Valve to resubmit two versions of L4D 2 to Aussie censors

Two-pronged strategy to get Left 4 Dead 2 into Australia; Valve says releasing unmodified version is its preference. UPDATE: Valve calls Classification Board L4D2 ruling "inconsistent."

You could almost hear the collective wails of gamers around Australia last month when news broke that Valve's upcoming zombie shooter Left 4 Dead 2 had fallen afoul of local censors. The game was refused classification down under, with the Australian Classification Board finding that "the game contain[ed] realistic, frenetic and unrelenting violence which is inflicted upon 'the Infected' who are living humans infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently."

While publisher EA and Valve spokespeople have previously expressed their disappointment about the banning, few other details have been made available about how the companies plan to beat the ruling. Valve cofounder and managing director Gabe Newell changed that today, unveiling a two-pronged plan to try to get Left 4 Dead 2 to Australian shores.

Newell, who is currently visiting Sydney, Australia, told a press conference that two versions of Left 4 Dead 2 have now been resubmitted to the Australian Classification Board--the original, unaltered version and one with some modifications. While no details were made available as to what has been altered in the second version, Newell did state that Valve still wants the original version sold here, hence the dual submission.

UPDATE:

"Right now we're pursuing two tracks: the first track is to release the product that we've created as is in Australia. 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 that point I start to run into problems with getting through certification with Microsoft and then getting manufactured in time in order to make November 17.

"We are going to continue to go down that path. 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," said Newell.

When asked how Valve would handle distribution of an update to users who may end up with a toned-down version of the game with a full-strength product passed fit for sale, Newell responded "Well, on the PC side we'd just update them so it's easy there. I don't have a real clear idea of how we would be able to provide that to Xbox customers. Our hope is to not get into that situation and have the Xbox version be available. Certainly what we would like to do is make it freely available to anybody if we had to make it available after initial shipments. That's what we're trying to avoid."

When asked whether he felt the Classification Board's ruling was in line with the release of the first Left 4 Dead game in Australia without modification, Valve project manager Erik Johnson told GameSpot AU, "It feels inconsistent, I think it's fair to say it's inconsistent."

Stay tuned to GameSpot AU as more information on the classification comes to hand.

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Discussion

118 comments
sirbargearse
sirbargearse

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

Furries45
Furries45

Im happy i live in Virgin Island St. Croix US and not in AUS. because if i lived in AUS i would just kill myself if i have to play a game called "Riding a perty girly pony in the dazys tra la la la la"

KingdomHeartsBH
KingdomHeartsBH

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

harrazed
harrazed

im sick of our government(AUS) making us look like little girls,, "oh this game is to violent, and the people look to real" yea thats makes it better.. i heard its all this one old farts fault we dont have the R18+ for games here wait till the old bastard dies the rating should go up to R18+

rumahirfan
rumahirfan

ITS CENSORED BUT ITS...........................

rumahirfan
rumahirfan

I DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT CENSORED VERSION MEANS

Cabal23
Cabal23

Is this all about the guilt that Australians have about being spawned from criminals in a penal colony. Just a theory.

Futil1ty
Futil1ty

@mrklorox: Nevermind...the interview cleared it up for me.

Futil1ty
Futil1ty

@mrklorox: I realized that shortly after posting...but I'm still confused as to why Gabe is submitting two versions when one of them was already rejected?

salgurdar
salgurdar

And just to clarify for those that don't get it. The "logic" behind Australia not having a classification higher than MA15+ yet we have a R18 rating for all other media is video games consist of active participation in said acts deemed not fit for kiddies, where as movies and books are merely passive obervation. Not a defense, just an explanation behind the thinking of the OFLC here in Aus.

salgurdar
salgurdar

The OFLC have Classified the "editied for Australia" version of L4D2 as MA15+ http://www.classification.gov.au/www/cob/find.nsf/5b6ebdff7f5b9a24ca2575ca00062226/981b9f23b74dbc0aca2576480057fedc!OpenDocument This is the backup plan for if the appeal due to be reviewed on the 22nd of October (in time for the demo release on the 27th) fails. So we will be getting something at least. @Sins-of-Mosin You can't import it. It's region locked for one, so if someone gifts it to you from a region where it's available, or you import a boxed version, you still have to register it with Steam, and you'll get a big fat "Game unavailable in this region". Also, even if you could import it, there'll be no locally hosted servers, and playing with a ping of 200+ would make for a very poor gaming experience.

dr_satan666
dr_satan666

Just to clarify for those not understanding the reason for our frustrations. In Australia our ratings system goes - G (General Exhibition), PG (Parental Guidance), M (Mature Audience), MA15+ (Mature Audience, but those under 15 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian), R18+ (restricted to 18 and over). Our video game system is the same except we don't have an R18+ rating. games need to meet a certain criteria and seemed suitable for a 15 year old otherwise, they are refused classification effectively banning them in Aus. Certain adult games get shoe-horned into the MA15+ category, making them available to minors. Ironic, how that is our governments biggest defence, (they want to protect the children)... Ultimately the system is flawed and Australia is the ONLY system in the world that doesn't have an adult rating for video games. Naturally this pisses us off...

mshapr22
mshapr22

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

dr_satan666
dr_satan666

If we had a friggin R18+ it wouldn't need to be re-submitted. Why are they delaying the inevitable. We have to have an R18 rating, I mean it's simple friggin logic. 99% of gamers know it, why don't our nazi government.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

I'm sorry but this is incredibly lame. Why is it that this game can't be released there? I mean seriously, when a game is made for a mature audience it SHOULD get a rating to reflect that. However I feel that effectively banning a game just because they think it's TOO much is ridiculous. It's no worse than so many other games already released there...so why would this game be held to a different standard?

mightEone
mightEone

Australia feels it is special and needs censorship in videogames? Here in America and the rest of the FREE world, we call that opression. The government telling us what we can or cannot do is unacceptable in this day and age. Freedom of speech, expression and beliefs. All this trouble for a videogame where you kill zombies? Please, I'd tell Valve not to waste their time on a pathetic dispute and get working on more games like Half Life

jayme22
jayme22

perhaps for 360 sell a blocked version and only unlock it if they have a registered credit card with the gamer tag

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

I hope VALVe are putting the same amount of effort into HL2:Ep3

Iron_dawg
Iron_dawg

rabies like virus? the hell do they mean rabies like virus? they are zombies u know came back from the dead with a appearent urge to kill and eat the living im pretty sure 30 shots to the stomach wont cure the zombies...unless its from an ak47 ;)

2point5RSman
2point5RSman

guys Barbie Horseride Adventure is coming out uncensored just be grateful Thanks Atari7200

Leria
Leria

Personally, I would just tell the Aussie's where they could stick it and simply offer the game online to whoever wishes to buy it. It's time for those idiots in the world who think that they can make the entire world 'kid-safe' or are on a quest to 'protect the minds of the populace' that we don't need them and that they are more a threat than anyone who has been 'warped' by games, which is a grand total of ZERO thus far in the world.

bodylotion
bodylotion

L4D is a great game even without the blood / gore but obviously i wouldn't want to change with the Australians.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

It's one thing for standards of content to be needlessly strict, but what's worse is that there seems to be no logic in which violent games get released and which ones don't.

sequekhan
sequekhan

"Inconsistent" is putting it mildly, and politely. Neither of which is how we feel right now.

Nihonomaru
Nihonomaru

Lol don't we all feel sorry for the Aussies =PP?

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

Hopefully the original will be accepted. In a previous GS article on this, it said not all OFLC raters agreed with banning it, so it wasn't a unanimous vote at least.

Tzunoy
Tzunoy

Respect for Ea and Valve in to their effort to release the game as it is.

Willistron
Willistron

I don't understand these censorships they do seem very inconsistent

XanderKage
XanderKage

Nice to see they put effort into getting the game to their fans, one way or the other. Much respect.

bendamanwand
bendamanwand

but i respect the awesomeness of valve and their effort to get it to australia

Blade8Aus
Blade8Aus

everyone stop complaining about the country do you know how lucky we are to live in a rich and uncrowded area? its the only place in the world thats quite like that its just unlucky who the people in the OFLC are and all that they know and understand

FrankTheFrank
FrankTheFrank

ProTip: They don't need to worry abouot patching because they won't patch! Just like with L4D1!

chuachan
chuachan

@Gammet25 To make it pass the classification, apply the Teletubbies mod. Easy!

shenau
shenau

who the hell cares .. l4d 1 was completely ruined by the lack of dedicated servers in australia.. unless they start adding local servers i dont think we'll be missing much

fastmiks
fastmiks

F@ck L4D 1, 2, where is half life ep3?

Wojcha
Wojcha

@ Atari_7200 :lol: I sincerely hope it won't be like that...

ImOldGreg
ImOldGreg

Oh Valve you treat me so right...:P

dunnowhathuh
dunnowhathuh

I wouldn't be surprised if all the OFLC bothered to do was look at a few trailers of the game and just made their decision from that. It certainly explains most of the inconsistencies.

BlackWaltz_No_3
BlackWaltz_No_3

I don't get the point of banning. People who want this game will get it one way or another. Seriously, how many news actually show video games influencing violence to gamers? Not that enough to ban a game! Their just promoting piracy to people who are loyal enough to actually buy the game. :(

shawn7324
shawn7324

@SomeUndeadGuy Yeah that guy needs to be forced out of that position, I hate it when idiotic people are given such positions.

frogy911
frogy911

its great that valve isnt forgetting about us down in aus. but the fact that they know if the game is totally banned, then people will just turn to piracy - is surely incentive as well.

Atari_7200
Atari_7200

2010 releases for Australia. BANNED BANNED BANNED BANNED BANNED Dogz 2034 BANNED BANNED BANNED BANNED Barbie horse ride adventure BANNED BANNED The list goes on.

nabed4t
nabed4t

@SomeUndeadGuy, your spot on mate, it seems we keep electing bloody idiots into Parliment. Its a piss weak excuse that sooner or later will be over turned.

SomeUndeadGuy
SomeUndeadGuy

to all you resident of USA asking why, it's because Australia doesn't have an adults rating level for Games. the ratings don't go further than MA15+, there is no rating for 18+ gamers. And this is because one moronic Attorney General is sitting on it. We need all of them to agree to an R18+ rating but this one guy is holding it up with his 'think of the children' ideas. He's a moron to say the least.