Poll: Will Australia's R18+ Rating Change Anything?

January 2, 2013 -

As we reported earlier today, Australia now has an R18+ rating for its video games.

Hooray!

But will the extra rating change anything?  The government still has the ability to refuse classification.  Will particularly violent titles be released under the new adult rating or will they just get banned anyway?

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R18+ Ratings Classification for Games Goes Into Effect for Australia

January 2, 2013 -

On January 1, the Australian R18+ classification for video games went into effect. Prior to that, Australia remained one of the few developed countries not to have a classification equivalent to a "mature" game rating. In the past, games that had content that was considered too mature for the country's MA15+ category would often be refused classification - effectively games at this level were banned for sale in the region.

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Microsoft Changes Policy on PEGI 18-Rated Games in Windows 8 Marketplace

December 14, 2012 -

This week Microsoft changed its policy on selling games on its Windows 8 Marketplace in regions under the PEGI ratings system that carried an adult rating of 18. Before the change users couldn't get their hands on any games rated 18 like Mass Effect 3.

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UKIE: Twenty-Four Percent of UK Parents Don't Check Game Ratings

December 14, 2012 -

According to new research from UK video game industry trade group UKIE, 24 percent of parents are unlikely to check the ratings of the video games they buy for their children during the holiday shopping season. UKIE says that only two out of five parents said that they buy games with a suitable age rating, while 43 percent said they checked ratings but didn't necessarily followed the PEGI guidelines.

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ISFE Releases Videogames in Europe: 2012 Consumer Study

December 13, 2012 -

The Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE published a new report today containing detailed consumer information about gaming habits, broader media interests, online gameplay, gaming in a family context and the PEGI age rating system in Europe. The data comes from an online survey of around 15,000 respondents from 16 European countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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iGEA CEO: New Game Classifications for Australia are Already Slowly Becoming Irrelevant

December 12, 2012 -

Australia's new classification guidelines due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013 are already becoming irrelevant, according to the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) CEO Ron Curry.

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Report: European Wii U eShop Prohibits Access to Mature Content During the Day

December 7, 2012 -

Apparently taking cues from 'Cinemax' or 'Showtime After Dark,' Eurogamer has discovered that the European Wii U eShop prohibits all consumers from accessing mature-rated games and content during the daytime hours.

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Queensland Government Delays Implementation of R18+ Ratings for Games

December 3, 2012 -

GameSpot is reporting that the government of Queensland, Australia will not sell games marked with the new R18+ rating in the state until sometime after February 7, 2013.

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Dead Island: Riptide Won't Be Released in Germany

November 29, 2012 -

It looks like the follow-up to the Zombie-themed action-RPG Dead Island won't be coming to Germany. In a recent interview with PCGamesN, Dead Island: Riptide creative producer Sebastian Reichert said this was due to the country's strict guidelines on the sale of violent media.

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EA CEO Calls for Universal Ratings System

November 15, 2012 -

At a gathering of politicians and industry types this week in Washington D.C., Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said that the industry needs a universal ratings system for games across all conceivable platforms and in all territories around the world. He made his comments to a gathering that included the FCC Commissioner and Chairman, according to a Polygon report.

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Microsoft: Windows 8 Store to Support PEGI 18 Rated Games

October 26, 2012 -

Microsoft has changed its position on selling games rated "18" in the UK (under the PEGI system) via the Windows 8 marketplace. Previously the platform owner had made the decision by comparing the "adult" category used by the ESRB in North America - a category reserved for games with very strong sexual content or extreme violence.

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ESRB Expands Game Ratings to Better Support Digitally Distributed Games

October 24, 2012 -

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) announced what they are calling a "streamlined, no-cost service for assigning ratings to all digitally delivered games." The ESRB's new "Digital Rating Service" gives developers and publishers access to a "brief but detailed online questionnaire" to define a product's content, age-appropriateness, interactive elements, and platforms.

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UK Games Rating Authority Launches New Site with 'Additional Consumer Information'

October 2, 2012 -

The Games Rating Authority (GRA), part of the United Kingdom's Video Standards Council (VSC) has launched its new website today. The new site adds what the GRA calls "Additional Consumer Information" (ACI) that gives consumers the ability to search for a specific game title and learn what it was rated under a certain category. The ACI is a text-based system that is meant to supplement the PEGI visual descriptors. It offers a brief outline of the game and information about the "strength and frequency of a rating issue."

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Australian AG Greenlights MA15+ and R18+ Game Ratings Classifications

September 18, 2012 -

Australia’s Attorney General John Rau has done an about face according to Indaily, who reports that he has given a greenlight to both MA15+ and R18+ games rating classifications. Previously he had made a decision to abolish the MA15+ classification in South Australia when the new 18-rated game classification was approved.

The Attorney General said that the recently released guidelines were "stringent enough" and different enough from an earlier draft he had some qualms about.

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Australia's Classification Board Puts Emphasis on Interactive Elements

September 13, 2012 -

VG247 points out the release of a new document released by Australia's classification board, which puts a strong emphasis on the negative effects that games can have due to their "interactive elements."

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Australian Capital Territory Introduces R18+ Ratings Classification for Games

August 24, 2012 -

The Australian Capital Territory has officially introduced the R18+ ratings classification for games, according to Gamespot (Thanks to Cheater87 for the tip). The law was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly this week, making it the first territory in the country to do so. The new rating was introduced earlier this year.

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Verizon App Store for Android Adds ESRB Ratings

August 14, 2012 -

While other App stores such as Google Play and Apple App Store have eschewed the ESRB ratings system here in the United States in favor of their own internal systems, Verizon is taking a different tact. Verizon has been slowly adding the ESRB ratings system for all of the gaming apps in the Verizon App Store for its supported Android devices.

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PEGI Officially Enforceable in the UK

July 30, 2012 -

The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) ratings system is officially in effect in the United Kingdom today, with the reins of the video game ratings bureaucracy leaving the auspices of the  BBFC. The change means that retailers in the region that sell video games rated for 12-, 16- or 18-year-olds to children below those age limits would be subject to prosecution and other legal actions. Packaging for games in the UK will now contain age ratings, and descriptors for language, drug use, discrimination, gambling, sex, violence, online gameplay, and more.

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Japanese Release of Sleeping Dogs to Feature Punishment System for Killing Citizens

June 27, 2012 -

It looks like Square Enix is editing the contents of its upcoming game in order for it to be released in Japan. The game, (called Sleeping Dogs Hong Kong Secret Police in Japan and Sleeping Dogs in other parts of the world) developed by United Front, will be edited to fit the market in some bizarre ways.

Besides getting a rating of CERO Z (adults only), the game will be edited with a system that punishes players for killing civilians. We have no idea what that punishment will be, but we imagine it will be much more than a "time out."

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UKIE: PEGI Could Be UK Law as Soon as July 23

June 12, 2012 -

The pan-European games ratings system (PEGI) could be legally enforceable in the United Kingdom as soon as July 23, according to UKIE. Though the date is not set in stone, the UKIE is getting the word out that the new rating system approved by Parliament last month will soon be the law of the land. And when we say law, we mean there are certain rules that will apply to retailers that can get them a hefty fine or prosecution if they are caught selling age-inappropriate games to minors.

A subsequent update from UKIE CEO Jo Twist back pedaled slightly on the July 23 date: 

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June is 'Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month'

June 1, 2012 -

The Digital Media Association (DiMA), Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM), and National Association of Theatre Owners declare June to be "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month." June has been proclaimed "Entertainment Ratings and Labeling Awareness Month" by the groups since 2004. The participating organizations are encouraging movie theaters, and retailers of movies, music, and video games to highlight the importance of ratings systems to their customers.

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VSC Clarifies New PEGI Ratings Guidelines, Penalties for UK

May 16, 2012 -

The Video Standards Council (VSC) issued a press release today announcing details on how the PEGI ratings system will work in the United Kingdom when it replaces the current ratings system used in the region to rate video game content. The VSC said that it issued the statement today to provide "greater clarity" on how their position as the new UK regulator for video games will affect future video game regulations in the country.

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UK PEGI Ratings Bring Penalties to Careless Retailers

May 11, 2012 -

One of the things we did not note when we wrote about it earlier this week is that, with the PEGI rating system coming to the United Kingdom, there will be a change in the law that retailers will want to take note of. According to the official release from the Department for Culture Media and Sports (DCMS) the Video Standards Council (VSC) will have the right to "refuse to grant an age-rating for a video game if it includes extreme content” (which means it can’t be sold in the UK).

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PEGI Games Age Ratings in July, Says UKIE

April 26, 2012 -

The long-delayed implementation of the PEGI age rating system will be ready for prime time by July of this year in the UK, according to MCV. This news comes from UK video game industry trade group UKIE.

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ESRB's Patricia Vance Talks About a Universal Ratings System

April 10, 2012 -

In a freshly-posted interview with Gamasutra, the ESRB's top executive talks about making the voluntary ratings system used by the North American video game industry a universal ratings system, among various topics including how to deal with getting consistent ratings on mobile and portable platforms such as Android and iOS devices and the challenges related to digitally distributed games.

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South Australia to Keep MA15+ Rating

April 3, 2012 -

South Australia will introduce a new law that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing a game with a rating of MA15+, according to a report from Gamespot Australia. A spokesperson for South Australian Attorney-General John Rau told GameSpot that this move is "a more practical measure" than Rau's previously announced plan of removing the MA15+ category altogether.

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Australian Capital Takes R18+ Rating for a Test Drive

March 27, 2012 -

It’s been a long time coming but Australia is finally getting the adult rating for video games that Aussie gamers have been clamoring for.  You know, the adult rating that movies and books in that country already have.

Ahem.

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Australia's R18+ Legislation Passes Lower House

March 20, 2012 -

Australia's R18+ legislation has passed the House of Representatives, with advocates hoping that it will be adopted by the Senate at some point. This puts the adult classification that most Australian citizens have been asking for multiple years on track to becoming law by early 2013. In order for it to pass through the Senate, the bill will require the support of either the coalition or the Greens (both support the R18+ classification). Once it passes the Senate, the R18+ legislation will become law.

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Congressmen Joe Baca and Frank Wolf Propose Bill to Label All Games With Warning Labels

March 20, 2012 -

Congressmen Joe Baca (D-Calif.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) introduced a bill on Monday that would require video games to carry a special warning label similar to the kind found on cigarettes. That warning would be:

"WARNING: Exposure to violent video games has been linked to aggressive behavior."

The bill is H.R. 4204, or Violence in Video Games Labeling Act. The sponsors say the law is a reaction to increasing evidence that playing violent games can have a serious long-lasting impact on children that should require a health warning to consumers.

Ubisoft Encouraged Swearing in Shoot Many Robots

March 15, 2012 -

What the F@#k? Apparently Ubisoft encouraged developer Demiurge Studios to make their first independent title, Shoot Many Robots, as filthy as possible. According to Demiurge CEO Albert Reed Ubisoft encouraged them to drop as many f-bombs as they liked in the game.

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Andrew EisenMarvel has replaced Manara on the variant covers for Thor #2 and Avengers and X-Men: AXIS #1. I hope I'm wrong but I don't think Marvel is learning the right lesson here.09/23/2014 - 6:26pm
quiknkoldI'm 7 years old, and my cousin(Also 7, maybe 8 at this time) tells me has Battletoads. its Summer Vacation. We play and play and play until finally, We won coop. Those were the days.09/23/2014 - 5:29pm
quiknkoldlets take a moment to share some gaming memories, shall we?09/23/2014 - 5:28pm
MechaTama31I buy stuff off the eshop because it gives me the convenience of a flashcart without the guilt.09/23/2014 - 5:03pm
Montewell thanks for the info Eisen; try that the next time i need something off the eshop09/23/2014 - 3:54pm
james_fudgere: MP, i've sent tech support a note - thank you :)09/23/2014 - 3:14pm
IanCNah that wasnt directed at you Andrew :)09/23/2014 - 3:00pm
Papa MidnightRe: SIEGE 2014 Keynote: oh dear...09/23/2014 - 2:44pm
MaskedPixelanteDear GP, something called "doubleverify" is causing some nasty browser issues on my end. Probably one of your ads.09/23/2014 - 2:36pm
Andrew EisenOh hell no. No, it took Nintendo a dog's age just to get to the point its competitors have been at for a while! (And it's still not there yet, in a lot of respects.)09/23/2014 - 2:26pm
IanCSame as PSN handles it, fi you are trying to say only nintendo do that.09/23/2014 - 2:23pm
Andrew EisenYou have to try to purchase something first. Pick a game, hit purchase and if your wallet doesn't have enough to cover it, you'll be given an option to "add exact funds" or something like that.09/23/2014 - 2:05pm
MonteI have seen no option for that on my 3DS; anytime i want to add funds it only gives me the option to add in denominations of $10, 20, 50 or 10009/23/2014 - 2:03pm
IanCWhat Andrew Wilson said. PSN is the same when you make a purchase over a certain price (£5 in the UK)09/23/2014 - 2:02pm
Andrew EisenNeither eShop charges sales tax either. At least in California.09/23/2014 - 2:00pm
Andrew EisenBoth Wii U and 3DS eShops allow you to add funds in the exact amount of whatever's in your shopping cart. If your game is $39.99, you can add exactly $39.99.09/23/2014 - 1:57pm
Infophile@Matthew Wilson: As I understand it, any regulations to force tax online would also set up an easy database for these stores to use, minimizing overhead.09/23/2014 - 1:30pm
MonteReally, the eshop just does next to nothing to make buying digitally advantagous for the customer. Its nice to have the game on my 3DS, but i can get more for less buying a physical copy at retail. And that's not even counting buying used09/23/2014 - 1:18pm
MonteIanC, The Eshop wallet system only lets you add funds in set denominations and the tax makes sure you no longer have round numbers so you ALWAYS loose money. A $39.99 game for instance requires you to add $50 instead of just $4009/23/2014 - 1:13pm
Matthew Wilsonbut thats just it those sites, even the small ones, sell all over the country.09/23/2014 - 11:12am
 

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