Left 4 Dead 2 banned in Australia

Written by Joe Martin

September 17, 2009 | 11:09

Tags: #australia #ban #l4d2 #left4dead #left-4-dead-2 #rating

Companies: #bbfc #valve

The Australian regulatory body, well-known for taking a hard line when it comes to game ratings, has announced that it has banned Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia.

The game was officially refused classification, meaning it cannot go on sale in the country, on the basis that it exceeded the limits of the MA15+ rating. Australia has no 18+ or AO rating as used in other countries, so if it's above a MA15+ then it is often denied classification.

This doesn't mean that the game will definitely not be available in Australia however, as Valve still has the option to release a localised version for the Australian market or to tone down the objectionable content in all versions before re-submitting the game for approval.

The specific complaints made by the Australian regulatory body, the Office of Film and Literature Classification, are listed below, via Kotaku.
  • The game contains violence that is high in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons aged under 18 to play.

  • It notes that this violence is "inflicted upon ‘the Infected' who are living humans infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently."

  • The report singles out the use of melee weapons as those that "inflict the most damage" and cause "copious amounts of blood spray and splatter (sic), decapitations and limb dismemberment… or even cause intestines to spill from the wounds."

  • In conclusion, the Board finds that 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."

  • Interestingly, the report also reveals that it wasn't a unanimous decision and that "a minority of the Board is of the opinion that the violence is strong in playing impact and therefore warrants an MA15+ classification" instead. However, the majority voted to refuse classification.
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