Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

October 7, 2009 -

In the wake of an Australian Classification Board ruling three weeks ago that Valve's new Left 4 Dead 2 game would receive no classification, Gabe Newell was in Sydney to try to allay the boards concerns.

According to a story on Kotaku, the game was banned because of the amount of violence in the game and deemed "unsuitable for persons under age 18 to play."

Valve has appealed the board's ruling and that a decision should be forthcoming around Oct. 22. As a back-up plan, Newell said that an edited version of the game has been submitted to the board, adding that they don't want to ship a second version, but will if it means getting the game into the hands of Aussie players.

More from Kotaku:

The decision to submit an edited version was made to ensure Left 4 Dead 2 met its planned November release date. Given that the Review Board will not report back on the appeal until October 22, it means there may not be enough time to get the unedited version on sale for the global launch. Newell confirmed that if the edited version is released, then the Australian version would receive an update if the appeal proves successful. This would be free on PC, but he said he did not yet know how it might work on Xbox 360.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that the board could backtrack on it's ban. Warner Bros. Interactive was able to successfully appeal a no classification ruling of F.E.A.R. 2 to an MA15+ rating earlier this year.

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Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

I would do the same thing too if it happened to my game, instead I will censor out the naughty bits and instead have a hidden easter egg with a Protest poster slamming Michael Atkinson in his refusal to allow an R18+ rating for Videogames in Australia.

That would be the way I will edit my videogames.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

I think Valve's got better things to do, like ensure they release games. Raise the issue, certainly, but then leave the lobbying and all to the entertainment groups.

Anyway, I think they should go the Postal 2 route and do an ironic "Atkinson Mode" where there are no zombies or enemies, you just wander through the empty streets with no weapons.

Black manta: That sounds so insane I'll have to reinstall FEAR 1 and finish it.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

Well, there goes any chance of a boycott. I was hoping too that Valve would just simply choose not to release the game in Australia and just make it available for the rest of the world. But I guess they figured it was worth it to make a go of releasing a special version just for them. At least they’re not watering down and making everyone else suffer for it (*cough*Fallout 3*cough*). I can’t really fault them for trying, I suppose, but I would have preferred to have taken a firmer stance and basically said, “Screw you!” to Australia.

 
I find that funny that F.E.A.R. 2  eventually got a pass, especially when you consider the ending [SPOILER ALERT!] where Alma is seen having intense sex with your character and getting pregnant at the very end.[END SPOILER ALERT!] Then again, Australia’s always been more lax when it comes to depictions of sex what with full frontal nudity on their television programs and all. Still, I find it strange considering that irregardless, it was a pretty disturbing scene.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

why not just remove Australia from the gaming community

we get things without censoring it and the aussie governemnt gets to control its people

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

Thanks for that insightful comment.  /eyeroll

Our system is unfortunately set up so that one person can block the change that would allow R18+ games.  Do you think that gamers in general support this??  Do you think the larger voting community know or care what is going on?  This is a niche issue and while all the other AG's are in favour of the R18+ rating, one guy alone stands in the way.

While we are a small country we still add millions in revenue to companies and I'm sure Australian gamers will appreciate that Valve is willing to go out of it's way to accomodate us despite one bullshit politician.

ps. Gabe Newell was actually in Australia to meet with a L4D campaign maker who raised the money for them to fly down.

http://flygabenewell.blogspot.com/

http://news.bigdownload.com/2009/09/14/gabe-newell-going-to-australia-on...

Side note: Gabe donated all money raised to Childsplay and he and Erik paid for their own tickets.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

They need to make a slight edit and include loadign screens informing Aussie gamers that Atkinson thinks of them all as too immature ot make their own decisions, and inform parents that Atkinson believes her knows better than them how to raise their own children.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

Seriously poor form valve.  It's really annoying that the consumers have to fight an uphill battle against this insipid censorship not only against these nanny states, but against the companies themselves that wave the white flag at the first sign of trouble.  Really, what effect can groups like the ECA hope to have against not only fearmongering, but also cowardice? 

The only time that it seems like the game companies will make a stand is in regards to copyright.  And then somehow they seem to be given unilateral power to rape the hell out of the consumers at their leisure.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

 How can you say that when gabe newell actually flew down there to try and sort it out? They're giving australians the game if they have no other way to get it, while still appealing the rating. What more do you want them to do?

I don't know if you know this, but american game companies have no power in regards to australian government.

So please, tell me what more they could have done, because they have already done more than any other company would have.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

Off the top of my head I would say that they give Australia the finger, tell them to enjoy their G rated Nanny State and not sell any games there ever again and encourage other companies to do the same.  You know just off the top of my head.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

How exactly would that help anything? The reasons for a lack of an 18 rating in Austrailia are well documented, companies refusing to even to try to sell violent games there is exactly what Atkinson wants.


Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

And how does selling gimped and censored versions help anything?

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

At least I'll get to enjoy the game, gimped or no? If the companies say, "Screw you aussie-land" and go on about their business, it just hurts the customers, they get no game, and if nothing changes, then what will that have accomplished?

- Stand back! I have an opinion, and I'm not afraid to use it.

- Stand back! I have an opinion, and I'm not afraid to use it.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

They would have accomplished artistic integrity.  Furthermore there is a trickledown effect in regards to the countries with the pansiest views regarding media.  I recall that Fallout 3 was altered to protect Australia's sensitive sensibilities.  Then add in the fact that next time the envelope likely won't be pushed so far so that Valve won't have to go through the trouble next time, creating a spreading cancer of cowardice through the industry.

Myself I would rather NOT have a game than to have a gimped version of it.  Sort of like when 4Kids has demolished a few different anime titles.  After seeing what was done to them, I had nothing to do with them.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

Gotta commend Valve for trying their damnedest. They could have just as easily said "screw this" and left it alone.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

If they have to submit the appealed version it should include a message saying exactly who is responsible for the lack of R18

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

But is that the appealed version or the edited version?

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

I imagine that is the censored version.  The article says it will be another two weeks before they hear back about their appeal.

Re: Valve Working With Aussie Classification Board

inconsistint is an understatment...


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


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
Mattsworknameimproperly. Neither is good, but one is on the edge of censorship to me, while the other is demanding some level of accountability from public media provider. but thats just my view point07/28/2015 - 8:36pm
MattsworknameEZK: You can treat it as bullying or what not, As I've pointed out, I didn't like either practice, I made that clear. But I do hold some different between trying to pull a product from the shelves, and calling out a media outlet that you feel has acted07/28/2015 - 8:35pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So you feel confident enough to make the call that petitioning target to remove GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but not confident enough to make the call on Intel/Gamasutra. Finding it hard to take your gripes seriously.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAs for gamers holding media sites accountable? If you mean, how to respond to opinion pieces you disagree with, yes, there are tons of more appropriate means.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAgain, no one likes being lumped in with the bad apples. Gamers or feminists so lets all strive not to do that, yes? Could the petitioners gone about it a better way? Yes, it could have been more factual in its petition, for starters.07/28/2015 - 8:25pm
 

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