Video Standards Council Appoints New Chair

July 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The UK video games regulator, the Video Standards Council (VSC) has appointed a new chair to take over from Baroness Shephard of Northwold who was appointed in 2005. The new Chair will be Tony Lake, who has served as a vice-chair for the organization since December 2009. According to the VCS, Tony Lake has an extensive background in law enforcement, having served for 36 years in the Police Service and working for five different police forces during his career.

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'The Evil Within' Edited For Japan, Cut Content to Become DLC

July 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

When Bethesda Softworks releases the horror game The Evil Within in Japan, it will be missing some content. Bethesda had scheduled Shinji Mikami’s upcoming survival-horror game for an August release, but the publishers announced that the game would be delayed until October.

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Report: Western Australian Amendment Meddles With R18+ Rating

July 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On January 1, Australia finally and officially implemented an R18+ classification for games - something the government took a very long time to put in place. The goal of the rating was to allow games rated "Mature" elsewhere in the world to have a similar rating in Australia.

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June is 'Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month'

June 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

It's June, which means it's time for the Entertainment Merchants Association, the Digital Media Association (DiMA), Music Business Association (Music Biz), and National Association of Theatre Owners to remind consumers that this month is "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month." This coalition of trade groups representing various industries has chosen June as the month to raise awareness on all the ratings systems available for entertainment - something they have been doing annually since 2004.

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The Sims 4 Rated 'Adults-Only' In Russia Because of Same-Sex Relationships

May 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Russia's ratings agency that handles video games has given The Sims 4 an 18+ age rating due to the inclusion of same-sex relationships. The game violates a law that protects children from "information harmful to their health and development."

The Sims Russia Twitter account announced earlier this week that the game had earned the restrictive rating. Previous Sims games released in the region have all been rated T (Teen) or 12+ but a law passed in 2010 is the reason for the more restrictive rating.

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Australia Considers Automating Classification Process for Games, Film and TV

May 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Australia's government pushes for an automated solution to speed up the work of the Classification Board (the government ratings agency in charge of classifying ratings for games and other forms of entertainment) in the country, civil liberties groups and anti-pornography groups in the country are sounding alarm bells.

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TIGA Urges PEGI To Lower Pricing on Games Rating Certification

April 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK video games industry trade group TIGA has written an open letter to European game content rating system PEGI calling for a review and adjustment of its pricing policy, which the groups claims is charging indie developers in the UK "unreasonably high and repetitious fees." TIGA wrote the letter in response to complaints from its members about PEGI’s pricing policy.

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Report: 'Bravely Default' Banned in Saudi Arabia

April 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Destructoid blog (from a reader named "Lord Spencer" who lives in Saudi Arabia), the government has banned the Square Enix 3DS game Bravely Default for promoting sexual behavior in children and pedophilia. While it is not at all shocking that the government in this country bans a particular game, the reasoning for the Bravely Default ban is as over-the-top as one can get.

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Ubisoft and The Australian Classification Board Explain Why Watch Dogs Was Reclassified R18+

March 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Both Ubisoft and the Australian Classification Board have issued statements explaining why Watch Dogs was reclassified in the region as an R18+ game.

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Watch Dogs Gets a New R18+ Rating in Australia

March 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Watch Dogs has been reclassified in Australia and will come with more content warnings when it is released this Spring, according to CVG. The open-world hacking-themed action game was originally classified by the Australian Classification Board in September last year with a rating of MA15+.

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South Park: Stick of Truth Censored in Europe

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitcs Staff

A number of scenes have been cut from South Park: Stick of Truth to get the game a lower rating in Europe. According to a BT Games report citing a document given to the publication by publisher Ubisoft, at least seven 20-second scenes were removed from the European version of the game.

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Report: EA is Manipulating the Ratings for Free-to-Play Dungeon Keeper Game

February 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Electronic Arts is taking a bit of heat for its "free-to-play" mobile game, Dungeon Keeper. Besides players and critics complaining about how horribly the microtransactions are implemented into the gameplay, there's also accusations that EA is gaming the ratings system on Google Play.

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Analyst: Reviews Matter More at the Beginning of a New Console Cycle

December 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

New research from financial analytics firm EEDAR concludes that software reviews matter more in the early part of a console's life cycle. The new research from EEDAR provided to GamesIndustry International this morning shows a stronger correlation between review scores and sales early in a platform's lifespan.

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Report: Australians Getting Censored Version of South Park: The Stick of Truth

December 18, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Australians hoping that the new R18+ ratings system would finally allow them to play the same games the rest of the world is playing (save Germany, which has an even stricter system in place) will be sad to hear that the version of South Park: The Stick of Truth they'll get will be a modified experience.

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ESA Releases ESRB PSA

October 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has released a new public service announcement on its YouTube channel to highlight and promote the ESRB's video games ratings system and the parental controls they can use to keep their kids from playing inappropriate games.

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Poll Results: What do you think about Metacritic?

October 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In last week's poll we asked our readers, "What do you think about Metacritic?." Around 367 votes were cast, with the majority of voters saying that the review aggregation site isn't a bad thing, it is just being used incorrectly.

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Dead Rising 3 Will Not Be Released in Germany

October 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

German gaming site Games Welt reported last night (thanks to Cheater87 for sending this in) that the BPJM (Bundeprüfstelle für Jugendgefährende Medien), Germany's entertainment software self-regulation body, has refused to rate Capcom's Xbox One launch title, Dead Rising 3, effectively banning it from release within the region.

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Beyond: Two Souls Gets Censored in Europe

October 1, 2013 - James Fudge

Sony has confirmed that the European release of Quantic Dream's Beyond: Two Souls has been censored. Sony says that around 5-10 seconds of footage has been edited in the European release so that the game could get a PEGI 16 rating. Sony did not say just what exactly censors in Europe found so offensive as to have it altered to avoid a higher rating, but one would guess it relates to gratuitously violent scenes. As a general rule, having wanton violence in a game is a good way to get a PEGI 18 rating under the European ratings system...

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South Australian Attorney General Wants to Scrutinize Ratings Classification Board

September 20, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

South Australia Attorney General John Rau recently told the Australian Broadcasting Network (ABC) that the country's new video game classification (R18+, which went into effect in January of this year) rules are not being applied properly to games and the ratings process needs further scrutiny from the country's policy makers.

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ESRB Rating Search App Updated

August 23, 2013 - James Fudge

The ESRB has updated its video games rating search app in an effort to improve the information parents have access to when making decisions about the appropriateness of a purchase for their children. The ESRB recently expanded its rating system to offer more details on "interactive elements" associated with digital games and apps, such as the sharing of personal information, sharing location-based data with others, or the ability for users to interact, communicate, or share media like photos or videos.

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Grand Theft Auto V Lets Players Smoke Pot

August 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this year a trailer for Grand Theft Auto V gave the public a glimpse at an odd vending machine that apparently allowed players to buy marijuana. At first people thought it was a bit of a goof, but it turns out that pot smoking is in GTA V, alongside the usual amounts of violence, criminal activities, sexual content, and other drug use.

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IGEA CEO: Get Rid of Australian Classification Board

August 2, 2013 -

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA), the trade group representing the interactive entertainment industry in Australia, thinks that the rating system there is a mess and that the board that oversees it is more a hindrance than a help.

IGEA CEO Ron Curry says that the whole system needs to be overhauled because the classification system is dysfunctional and administered by a handful of government bureaucrats. He thinks that the system needs a serious revamp and that it needs to be administered by members of the industry instead.

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Saint's Row IV Secures MA15+ Rating in Australia

August 2, 2013 -

After being refused classification and losing an appeal on the first submission, Saint's Row IV has finally managed to secure a rating in Australia by the Australian Classification Board. After a modified version of the game was resubmitted, the Australian Classification Board classified the game as MA15+. At issue was a mission that contained the use of "alien narcotics" which improved the super powers of players for a limited time within the game. Publisher Deep Silver and developer Volition decided to remove the mission from the game.

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GTA V Rated R18+ for Australia

August 1, 2013 -

Take Two Interactive's and Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V passed through the Australian Classification Board review process and survived, earning an R18+ rating for the region. Many were concerned that the game might end up getting refused classification on its first pass through the process much like Saint's Row IV and State of Decay did earlier this year. Saint's Row IV still remains effectively banned in the region, even after the game went through a second review earlier this week.

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Australian Classification Board Reaffirms 'Refused Classification' Status for Saints Row 4

July 29, 2013 -

It looks like the unedited version of Saint's Row IV will not manage to get an R18+ rating in Australia. Re-reviewing the original decision, a three-person panel of the Australian Classification Review Board reaffirmed the ban and refused to classify the game. This effectively bans the sale of the game in the region on all platforms.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 62

July 29, 2013 -

On this week's show (Episode 62) hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the very public meltdown and rage-quit of Fez developer Phil Fish, Nintendo's decision to remove content from the next Super Smash Bros. game because of the Internet, Australia's hypocrisy when it comes to game ratings and drugs; and the results of last week's poll on Game Politics. Download Episode 62 now: SuperPAC Episode 62 (1 hour, 1 minute) 56.5 MB.

Is Taking Drugs in a Game Worse Than Selling Them? The Australian Classification Board Seems to Think So

July 26, 2013 -

The Australian Classification Board has refused classification on several games in recent weeks because they featured interactive drug use, but as web site Stevivor points out (thanks to Cheater87 for the link), different rules seem to apply to making and selling drugs.

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Video Standards Council Releases Annual Report on UK Video Games Ratings

July 23, 2013 -

The Video Standards Council has published its first annual report since it was designated as the UK's regulatory body for classifying video games on July 30, 2012. The report covers the last 5 months of 2012, and offers a brief history of the VSC, a description of what it does, and how it uses PEGI in the UK for all types of games.

The most interesting aspect of the new report is just how many games were classified and under what category for the UK.

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Saint's Row 4 to be Resubmitted to Australian Classification Board Next Week

July 22, 2013 -

You may recall that way back in June that Saints Row IV was officially the first game to be refused classification under the new ratings system in Australia. The Classification Board rejected the game (effectively issuing a ban on the sale of it in the region) because it contained content that the board felt was above and beyond the highest rating a game can get in the country - R18+.

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State of Decay Gets R18+ Rating in Australia

July 12, 2013 -

Undead Labs' zombie-survival action game State of Decay is no longer banned in Australia. The game has been granted an R18+ adult rating by the Classification Board, paving the way for it to be sold in Australia. Undead Labs resubmitted a modified version of the game that removed and replaced the contents that the Board found to be beyond the pale - interactive drug use that directly benefited gameplay.

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Matthew WilsonPeople who have run the Mario Galaxy games on a emulator have said they look better then most xb1/ps4 games when upscaled, so it would be interesting to see a upscaled version of Xenoblade08/01/2014 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenHeck, it would probably sell better to newbies anyway. Even with its awesome art direction, the game looked dated when it came out years ago. I imagine an SD version would be a tougher sell.08/01/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenBecause it would be cool, would serve the game's fantastic art direction well and encourage people who've already played it to buy it again.08/01/2014 - 7:42pm
ZippyDSMleeWhy bother with an HD relese just repack the damn thing and promote it since it will play on the WIIU anyway....08/01/2014 - 7:04pm
Andrew EisenPlus, with Nintendo carrying the Wii U almost all by itself, it could help plug one of the unfortunately inevitable release schedule gaps.08/01/2014 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenAn HD re-release would be cool though. It's a great game (and quite the looker, especially when up-rezzed) and more people should play it (the game had a limited release at a time when the Wii was all but dead an buried).08/01/2014 - 3:21pm
E. Zachary KnightSo no, people are not going to need to play the Wii game to undstand or enjoy the Wii U game.08/01/2014 - 1:27pm
E. Zachary KnightFrom what I understand, the two games have as much to do with eachother as Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 2.08/01/2014 - 1:26pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's my secret hope that Nintendo announces Xenoblade HD to be released in the leadup to Xenoblade Chronicles X, or at least a mass market version of the first game so that people aren't going into this one blind.08/01/2014 - 12:40pm
PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
 

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