Updated: Left 4 Dead 2 "banned" in Australia

As reported by IGN, Left 4 Dead 2, sequel to Valve's competitive first-person shooter, has been refused classification by the Australian government on the grounds that the game exceeds the maximum rating of MA15+. When a title has been refused classification, it cannot be made commercially available in the country, in an essence banning the game.

The original Left 4 Dead was rated MA15+ by the Board.

EA Australia has issued the following statement in response to the government's decision: "[We] are still working through the submission process with OFLC and want to explore all opportunities before making any comment."

The game has been refused classification for the following reasons:

  • 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.

Updated:

Valve has released their own statement on the situation saying the following:

"We were surprised to hear of this news yesterday. Obviously, everyone at Valve is pretty bummed. It would be a shame if folks in Australia, or anywhere else, are unable to purchase Left 4 Dead 2 because of a ratings issue."

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