Warner Bros.' bloody revival of one of gaming's oldest franchises KO'd by Aussie ratings board.
Although many pundits are predicting a change to Australia’s classification system coming soon, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's (WBIE) upcoming Mortal Kombat is the latest game to fall victim to Australia's outdated classification rules. WBIE's Australian division today confirmed retailer rumours that its reboot of the Mortal Kombat franchise had been refused classification.
The company issued a statement confirming the ban and calling for the introduction of a mature rating for games Down Under. "The highly anticipated video game Mortal Kombat, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) in Australia, has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board and will not release in Australia. We are extremely disappointed that Mortal Kombat, one of the world's oldest and most successful video games franchises, will not be available to mature Australian gamers. WBIE would not market mature content where it is not appropriate for the audience. We understand that not all content is for every audience, but there is an audience for mature gaming content and it would make more sense to have the R18+ classification in Australia. As a member of the iGEA [Interactive Games & Entertainment Association], WBIE is reviewing all options available at this time."
As the Australian Classification Board is yet to release documentation related to the ruling, speculation remains around which content was deemed unsuitable. GameSpot AU is awaiting the full board report from the Classification Board detailing the offending elements. Mortal Kombat may yet make it to Aussie shores, with WBIE refusing to rule out appeal to the Classification Review Board or modification of the game for the region.
However, with the New South Wales government preparing for the upcoming March election, there is little chance of a decision on R18+ for video games being made at the upcoming SCAG meeting. In order for an R18+ classification to be introduced, there needs to be unanimous approval between the various state and territory censorship ministers.
Stay tuned to GameSpot AU for breaking details. For more information on R18+ in Australia, read our comprehensive Classification FAQ feature.
[UPDATE] GameSpot AU has received and reviewed the Classification Board's official report on Mortal Kombat. The document makes note of what the board believes is "explicit" violence, making numerous mentions of "bloodspray" and limb dismemberment during fatalities, which made it unable to be accommodated within the maximum MA15+ guidelines.
"Kung Lao throws his metal hat into the ground and it spins like a buzz saw. He grabs his prone opponent by the ankles and drags their body through the saw, explicitly slicing them vertically in half. Copious bloodspray is noted. Kung Lao then holds up both halves of the corpse as blood pours out," reads the report.
It goes on to say that "The game includes over 60 fatalities (some of which are noted above), which contain explicit depictions of dismemberment, decapitation, disembowelment, and other brutal forms of slaughter. Despite the exaggerated conceptual nature of the fatalities and their context within a fighting game set in a fantasy realm, impact is heightened by the use of graphics which are realistically rendered and very detailed. In the opinion of the board, the game contains violence that exceeds strong in impact and is unsuitable for a minor to see or play. The game should therefore be Refused Classification pursuant to item 1(d) of the computer games table of the National Classification Board."
[UPDATE 2]: Aussie retailer EB Games has weighed in on the news, siding with local gamers and publishers and using the opportunity to show its support for a mature rating for games. National brand & marketing manager, Debra McGrath, told GameSpot AU that "The news that Mortal Kombat has been refused classification in Australia is extremely disappointing and further demonstrates our need for an R18+ classification.
"Once again adult Australian gamers are being denied the privilege of playing a game that will be readily available around the world. Although this will prevent local retailers selling Mortal Kombat, history would also suggest the game will still be in abundance in Australia due to overseas copies being imported into the country."
if you had a kid, & had 2 choose between letting them play Mortal Kombat or listening to the song 'Dirty Talk' what would you do? MK is violent, bloody, over-the-top gruesome...but in a really cool fantasy kinda way. I don't think kids would go hmm, i wonder if i can rip out spines with my bare hands? Even a 9yr old knows that is unrealistic... 'Dirty Talk' on the other hand, informs young impressionable minds about getting their 'cherries popped' in a 'tag-team' and putting their 'legs up' in the back of some dude's car...which is unfortunately something VERY realistic, but which one does Australia ban? LOL massive fail...
Thank God i live in America, land of the free where i dont have to worry about someone telling me what i can and cant watch or play
If Mortal Kombat's down the plughole, then I dread to think how the censors will react to Duke Nukem Forever. Heart attack, maybe?
man aussie game shops must be so barren on the adult section....... i think the gamer in me would die.
Why not ban Killzone 3, then? Sure MK has gratuitously gruesome fatalities, but Killzone 3 is one of the goriest games since the last Gears of War. These international ratings boards make absolutely no sense, yet prove only how soft their people are. Such decisions are made by people to whom lazy, irresponsible parents "passed the buck." The same kind of insipid misfits try that on a daily basis in this country. Thankfully, American chiropractors have kept political spines intact.
Warner needs to sue Australia for this ridiculous lawsuit. I think someone 18+ knows that video games are fiction. This is totalitarian garbage; Aussies need to have their own revolution. I ain't talking Nintendo Revolution either.
I remember my childhood friend from when I went to Bolivia for 3 years. He was only 5 or 6 years old and his brother bought Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance and we all thought it was a fun game. Didn't change my life very much.
This is so out of control what is up with the Australian legislature? They are banning games left and right, but do they have such bans on movies and music? There HAS to be a better way for Aussies to get games. Oh and the prices from what I heard are horrible something has to be done I legit feel bad for them.
i dont get it why are they sad? this game stink on ice i mean it is sooooooooooooo boooooooooring it can turn you into a rock
Oh well, I'll import it and save about 40%. If they don't want me to play it, I won't pay them any taxes for it.
@gamerpipe They probably think that games arejust for kids and teens, therefore no "Mature Rating" down under......
Is the Australian government saying there are no matures in Australia? I think if the government officials see themselves as immature they shouldn't think that their people are like that. Australian government rated A for ......
To all Aussies, import the game and imagine (when you're playing) that your opponent is one of those ACB guys... :D
Aha.... Morons.... And God of War 3 they let..... With tearing Helios' head or cutting legs of Hermes. And bloody end scene when screen gets red of Zues' blood. Hypocrites.
@frazzz619 Aussie PS3's can play region 1,3 and 4 games as far as I know but Blu-ray and Dvd movies are region 4 and 0 only. I'm not sure bout the SexBox tho.. anyone clarify?
Not my kind of game so I 'm not bothered. What I do care about is the principle of the matter and my stinking f*cking government telling me what I can and can't play, watch, read, or listen to. It's been rehashed millions of times before so I'm not whipping this dead horse anymore. 360 players get it from the UK (PAL), PS3ers get it from any location OS with your multi regional machine. Ultimately you'll save some coin in the process.
HAHAHA... Like the Australian Classification board matters. They wont stop me or any other Australian playing it. Whether we import from our cuzzy bros or our oriental chums, we will all decapitate and dismember each other once again. Surely they must realize they are only making us want it more. Well i am glad to help the NZ economy after the quake. Our Government can go get Farked. Just try and stop me playing it or any other game. Just for the inconvenience the OFLC has caused me i will provide 10 school kids with alcohol, smokes and porn not to mention a copy of Natural born killers, a semi auto hand gun and directions to parliment house. Ahhh i love my life!
This is Epic fail big time when I found out that Australian gamers will not see the light of day with the new mortal kombat game. I'm gonna import my copy from overseas. F U to the OFLC for having outdated censorship laws for video games and treating us mature gamers like children
@AceBalls So what. It would be overpriced down here anyway. IMPORT. yea was thinking that...is Europe PAL the same as Australian PAL? loved the original MK games, I figured it was gonna get banned here...I fear Duke Nukem will be next...
Unless they bring in the way overdue R rating AAAND have prices of new games in oz as low as every frickin where else in the world... they are only going to continue to hurt the aussie games economy... and so will just remain the greedy ignorant fat balding toads they are.
"Outdated"?? Is this a news article or an opinion column? If you want to write an opinion, go all out! It's not exactly risky with this audience. If you want to do a news article, though, you better start sticking to the objective.
Guess all these blood and gore goodness made Aussie sick to their stomache for them to banned such a game. Perhaps Ed Boon and Warner Bros. could give them a Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe 2 instead.
Hold on so GOW gets past Aussie censors with just about or worse ways of cutting, ripping implaining ways to kill anything but MK cant. I want to get a job with the aussie censor board. ps. i dont hate GOW just putting my point forward.
Just buy it from new zeland. Its just retarded when the the government refuses to treat adults like adults.
God damn it, us Aussies are always getting shafted with this crap. When they (hopefully) bring in the 18+ rating I hope they do a turnaround and allow this to come to Australia. Until then however I might just import it.
Content you might like…
Publisher says it will submit the Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition to the Australian Classification Board for consideration under the newly introduced adult classification category for video games.
- Jan 14, 2013
Users who looked at this article also looked at these content items.
Avalanche Studios co-founder says developer's ambition is for action, not moments that make players cry; steampunk-style game on hold. Full Story
- Posted May 15, 2013 6:33 am PT
4A Games creative director Andrew Prokhorov thanks Jason Rubin for telling the studio's story, but says, "We deserve the ratings we get." Full Story
- Posted May 16, 2013 12:44 pm PT