Left 4 Dead 2 classified down under

UPDATE: Modified version of L4D 2 takes out decapitation, dismemberments; Valve and EA still hoping to get unedited version of game passed for sale in Australia.

After being banned, appealed, and most recently resubmitted, the fate of Valve’s upcoming zombie shooter Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia was anyone’s guess.

But gamers around Australia can finally rest easy: Left 4 Dead 2 finally passed Aussie censors this morning, receiving a classification of MA15+ for "strong, bloody violence." The date of the classification is listed as Wednesday, October 7, coinciding with Valve cofounder and managing director Gabe Newell’s visit to Sydney.

Newell told GameSpot AU yesterday that the publisher had resubmitted two versions of Left 4 Dead 2 to the Australian Classification Board following the Board’s decision earlier this month to refuse the game classification; the two versions are the original, unaltered version as well as one with some modifications.

"Right now we're pursuing two tracks: the first track is to release the product that we've created as is in Australia,” Newell said yesterday. “This is our very strong preference and what we're working with the [Classification Board] to see if we can achieve--so we have an appeal of their decision. The issue there is that that process is fairly slow and that the next step on that isn't going to occur until October 22.

“At the same time we've also submitted an Australia-specific version of the game which we think is fully compliant with the [Classification Board's] guidelines for content. We may actually hear about that version today. So the goal is to guarantee that something will be available on November 17 in Australia while at the same time pushing to get approval for that to be the full version of the game.”

Judging by Newell’s comments, GameSpot AU believes the version of Left 4 Dead 2 that has now been classified MA15+ is the Australia-specific version.

Calls to the Australian Classification Board and to EA (the Australian distributor for Left 4 Dead 2) were not returned at the time of publication.

UPDATE: While EA and Valve have been quiet about exactly what content had been changed in the "modified version" of Left 4 Dead 2, Australia's Classification Board hasn't been as silent. The Board has provided GameSpot AU with a copy of today's Left 4 Dead 2 ruling, which states that the modified version of the game recently resubmitted "no longer contains depictions of decapitations, dismemberment, wound detail, or piles of bodies lying about the environment".

"It is the Board's view that the element of violence in the game has been sufficiently modified and is now able to be accommodated within the MA15+ classification," the report stated.

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Discussion

77 comments
Falmar
Falmar

at leas Australians ar gonna get smother frame rates now

Motorhalo
Motorhalo

I guess this is what will happen during online US=American Gamer AUS=Australian Gamer US: Whoa! Check out all those corpses! AUS: What Corpses? US: You shoulda seen me cut off that zombie's head! AUS: I could swear that never happened.

Cyn987654
Cyn987654

Unless I'm missing something, imported copies won't work online for Australians, yeah? As your Steam account is linked to location, wont it automatically censor out the gore? That said, if the censoring is done on the user end, it must be possible to bypass it... yes?

Cyn987654
Cyn987654

Oh ffs. So this is tamer than the original then. Anyone know if it's possible to hack the original content back in, even though the game is Steam-native?

thibbledorfP
thibbledorfP

The whole point of this game is the excessive violence, it is called escapism. (Sigh).

kazstar23
kazstar23

like the whole gaming people of australia been asking.... BRING A R18+ RATING NOW!!

witide
witide

I would have preferred it if they just refused to sell it here...this is just embarrassing now.

witide
witide

I would have preferred it if they just refused to sell it here...this is just embarrassing now.

BDL91
BDL91

What so bodys are gonna dissapear when they are killed?

raynimrod
raynimrod

Why would anybody want to buy this game now? It doesn't include decapitations, dismemberment, would detail or piles of bodies - what the hell is the point then?

Chunky_Tomster
Chunky_Tomster

originally i wasnt going to buy it (no, i wasnt a l4d2 boycotter) but now i wanna see what the fuss was about. Weapons look cool though. Gore and stuff doesnt concern me.

FloatingCorps3
FloatingCorps3

@eddy96_1 Yeah but if they replaced the pills with morphine we would be F*cked.

Payback7
Payback7

So all the kids they were 'trying' to protect can now get ahold of this game. Wouldn't an R18+ rating have made this a whole lot easier?

FloatingCorps3
FloatingCorps3

Well I'm happy that Left 4 Dead 2 to get more sales but....... I'm a Gory gamer, as in I like my guns with a Bayonet, (Preferably a Chainsaw) I like my perk bloody mess and I like to laugh as a heaping pile of corpses I whipped while three guys from Canada that quickly went to grab a Vanilla Coke. Definitely an import for me.

Nemesis4747
Nemesis4747

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

keg2kay
keg2kay

this is a reply to puppyfrinder---dude it wont happen here because we dont have access to weapons and warfare while america does.

keg2kay
keg2kay

Wat the hell how is this good news..... i hate you valve no im sorry i hate micheal atkinson for the love of god this is stupid now i cant get it from steam because there will be an australian version only now not fare.

dchalf10
dchalf10

here comes an import, www.gamestop.com people, the only way to roll, i heard through the grape vine that even diablo 3 may be censored here in aus, to which i say F you attorney general. P.S Dragon age has been approved and is not censored, full steam ahead

SL4Y3Rftw
SL4Y3Rftw

its not the board its the attorney general that apparently he reckons "he does not want young kids to see or play these violent video games" thank god he will be retiring very soon.

SL4Y3Rftw
SL4Y3Rftw

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

puppygrinder
puppygrinder

the australian government are a bunch of pu$$!es. Just because voilence has had an crazy effect on pll in the U.S that caused them to kill people dosent mean it will happen here. No offence to any americans out there.

unkipower
unkipower

australia needs an r18 rating asap, im sick of great games not being aloud in australia

Antherian_being
Antherian_being

im not into this much violence but it looks to me like they removed HEAPS of content

WickedWeavile
WickedWeavile

@UPDATE Ninja Gaiden 2. In this game, you're able to slice and dice LIVING human ninjas into pieces, veins exploding blood in all directions with body parts strewn about the battlefield after the carnage has subsided. Oh wait, it never subsides, every five seconds something's limbs are falling off. You can rip over 100 human ninjas to pieces in a particular sequence late in the game with their body parts flying everywhere during the onslaught. Curiously, NG2, which I love to death by the way, got an MA15+ rating without any modification. How can the OFLC justify these inconsistencies? How is decapitation and dismemberment in one game different in another? Because the heads roll more realistically in one? Because the limbs twitch when they're severed in one game and not the other? What's the explanation? /sigh. Guess I'll be importing. Kiss my butt, OFLC.

WickedWeavile
WickedWeavile

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Marcster1994
Marcster1994

Aussie finally got a game! Yay! *confetti* Too bad they had to completely water down the game just get it passed

deeper_crust
deeper_crust

two words for the censorship board- 'f*king lunatics'

deeper_crust
deeper_crust

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

It's quite interesting how the nz and aus rattings vary. aus ma15+ under 15s must be accompanied by a parent guardian. nz r16/r18 restricted to persons 16/18 years or older. also interesting how on ld41 au notes strong violence nz contains graphic violence exact same game yet aust lets 15 year olds buy it.

ninjamaster102
ninjamaster102

This is all because we're too backward to have an R18+ classification.

SomeUndeadGuy
SomeUndeadGuy

all those planing on importing, wont there be server restrictions?

dr_satan666
dr_satan666

It's an R rated title anywhere else, aimed at those suitable to play R rated games - and yet it has to be watered down to suit a f***ing 15 year old. Is this making sense that's just not????

eddy96_1
eddy96_1

hmmm im pretty sure Fallout 3 decapitations, dismemberment, and piles of bodies lying about the environment

AMK130286
AMK130286

I work in the Gameing industry, i just had a customer with a 7 year old child come to the counter with an MA15+ game. So my college and i informed her of the games content and the fact that if we had an R rating it would most probably be in the R classification. She said to me "i thought R was the wurst, i thought i was protect my child by buying M games" This is why it is so important that we get an R rating so perents are informed of the games content and it is clearly deffined what is an ADULT appropriat title. We deserve the wright to make up our own chioces! Just because your on a classifications board dosent mean you know Gaming!!!

sammysalsa
sammysalsa

hoping i can get uncensored from steam - the graphic depicitions are the best bit.

Petercairns
Petercairns

Kool! Ill get the banned one anyway.. :p as long as the UK gets it!

takitoes
takitoes

Such bs. If the government would stop messing around and release the frigun review document already, then none of this would happen. Stop wasting everyone's time! Its already pretty clear what the answer is going to be.

COD4ME
COD4ME

Ughh lame. Looks like another import if the full one doesn't make it through.

TicTac8745
TicTac8745

Now reading what had been edited - it feels like a huge bummer.

Pilch_R_eD
Pilch_R_eD

Atleast some version is getting in. That means dedicated servers will be running in the country. Import it, get the uncut version for a much cheaper price than retail and still have a box and disc + steam registered game. Sounds like a bonus to me. Not to mention, you get to support some other country. ANY other country, than ours. *sigh*. I am so rediculously fed up with this.

rickster34
rickster34

I might get it since I do not have the first one, and I don't really care if they took out the real gory stuff

ekul13
ekul13

im 14 and i play games way worse than that. bring out an R 18+. if you dont want kids to play that sort of thing, dont punish the adults who ARE old enough to bur an R rated movie/game.

hectadectagon
hectadectagon

Australia is not a democratic country, I think they all need to read up the meaning. Allegedly intelligent adults can't even get a paper through to vote on when kids who can't even vote yet (and wouldn't be able to purchase the game themselves) have concluded that 18+ is a better option then this 'working group'. Whats next, threaten to tax me more to play R18+ video games so younger kids can't afford them. Stop wasting my tax money on these people and do something positive.

mlisen
mlisen

@Cubespot: Exactly, this will be the lamest game ever now. Shooting the zombies legs off in the first game was half the fun!

Cubespot101
Cubespot101

...the modified version of the game recently resubmitted "no longer contains depictions of decapitations, dismemberment, wound detail, or piles of bodies lying about the environment". "...also; firearms in game now fire white and pink marshmellows, whilst all melee weapons are distinctly made of rubber, which bend when struck upon enemies causing them to humorously giggle." This game is rated MA15+ for a Lame, Gutted Gaming Experience a la SoF: Payback (Censored). Do Not Pay Any Money Within Australia For This Game.

H0rr0rG4m3r
H0rr0rG4m3r

this is very stupid, tonnes of games feature dismemberment, decapitation, wounds, piles of dead bodies, game like dead space, gears of war, ninja gaiden, cod world at war etc like faber_fighter said

Faber_Fighter
Faber_Fighter

"no longer contains depictions of decapitations, dismemberment, wound detail, or piles of bodies lying about the environment" GEARS OF WAR, DEAD SPACE, NINJA GAIDEN, L4D1, DEAD RISING and countless more games have most if not all these features. Inconsistent ratings much? Shows how unprofessional the classification board is...

Steely888
Steely888

"no longer contains depictions of decapitations, dismemberment, wound detail, or piles of bodies lying about the environment". ummmm..... about that.... wasn't ALL OF THAT IN THE FIRST GAME!