Even before it goes on sale, God of War: Ascension is allegedly being removed from a Queensland retailer’s store shelves, according to a report on Kotaku. While the game has allegedly been granted the recently introduced R18+ rating, the move comes as a result of Queensland's failure to pass its complementary state legislation in line with the national classification introduced on January 1 this year.
An internal notice addressed to its Queensland stores claims:
“We have just been advised that God of War: Ascension has been rated R18+. As Queensland has not passed legislation for the R18+ rating for games, we must remove all reference to God of War: Ascension immediately,” stated the memo. “This includes all game slicks, posters, pamphlets, handwritten signage, two-way units, and pre-order signage.”
The message went on to note that the retailer (which was not identified) cannot sell copies of the PlayStation-exclusive game in the state, or accept customer pre-orders.
The Queensland Government is currently awaiting the result of a Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee report--which was due to be released on February 7, 2013--before debating the R18+ legislation in parliament, and seeking to amend state law to include an R18+ classification for video games.
EB Games Australia currently lists a pre-order for the game on its website, though it makes specific reference to its unavailability to Queensland purchasers.
God of War: Ascension is the fourth major console release in the franchise, and is the first game in the series to add an objective-based multiplayer mode. The game is scheduled to release in all other Australian states and territories on March 14 this year.
GameSpot AU contacted Sony Computer Entertainment Australia for comment. The publisher confirmed that it will shortly be issuing a public statement.