometric top down Syndicate game. But is anyone here even old enough to remember Syndicate and Syndicate Wars? Syndicate Wars was one of my favorite games as a kid, but times change. Bullfrog is no more. I can accept a new vision of this world that they created. The game looks promising, let's not rush to condemn it.

jsonaut
jsonaut

ha ha ha, man I love being an aussie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ender707
ender707

Can you buy cigarettes and alcohol in Australia? Or were they refused a classification as well?

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Australia lucked out, this is no Syndicate game.

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

so Dead Island was approved, even though you can dismember bodies, but syndicate is not, because you can dismember bodies? talk about lack of consistency.

Seifer-fx
Seifer-fx

You know...I think the Aussie board of video game classification are hired by the game companies to ban their games! Beacuse everytime i read in detail why a game has been banned in Aus ( the violence...dismemberment ) I tend to get every interested in that game and buy it! :)

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

this just makes me feel sad for my aussie gamers but makes me want to try the game at the same time

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

Even though I think EA did this to get a bit of good press (you know, the whole "compromise the experience" bit), I still think it's ridiculous that Australia treats adults like children by not allowing them to make decisions for themselves.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Ohhhh I would totally suck at this game.. The faster you kill the quicker your adrenaline recharges? I'm a stealth gamer me, run and gun just isn't my thing! Looks alright, but a bit of an insult on the eyes.. Maybe that's why the Aussies banned it :P

Hydrafiend
Hydrafiend

Wow the government deciding what games everyone in that country can play...crazy!

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@zaiwen Not exactly... Try visiting Germany (they only just recently repealed the ban on Doom) or China (SC: Ghost was banned in china merely for its namesake).

Vangaurdius
Vangaurdius

And today's news headline reads "Australia Acts Stupid; World is not Surprised"

zaiwen
zaiwen

aussie is the ban capital of the world... good thing i dont live there... your fish & chips are really good though haha

BryanParksSuper
BryanParksSuper

Anyone over 18 yrs old has the right to play M Rated games wherever they may live. Australia is like a Cult and it's so wrong that they have there own Gov denying people M Rated games.

Yaslana
Yaslana

Nooooooo, talk about disappointed. Only just recently learned this game was being made and experienced a sensation of excitement I have not felt in some time in relation to gaming. Many a fond memory of the original Syndicate games. Was a little bit concerned about the shift to FPS, I would actually love to see a revival of the top down iso game style, but now to hear I will not even have the opportunity to experience this game at all is devastating. Shame.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@illmatic87 The problem is that it's an FPS, unlike the old Syndicate, which was a strategy game. People are understandably upset that a classic like Syndicate is being treated this way. Imagine if Konami suddenly decided to take the next MGS game from Kojima and make it a linear FPS, that would suck. That said, this still looks good (starbreeze has never failed me), it just doesn't look like ...

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@Unholy123 That game was actually heavily censored in Australia. They removed the ability to remove limbs and such in it. And as such removed the only reason anybody wanted to play it in the first place.

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

No need to censor a game for a specific country.

cjf187x
cjf187x

Interesting how the Aussies feel that games are only for those 15 and under as if they are the only gamers/people in the country... The good thing is you're playing PC you could always get it, but if you have a 360, the region code, limits them (of course not all games are region coded). Best bet is the PS3 region free. For the Aussies, I'm American and after living in Shanghai for 3 years and buying a NTSC-J 360, I came back to the states wondering what to do with my system. I found this site http://www.play-asia.com/ They list the various types of games for all the systems and will tell you which games are region coded or not. They are a Taiwanese company. You will of course have to wait till the game releases to determine if its region coded. Hope this helps.

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

@MooncalfReviews how in the hell can you say censorship of entertainment is okay, but not art? They are one and the same. The word art means: "1.The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture,...: "the art of the Renaissance" 2.Works produced by such skill and imagination." And you have the guts to make a claim that art is more important than entertainment. They are one and the same. The only people that will tell you different, is the "Art-Elite". People that usually have gone to university/college for art, and believe they have the right to say what art is. A dot of ink on paper is art, but a video game is entertainment? Art is just another one of those pointless words people throw around because it makes them feel intelligent. Art = opinion.. no one has the right to censor anything. but to think that people think censorship is okay in any form is beyond my rational thinking. I can't stand when one person thinks they have the right to decide what is considered art

Unholy123
Unholy123

Wow really I used to be able to shoot people the stomach in Soldier of Fortune 2 and their guts would literally spill out and take off their heads and limbs and never once did I hear about locational damage being a reason to censor a game... Games are violent yes put that on the warning but for christsakes stop using violent video games as a soapbox for your politics

commando1992
commando1992

I still fail to see how their description of Syndicate's violence is different from any number of mainstream horror flicks. (Not to mention plenty of video games.)

DrKill09
DrKill09

EA are being just as spineless as the Australian government. Nice... :roll:

Claytonicus
Claytonicus

"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". How in hell is the above content that is found in syndicate any different whatsoever to the content found in Fallout 3? What a bunch of morons.

ToTs_00
ToTs_00

They really need to get that R18 rating in place in that country since even if it got the M15 rating it would seem to low of a rating for it.

vivaLAbostonia
vivaLAbostonia

watch the other gameplay videos to this game, i swear it reminds me of crysis 2. Stop bringing back old titles and take a god damn gamble with some new ideas. Not saying this will suck or anything but sh*t im getting tired of FPS games

187umKILLAH
187umKILLAH

Is Australia the only country in the world that does this? I feel sorry for my aussie neighbours having to put up with their government dictating to them what they can and can't play, I wonder if they do the same to movies, tv programmes and the internet too. Hopefully they can at least order games from overseas to bypass their stupid Classification boards decision

SandRunneR
SandRunneR

"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." Sounds promising.

manicwagon
manicwagon

The american society for censorship, also known as the ESBA, much like the MPAA is largely comprised of anonymous representatives of major publishers, large studios, and production companies; instead of being a 'small group of family minded people.' The hoax of censorship in America is merely the publishers getting a final say before a game goes retail, and therefore not of social or political motivation but a self-preserving economic one. However, Australia is practicing a more pure and sinister form of censorship, in that it's actually doing what the ESRB pretends to do. More than any other, the Australian government has banned, forcibly censored, and sparked more controversy over the content of its media. True censorship is a scary thing, we get worried in the states when we think our government is filtering our media, but it is our media who filters themselves. When a government begins the process of consistent censorship it is never a compartmentalized act.

AlphaWolF_J
AlphaWolF_J

I dont believe in censorship of any kind , nobody has the right to dictate to you what is suitable for you. but still this game is an embarrassment to the original syndicate anyway ! . i loved both syndicate games ,loved deus ex games but wont play this even if its free, i dont need yet another fps i have bf3 for that.

alexLmx6
alexLmx6

@tonyhawksP8 - Exactly. They might as well throw a big pile of Aussie dollars into the sea.

LykosD
LykosD

"... can be explicitly dismembered, decapitated, or bisected by the force of the gunfire." they should make the Australian Classification Board's description into a trailer.. I haven't really been keeping up with the game, but the description made it sound awesome

ChikaraShref
ChikaraShref

I swear Australia only does this to remind the rest of the world they exist. :(

Johny_47
Johny_47

This game looks very cool and quite unique, it's Australia's loss if they let their government ban it, rebel Aussies =P Banning games or films because it's too violent or something just shows how childish and pathetic the ones banning it are, it's got a age rating for a reason.

allanpaas
allanpaas

Banning games = another reason for pirating... So, yeah, keep up the "good" work...

boomshot-fodder
boomshot-fodder

The Australian Classification Board made Syndicate sound really cool.

slipknot_poite
slipknot_poite

The way OZ gov still thinks that games are just for children is embarressing...

illmatic87
illmatic87

What's with everyone thinking that this game wont be good? Starbreeze make excellent games...

junglist101
junglist101

If you live in Australia can't you just order it from out of the country?

Jackc8
Jackc8

Haven't most publishers already given up on the idea of selling games in Australia? I don't see why they even bother trying at this point.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

This is the best kind of promotion you can give a game. Syndicate hadn't even hit my radar until I heard it was banned.