Upcoming RPG Risen Smacked by Australian Banhammer

The upcoming role-playing game Risen has become the latest victim of Australia’s flawed game content rating system.

Refused Classification reports that Australia’s classification board has declined to assign a rating to the game, which is being developed by Piranha Bytes. The board’s action makes Risen the third game of 2009 to be RC’d Down Under; the others are 1C’s first-person shooter Necrovision and something called Sexy Poker.

In the U.S. market, Risen has been rated M (17+) by the ESRB. Australia, however, has no rating higher than MA15+, which means that any title judged not suitable for a 15-year-old is effectively banned. Australian gamers have been lobbying their government unsuccessfully for an R18+ rating for several years.

The classification refusal might not be the final word, however. Risen could be edited by its creators enough to slip by Australian censors. This approach has worked for other games, most recently Necrovision.

Risen is scheduled for October release on Xbox 360 and PC. The website R18+ is a useful source for information about the ongoing Australian content rating debate.

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23 comments

  1. hellfire7885 says:

    If they do edit they need yto add soemthign ot the opening screen and loading screens.

    "This game has been edited because one attorney general in your country believes that even adults do not deserve the right to entertainment suited for them because he believes he knows how to raise other kids better than their own parents". OF course if thewy did that odds are it’d be refused classification still.


  2. Bennett Beeny says:

    Apparently, in Australia, adults don’t play videogames.  Or at least their government thinks they don’t.

  3. Untouchable says:

    I’ll have you know I slaughter Cane Toads on sight for reasons other than the fact that they kinda explode when whacked hard enough. I take no joy in….

     

     

    You know what, fuck it. It’s kinda fun having to knock them off so that they don’t kill any animals that originate here.

  4. GoodRobotUs says:

    Odd. I was only saying earlier today how wierd it is that a country should be so shy of violence whilst, at the same time inventing fun and interesting ways of making cane-toads explode…

  5. MaskedPixelante says:

    Of course it’s going to be edited to pass Aussie censors.

    The million dollar question is "will those edits make it into the international releases?"

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  6. ZippyDSMlee says:

    I’m on dail up till the weekend so I can;t really research it but from the few pictures I saw it had guns on a island thus the cryisis/far cry comparasion.

     


    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  7. MrKlorox says:

    More like a Myst-ish mod for Oblivion. I hope the narrative excels because by the looks of the video, the combat and the graphics are nowhere near the Crysis-like expectations I had. The little bit of voice acting was well done though.

  8. Tammej says:

    The game is being made in Germany, by the studio that made the Gothic games, which are insanely popular in Germany. And there, this is rated for 12 year olds and up.

     

    There isn’t that much gore in the game, obviously. Just swearing, drug use, and likely some kind of nudity. Brutality is at the normal RPG level. You die by the sword. 

  9. GoodRobotUs says:

    LOL I think it’s more ’embarassed for our Government’, since they seem incapable of it, so, we sort of empathically do it for them…

  10. Magic says:

    The industry "taking their ball home" would be very poor business sense – it’s much easier to change the content as required (Taking a few programmers X hours) and get some sales than to give up on a country’s classification system (Heck, Mariah Carey has albums in the Middle East, it just required changing the cover art to be more modest). I believe the politicians as in this instance would ultimately agree that the lack of an 18+ rating (You know, the one that most countries around the world have) is poor in the long term and requires effort on their part to correct.

    Australia, however, has no rating higher than MA15+, which means that any title judged not suitable for a 15-year-old is effectively banned. Australian gamers have been lobbying their government unsuccessfully for an R18+ rating for several years.

    I don’t understand why they don’t have one. What if there wasn’t one for 18 C movies? Did movies not have to fight for one in the past 50 years in some countries?

  11. Coach says:

    This will keep happening as more and more companies keep changing the content for different countries.  Unfortunately, the dollar signs always win.  What will eventually happen is countries will ask for more and more changes that have nothing to do with anything other than the fact they know they have the power to ask for (and get) changes made to game content.  "We in the country of Australia do not like the Barbarian class in Diablo 3, change it or we will refuse classification.  Oh, and make the art more gothic." 

    The video game industry is doing a great job of enabling these twits, so don’t blame the politicians.  It would be refreshing to see companies just not release the games in these countries.  I’m sure a few popular enough games would have a nice negative impact on retail sales in Australia.  Eventually, they’ll expand the ratings.  Keep caving in and there is no reason for them to do so.  The industry is giving these governments credibilty because the politicians can claim victory in their fight against improper content by forcing the content to change.  Not a brilliant long term strategy for the game industry for a few extra bucks today.

  12. asmodai says:

    I might just take you up on that…

    This is the sequel to the Gothic series iirc, isn’t it?  So, because you can smoke wood reefer and contract women of ill repute for certain services, the game is out…

    Fucking Atkinson (the attorney general standing in the way of an R18+ rating) is such a fundie douche pagoda…

  13. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Necrovision has gore on the level of UT04 and unreal or undying. I still don’t quite get why it got whacked but bioshock passed with flying colors and fallout 3 had morphine removed…

     


    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  14. MaskedPixelante says:

    I’m surprised we haven’t seen MORE levels of censoreship yet. I’m kind of expecting either Germany of Australia to pass a law that says ALL offending video games entering the country may be seized and replaced with the local, censored version.

    —You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

  15. Roh02 says:

    where do they get off telling people what they can and cant buy Im not australian but I think they should have the right to buy what they like.

     

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