House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut Banned Down Under

UPDATE: House of the Dead remains locked inside as Sega confirms on-rails shooter has been refused classification in Australia due to high-impact violence.

Sega's The House of the Dead: Overkill for the Wii put the smut into zombie busting when it was released to critical praise and earned the dubious honour of becoming the recipient of the Guinness World Records Gaming Edition's accolade for Most Swearing in a Video Game. The postlaunch award came in spite of the Wii game clearing the ratings bar at the maximum MA15+ rating in Australia, with descriptors indicating only strong horror violence and making no mention of coarse language.

Two years since making it to the Australian market on Nintendo's family-friendly console, the title has received an update to its visuals and gameplay for rerelease on the PlayStation 3, but is again skirting controversy. Today the Australian Classification Board updated its website to include a listing for the game, but revealed that the high-definition version of the title could not be accommodated under the same MA15+ rating afforded to its Wii counterpart.

Listed on the Australian Classification website with a refused classification status, Sega, the game's Australian distributor, confirmed to GameSpot AU that the game has received the non-rating, which effectively bans it from sale locally. The publisher is currently preparing an official statement, but did reveal that despite the "modified" version listing, this was the game's first submission to the board and that the publisher intends to appeal the decision. Stay tuned for full details as they come to hand.

House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut was due to go on sale in Australia on October 27 this year, which will include support for Sony's PlayStation Move motion controller and additional levels. Today's news comes just weeks after the federal government forged an in-principle agreement with all Australian state and territory ministers on the introduction of an R18+ rating for games.

UPDATE: Sega Australia has issued a formal statement reiterating its intention to appeal the ruling.

"Sega Australia are determined to appeal the decision immediately and hope to have the classification overturned without making any changes or amends to the final game."

Sega managing director Darren Macbeth has also weighed in on the ban in a written statement, saying he believes that "there are far worse titles currently available in the marketplace, which involve more than shooting down mutants in humorous circumstances. We will do everything we can to prove that House of the Dead: Overkill is worthy of an MA15+ rating in Australia."

Stay locked to GameSpot AU for more details on the banning.

UPDATE: According to the Classification Board of Australia's report into the decision, the game was refused classification for violence that is high in impact.

"The game contains very frequent, unrelenting and detailed violence accompanied by copious blood and gore detail inflicted on zombies and mutant beings," the board report states. "The player can use a variety of weapons including a crossbow that causes the zombies/mutants to explode on impact as well as handguns, hand cannons, machine guns, mini guns and assault rifles that may cause decapitations, dismemberment and blood spray.

"The 'Hardcore' game mode allows the player to play in a manner that exceeds strong in impact engaging a headshot-only mode which results in frequent, detailed blood and gore as the zombies and mutants heads explode into bloody pieces that spread around the environment and onto the screen. The game also contains an 'Extra mutants mode' which increases the amount of mutants the player must kill to proceed, resulting in an increased intensity and frequency of violence.

"In addition the game contains a baby mutant that jumps onto the screen and explodes into bloody chunks when killed.

"In the Board 's view the additional modes included in this modified version and the interactive nature of the game increases the overall impact of the frequent and intense depictions of violence. This coupled with the graphic depictions of blood and gore combine to create a playing impact which is high."

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Discussion

57 comments
gq_cjc
gq_cjc

Lol They ban the killing of zombies, but think its perfectly ok for their kids to play porn games on the wii. This is just too funny :D

itchyflop
itchyflop

i find it sad that our friends down under cant have any fun due to stiffs and idiots in the certificate industry!!!!

SnakeEatinBeans
SnakeEatinBeans

Those Aussies need to ease up on the commonwealth just a little.

JOKER677
JOKER677

Drops same day as Battlefield 3? Only reason to get the Move.

moose3469
moose3469

I wonder if developers and publishers kinda like it if their game gets banned somewhere. I mean in a weird way its like publicity for them. If you tell someone they cant have something they are only gonna want it more. I dont think it can hurt sales that bad.

Hazzabro
Hazzabro

what does this mean for dead island then?

X-RS
X-RS

That sounds like a horrible lame excuse. Yes it has a ton of language and gore (I'm not blind) but tagging on an extra paragraph because the game let's you play a greater challenge is pathetic. Just say it's too much blood/gore, not this bs! Once Sega adresses the extra difficulty modes what then? Another long essay excuse -.-

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

What...? Australia are banning a game? Well isn't that unusual?

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Gosh, it's a good thing that they are protecting innocent Australians from video games while their MP's pay for prostitutes with union credit cards. Governments everywhere, filled with pandering hypocrites.

dralutfi
dralutfi

I wonder ..... we killing here zombies .... sure it should be brutal, blood and violence ..... let me ask this stupid community in hunting games when we kill animals like the stuff you have do u think in the game they give us water guns ???? come on ..... beside there is rating for the game .... dont u ppl see news blood, wars and even worse displayed on the t.v more violence than this game coz its happen in reality.....

Frosty192
Frosty192

I would hate to live in Australia mainly just for this reason.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Ugh, this crap AGAIN? Seriously Australia? I think your citizens can make their own minds up for themselves by now...

Cwagmire21
Cwagmire21

So much for the new rating in Australia I guess :roll:

nastyhotpocket
nastyhotpocket

one thing...please change it to where i can see my gun...i refuse to buy a game with just a circle showing.come on i was looking foward to this game.

Zerabp
Zerabp

@ Hondje89 My understanding is that it will take almost half a year for them to implement the R-18 rating meaning in all honesty they should just push the release date back a year, while I'm sure it's a fun game I pretty sure no one was lining up to get it and waiting will drawing attention to its previous classification denial could very well work in their favor and drive sales up. They can then also use the fact that it's on of the first new games to be classified as R-18. While this marketing wouldn't necessarily convince any of it's critics to buy it would give the game more exposure to more of their base that didn't even realize the game existed. Contained in that over-explanation is the answer that it hasn't been implemented yet and that's why they can't use it yet, bureaucracy sucks in any form...

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@biakcunghnin Dude it's a game for the move.. not really possible on the 360? Unless you aim with your arms using Kinect, but you may end up looking a tad hitler-esque :/

Nathalmighty1
Nathalmighty1

aw man i actually laughed out loud when they mentioned an exploding mutant baby!

ggregd
ggregd

Let me say up front that I don't think government should be in the business of banning games. When you want to set your game apart and attract an audience based on over-the-top violence, you should expect some people are going to object. Some of those people are in a position of power from which to harm your business model. Why not grow up and step outside the prepubescent boy game design rut?

biakcunghnin
biakcunghnin

i think this will relase on xbox 360. not good for ps3

endorbr
endorbr

"The game contains very frequent, unrelenting and detailed violence accompanied by copious blood and gore detail inflicted on zombies and mutant beings." It's called House of the Dead: Overkill Extended Cut. What did you think it was going to be chock full of unicorns and rainbows? I don't think anyone would be misled by the title into believing this was a Dora game or something. Sometimes government bureaucracy is just so stupid.

umster
umster

this is getting way beyond pathetic, its kind of embarassing because we have so much freedom in Australia but we cant play a fantasy computer game and kill monsters and zombies. i hope this crap gets sorted out soon

Hondje89
Hondje89

So... Why have a R-18 rating then if the game can not be released?

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

But zombies are fun to shoot :( Plus it's teaching kids what to do if the apocalypse does ever come! It may be an island, but Australia's gonna be screwed.

CptRexKramer
CptRexKramer

You know, I feel bad for the gamers down in Australia. It seems you guys and gals are always getting shafted when it comes to mature games. I'll bet importing games is huge in your neck of the woods.

KillerJuan77
KillerJuan77

The game is extemely campy, how can the government consider it disturbing or ultra detailed? It's not Cannibal Holocaust or fricking Soldier Of Fortune for god's sake.

Skargamer
Skargamer

This game was meant for those over the age of probably 16 or 18, considering the vivid explanation you have given us. Clearly since gamers of that age are capable of understanding whats real and whats not, why worry? And about the kids, tell the parents to sort it out. I don't even think the kids will get games like this since it may be to scary for them.

Evz0rz
Evz0rz

Why don't they just wait for the R18+ I wonder

stevoqwerty
stevoqwerty

doesn't affect me, i always import games, but i don't have move anyway

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

Is this even news-worthy? Australia banned something! How unusual... This just in: it snows a lot in Russia during the winter! It will be warmer in the sun than in the shade!

Moshin07
Moshin07

Sucks to be an Australian. Doesn't suck if you're an importing Australian

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Gome on!, high on impact?. You need cruelty and dramatic force to create a high-impact violence (Dead Space or F.E.A.R.3, for example). This game is from a humorous perspective, which removed the high-impact factor... Dunno what that people at the rating board were thinking...

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

lol this wouldnt scare my 7 year old sister...

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

For a country that thinks kangaroo testicles are a delicacy, I'm always surprised when a game is banned.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

It is ridiculous that this game has been banned. Sega managing director Darren Macbeth has it spot on. To me the classification board really are just that 'Bored' and are feeling the 18+ is coming and then 'board' wont be able to pull their weight around us gamers anymore.

AceBalls
AceBalls

For the first time on this topic of classification and banning, I simply couldn't give my monkey's ass.

thuban
thuban

@robertwarnes91 gotta love that movie XD

robertwarnes91
robertwarnes91

I guess you guys aren't ready for that, yet. But your kids are gonna love it.......Wait what?

wavelength121
wavelength121

Oh noes, what will we do without the income of the english prisoner dump?

Jimbowesker
Jimbowesker

Glad its coming to PS3, I may be picking it up when price drops

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

Yet again - they think we are all children. Im 28, and while I have no interest in the game Im sure there are adults who will.

Smithers2286
Smithers2286

This game should've stayed a Wii Exclusive. Look at No More Heroes Paradise for PS3. It's gotten worse reviews than the Wii version, because the game was designed with the Wii in mind.

0kensai0
0kensai0

We can't get the trains to run on time...but f*#k...we better make sure kids don't get to play violent games!!!!......thank god for imports....and Sorry Australian Retailers, but I'll have to contribute to your demise by importing everything

zzamaro
zzamaro

I'm in America, but this sucks. Anyway, I read that they are just doing you a favor because you can import and get games even cheaper, and the game won't be censored. Good thing there are options.

Xplode_77
Xplode_77

@GAMERALL :lol: I think they were awarded that 10 years ago.

GAMERALL
GAMERALL

I think they're delaying that R18+ rating until they get that Guinness World Records Gaming Edition's accolade for Most Video Game Bans in the World.

CrossFire312
CrossFire312

Australians have it rough. They can't play anything.