Australian R18+ decision delayed thanks to elections

Wednesday, 16 February 2011 05:02 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The question of Australia’s contentious video game ratings categories must remain unanswered for another quarter, as state elections interfere with an expected March ruling.

According to Gamespot, Australia’s state attorney-generals were set to make a decision on the introduction of an R18+ rating for games at a meeting on March 4 in Wellington, New Zealand.

However state elections in New South Wales will keep John Hatzistergos from attending, nixing the possibility of the required unanimous decision.

The issue was originally supposed to have been settled at a December 2010 meeting, but after much debate the attendees chose to delay the decision. The next meeting of state attorney generals is expected in June.

Australia’s highest ratings category for games is MA 15+, well below those available to comparable media such as film and literature, which causes friction with major publishers.

The nation frequently experiences delays, recalls, edited releases, or even – as in the case of Risen – no local release at all.