The Australian state of Queensland is the only territory in the country that hasn't adopted the R18+ ratings classification for games, and this is proving to be a problem for anyone that wants to release a mature game in the region.
Because the government of Queensland doesn't use the new classification, Sony's God of War: Ascension is not being sold in the region, nor are retailers accepting pre-orders for it there, according to an internal memo from an unnamed retailer obtained by Kotaku.
The Queensland Government is still waiting on a Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee report which was due to be released in February before lawmakers debate the R18+ legislation in parliament and (the industry likely hopes) amend state law to include an R18+ classification for video games. Until then any game that is considered to have mature content will be refused classification…
The memo from Kotaku lays out how most retailers in the region are likely handling new mature releases like God of War: Ascension:
"We have just been advised that God of War: Ascension has been rated R18+. As Queensland has not passed legislation for the R18+ rating for games, we must remove all reference to God of War: Ascension immediately. This includes all game slicks, posters, pamphlets, handwritten signage, two-way units, and pre-order signage."
GameSpot is also reporting that EB Games Australia currently lists a pre-order for the game on its website, but has a specific reference to the game's unavailability to gamers in Queensland.
The game is scheduled for release in all other Australian states and territories on March 14.