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Post by Dan @ 10:27am 21/12/11 | 33 Comments
Following yesterday's news of EA and Starbreeze's Syndicate revival having been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board, EA have released an official statement confirming that they will not be appealing the decision, nor modifying the game to confirm to an MA15+ rating. Here's the official line:
"It’s regrettable that government policy in Australia is denying adults the right to play Syndicate. The game will be not be available in Australia despite its enthusiastic response from fans. We were encouraged by the government’s recent agreement to adopt an 18+ age rating for games. However, delays continue to force an arcane censorship on games – cuts that would never be imposed on books or movies. We urge policy makers to take swift action to implement an updated policy that reflects today’s market and gives its millions of adult consumers the right to make their own content choices."
While it's disappointing that we won't be seeing the game on local shelves, it's encouraging to see a developer sticking to their vision and not dishing us a watered down local version.

According to the ACB report, excessive violence is the line-crossing issue, much like the similarly fated Mortal Kombat. This time around, it seems decapitation, dismemberment and potential for corpse tampering are the key hang-ups that make this game unsuitable for Australia's 15 year old cut off rating.

Syndicate is due to launch everywhere else in the world (including next door in New Zealand) on February 24th 2012 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.



electronic artseastarbreezesyndicatera18refused classification
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Latest Comments
Timmeh
Posted 10:39am 21/12/11
Hi Ho Hi Ho, Overseas I go.


Also February 23rd 2012 ;P
Reverend Evil
Posted 10:40am 21/12/11
I wasn't gonna play it but it still sucks it's not getting released here.
copuis
Posted 10:46am 21/12/11
this is sad, however it might show, (and stir people to be more active in changing it) how behind and off our rating system is (in regards to gaming)
Pinky
Posted 10:53am 21/12/11
I agree, glad to see they aren't creating a watered down version.
Winston
Posted 11:04am 21/12/11
I wasn't going to play it but this pisses me off.
Eorl
Posted 11:09am 21/12/11
Good to see them sticking it to the man.
Grundar
Posted 11:51am 21/12/11
The classification system has been borked for a long time for games, but it is not as simple as, "put in an R rating". I Imagine they are worried about been able to enforce the classification as gaming is still viewed as "kids" stuff. Games are far more interactive than your average movie or book and there is always concern about exposing the young to extreme violence and sexual content - which is honestly a valid concern. While I (and many, many other gamers) have lobbied for an R classification for games for a long time now (since 2000 infact), you have to consider that merely having an R classification doesn't make the games any more safe for those who shouldn't be exposed to the content and it certainly will not make it any more inaccessible (you could argue that when they come in they simply become more accessible due to it being allowed for sale at all).

It really depends on what side of the debate you sit on - games influence young minds (hell even older ones), we all know that, to what degree/extent it is argued. In a roundabout way do you think GTA (MA15+) is honestly suitable in content for anyone under the age of 15 or not? Many think yes, it's too violent, is degrading to various peoples, teaches that violence solves all problems etc.. while some think it's fine their 8 year old plays it as it is "just a game".

The classification system is archaic, of that there is no doubt, the issue though is that it is simply more than just putting in a new category so older games aren't perpetually inconvenienced by watered down game content.

Sorry, that's a lot of waffling on to say that a Classification system isn't the be all and end all of game censorship in this country. If this was more like the original syndicate, yeah i'd be upset, but it's not so i'm not upset :P
Khel
Posted 12:01pm 21/12/11
Arcane censorship? I wonder if they meant archaic
trog
Posted 12:08pm 21/12/11
Good on them I reckon. It is sad, but obviously won't stop anyone who wants it from getting their hands on it, so obviously Australian retailers will obviously miss out on this one almost worse than anyone else.
Zakson
Posted 12:29pm 21/12/11
Good on them I reckon. It is sad, but obviously won't stop anyone who wants it from getting their hands on it, so obviously Australian retailers will obviously miss out on this one almost worse than anyone else.

Well obviously.
Hogfather
Posted 12:42pm 21/12/11
Well obviously.

Stating the obvious there much?
Zakson
Posted 12:46pm 21/12/11
Stating the obvious there much?

Is it that obvious?
slamma
Posted 01:34pm 21/12/11
well i'm oblivious to that being obvious
scuzzy
Posted 01:44pm 21/12/11
Arcane censorship? I wonder if they meant archaic
both could work!
Timmeh
Posted 01:47pm 21/12/11
inserts your new here meme
teq
Posted 01:55pm 21/12/11
this thread is pretty much what qgl is now, people correcting one another more than discussing the OP.
Mordecai
Posted 02:14pm 21/12/11
this thread is pretty much what qgl is now, people correcting one another more than discussing the OP.

No, you are wrong.
Fuzzy
Posted 03:52pm 21/12/11
Online stores here I come....
Ozzy
Posted 06:39pm 21/12/11
Hope the business such as EB, JB HIFI become more vocal instead of sitting on the fence, this is impacting their business.
Trauma
Posted 07:23pm 21/12/11
Hope the business such as EB, JB HIFI become more vocal instead of sitting on the fence, this is impacting their business.

IIRC such businesses have been rather active in gaining support on this topic. Mainly by way of petitions.
Pinky
Posted 07:50pm 21/12/11
Hope the business such as EB, JB HIFI become more vocal instead of sitting on the fence, this is impacting their business.

To be fair, EB was very active on the R18+ issue.

http://www.ebgames.com.au/news-728-The-time-to-be-heard-is-now-EB-Games-launches-R18-Classification-Petition
WirlWind
Posted 03:11am 22/12/11
Trog, if the Aussie businesses start missing out on more and more games, there's alot of pressure they can put onto the old d***bags who (for some reason) are allowed to run this country.

Maybe we'll end up with an industry regulated system like the US if they shout hard enough?
Eorl
Posted 06:39am 22/12/11
We just have old bags still thinking dial up is the new thing.
GarG
Posted 08:16am 22/12/11
"It’s regrettable that government policy in Australia is denying adults the right to play Syndicate." Niiiiiiiicce.I actually like this response from the evil overlord that is EA!
trog
Posted 11:04am 22/12/11
Trog, if the Aussie businesses start missing out on more and more games, there's alot of pressure they can put onto the old d***bags who (for some reason) are allowed to run this country.Maybe we'll end up with an industry regulated system like the US if they shout hard enough?
Unfortunately that didn't happen with the book industry - not through lack of trying, just they couldn't really ever shout hard enough to drown out the moron minority interest groups that appear to have unlimited spare time. Even more unfortunately with games, the moron minority interest groups are those "think of the children" a******* that honestly feel like they are saving babies, so they're even more vocal about it.

However, it is looking like there is light at the end of the tunnel with the recent changes, so I'm not all doom and gloom about it.
Dazhel
Posted 11:17am 22/12/11
However, it is looking like there is light at the end of the tunnel with the recent changes, so I'm not all doom and gloom about it.


So EB Games is going out of business like Borders and Angus & Robertson did?
Hooray!
Kimbo
Posted 02:18am 23/12/11
Wish "EA" would go out of business like Angus & Robertson and stop downsizing development houses.
Ozzy
Posted 01:37pm 23/12/11
Noticed my PCPP mag has Syndicate on the front cover. Poor sods.
Dean
Posted 07:01pm 06/3/12
does that mean if we get it shipped here for xbox does that mean it wont work though because of the area code
Tele
Posted 07:37pm 06/3/12
Think of the children :/
DeadlyDav0
Posted 07:42pm 06/3/12
Nice tele.
Basket
Posted 08:16pm 06/3/12
Noticed my PCPP mag has Syndicate on the front cover. Poor sods.


Oh man that makes me reminisce, Now I want to go pick up the latest copy to continue my ridiculous collection of those magazines
Eorl
Posted 08:23pm 06/3/12
Why the bump Tele...
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