Last week, the Australian Classification Board flexed its muscles for the first time in 2011, effectively banning Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's upcoming fighting game Mortal Kombat. The Refused Classification rating given to the game by the board makes the selling, promotion, and importing of Mortal Kombat illegal Down Under. The ruling caused outrage among the Aussie gaming community last week and saw retailers come out in support of an overhaul to Australia's classification system.
Just a few days since the ruling, WBIE's Australian office has now decided to challenge the board's decision in an attempt to get Mortal Kombat released in Australia. "After careful consideration, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Australia have decided to appeal to the Australian Classification Review Board against the RC (Refused Classification) decision given to Mortal Kombat. After reviewing both the gameplay and the Board's original decision, WBIE Australia believes the violence in the game is on par with numerous other titles readily available for sale in the Australian market. As such the company wants to exhaust all options to make the game available to Mortal Kombat fans in this country. An identical version of the game will be submitted for appeal."
GameSpot AU managed to get hold of the board report last week and discovered that the classification decision was made due to the game's "explicit" violence, blood spray, and limb dismemberment during fatalities--things which made it unable to be accommodated within the maximum MA15+ guidelines.
Mortal Kombat isn't the first game from WBIE to get banned in Australia. In 2009, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origins also got the chop for extreme violence. The publisher appealed the rating, and the game was then reclassified, with the board finding that the MA15+ classification did indeed accommodate the violence in the first-person shooter.
For more info on R18+ for video games in Australia, check out our extensive coverage.