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Mortal Kombat banned in Australia, fatalities to blame [Update]

Friday, 25th February 2011 03:49 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The Australian Classifications Board has deemed Mortal Kombat’s content to fall outside the country’s highest video game ratings category, effectively banning it from sale within Australia.

Although the classification is yet to go public, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Australia issued a statement to GamePron.

“We are extremely disappointed that Mortal Kombat, one of the world’s oldest and most successful video games franchises, will not be available to mature Australian gamers.

“WBIE would not market mature content where it is not appropriate for the audience. We understand that not all content is for every audience, but there is an audience for mature gaming content and it would make more sense to have the R18+ classification in Australia.”

Some publishers have dealt with classifications bans by modifying content for local release, as with Valve’s removal of gore from the local version of Left 4 Dead 2, but Warner Bros. hints it may have other plans in mind.

“As a member of the iGEA, WBIE is reviewing all options available at this time,” the statement added, referring to Australia and New Zealand’s games industry association.

Australia’s highest ratings category for games is MA 15+, and those which fall outside the limits of this rating are deemed “refused classification” – and banned from retail or digital sale.

The nation’s attorney-general’s are currently debating the introduction of an R18+ ratings category, while industry bodies and interest groups call for an overhaul of Australia’s venerable ratings standards to bring them in line with international policies.

[Update] The Classification Board’s official ruling has been revealed. According to the summary, the Board invoked the controversially vague clause “computer games that are unsuitable for a minor to see and play will be Refused Classification”.

“The game contains violence that exceeds strong in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons aged under 18 years to play,” the ruling notes.

It’s the fatalities that did it, of course.

“The Board notes that fatalities cannot be performed in Story mode and are unlikely to be performed frequently during gameplay; however, it is also noted that there are more than 60 fatalities available and they are an important component of the game.

“… [the fatalities] contain explicit depictions of dismemberment, decapitation, disembowelment and other brutal forms of slaughter. Despite the exaggerated conceptual nature of the fatalities and their context within a fighting game set in a fantasy realm, impact is heightened by the use of graphics which are realistically rendered and very detailed.”

Warner Bros and NetherRealm have been quite tight about the game’s unlockable fatalities, but the Board was prepared to describe some of them. Spoilers ahead.

  • Kung Lao throws his metal hat into the ground and it spins like a buzz saw. He grabs his prone opponent by the ankles and drags their body through the saw, explicitly slicing them vertically in half. Copious bloodspray is noted. Kung Lao then holds up both halves of the corpse as blood pours out.
  • Quan Chi explicitly rips his opponent’s leg off, accompanied by copious bloodspray. As they lie on the groins, he explicitly beats them with the severed leg for a prolonged period of time.
  • Baraka explicitly lodges a blade (attached to his wrist) in an opponent’s stomach and hoists them above his head. He spins them round and explicitly decapitates and dismembers them, accompanied by copious bloodspray.

Breaking news

25 Comments

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  1. DBZ0wnz

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    THIS IS SO DEPRESSING!

    #1 3 years ago
  2. theevilaires

    Just silly plain stupid. These are the same people who went out and viciously killed sting rays because that crocodile hunter got killed by one and a video game gets banned!? Fucking retards just another reason why America is the best country in the world.

    Oh well just import it on the PS3 since A. the PS3 isn’t region locked for games and B. its the superior version of the two consoles anyway due to D-Pad and C. Kratos fatalities.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Crysis

    Oh this is beyond pathetic, It would be much cheaper & easier to adopt a foreign ratings system.

    @2, America is the most overweight country in the world, heavily renown for it’s random act of violence & the entire country is full of finger pointers that are deeply divided on every single important matter, not to mention a huge chunk of the population are living in excess, countless lives owned by the banks, but no, you’re right, let’s judge countries by who has the better video game ratings system.
    *Sorry if I sound racist, but no one likes an over patriotic American, when they say love your country, they don’t mean be blinded in love.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. osric90

    There’s always the importing option.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. MoskitoKrebs

    @2 i just love ur comment!! I totally agree with you.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. MoskitoKrebs

    #5

    Im kiddin! what #3 Crysis said is the reason I dont understand americans and I will never understand them!

    #6 3 years ago
  7. James Mac

    @2.

    We didn’t go after stingrays when Irwin died.
    He was a dumbfuck, but he knew the risks of what he did.

    On topic:
    Bloody hell SCAG, how long do taxpayers have to wait for action?
    Is it going to take the complete collapse of an entire retail sector for you guys to get it together?
    Does an 86 to 97 percent support rate not count as an overwhelming majority to your parties?

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Crysis

    @7, Politicians don’t get payed to act, they get payed to talk about acting.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Gekidami

    @7
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-404804/Stingrays-killed-revenge-attacks-Crocodile-Hunter-Irwin.html

    #9 3 years ago
  10. The_Red

    Wait, they DIDN’T ban a game like Splatterhouse, which was NOTHING but dismemberment and gore, with one of the finisher involving an enemy’s anus but are banning MK!? WTF!?

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Michael O’Connor

    lolaustralia

    #11 3 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    Lol, i’m sure germany will follow.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DarkElfa

    @3, Get of your fucking podium, that’s every country jack-ass, don’t try to pretend that the US is the only country suffering violence, division, finger pointing and class separation. the only thing that makes America seem worse is that we air more of our dirty laundry than anyone else.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Michael O’Connor

    @13 No, I assure you, it isn’t every country.

    Nobody said it was the only country. Just one of the worst. Having lived there, I can safely say most of @3′s criticism are entirely true.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Crysis

    @13, Where did I ever say that these problems were exclusive to America? I was pointing out to your fellow patriot that your country is renown for all of the before mentioned, pff, patriots are just like fanboys, they’re all extremists.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. distraet

    FINISH HIM! Australia strikes again.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. LOLshock94

    @crysis can you not pre-order it from new zealand?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. theevilaires

    @ Crysis what does obesity have to do with the fact that you morons slaughter innocent creatures like stingrays and thats fine because of an act of revenge but a video games made up of digital polygons is banned? Any country that keeps banning video games are plain stupid when there’s so much other shit in other mediums that display the same thing and worst.

    As far as America being the best country in the world when was the last time you heard of a game being banned in the U.S.A.?…..Go ahead I’ll wait until you get back from your google search……..here let me help your incompetent ass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_banned_video_games

    Like Darkelfa said you guys try to pretend your nations are all innocent but America shows it true face to the world. Its not a perfect nation but its a nation of real people who aren’t afraid to be themselves and want what they want. I could never live in a country where the government is this stupid to even consider a move like this. Mortal Kombat has been released and spanned out over 3 DECADES! and NOW they want to ban this one!? Ed Boon and his group of clowns can never create a fatality so shockingly gory that we all haven’t thought up ourselves or haven’t seen in the SAW or Hostel movies.

    Stop eating Kangaroo meat and maybe you can think properly down there.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. ManBearPig

    @crysis im new hear and i was wondering do you austrillians order your games from new Zealand because of this rating thing?

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Crysis

    First of, the Chinese consume more kangaroo meat than Australians,
    secondly, you can’t honestly be serious about judging an entire country by a banned game,
    thirdly, where the hell did you “you morons slaughter innocent creatures like stingrays” from? If it’s about Steve Irwin, he was a much larger deal in America than he was down here. Your argument is pathetic about killing stingrays for revenge, never even heard of anyone doing that, then again, people hunt for ‘fun’ or ‘sport’, is that really any better?
    You use very odd & untrue stereotypes to try & prove… what was it again?

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Crysis

    @18, very few large games get banned, but New Zealanders pay an even higher rrp than us so it wouldn’t make much sense to import from there when it’s half that price to import from the UK.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. theevilaires

    Oh I’m sorry if you can’t read the headline dummy but it doesn’t say Mortal Kombat is banned in Sydney or Melbourne or Victoria or Queensland it says AUSTRALIA as meaning the whole country. The people elect their government and the government represent the people. So yes I’m judging all of you.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. tmac2011

    wow sorry aussies, im glad this game wont get banned here in u.s.a

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Crysis

    @21, Politicians make stupid decisions regardless of what country they’re in, should I judge American’s as puppets because they’re lead by one not all that long ago?

    #24 3 years ago
  25. James Mac

    @18.

    If we import them, we do so from the UK generally.
    The Australian Dollar is currently around parity with the US, but a 60 dollar game in the US retails here for around 110… so, as we’re in the same coding region as the UK, and the pricing in the UK is closer to the US, that’s where we go.

    There are some companies in the UK whose business is purely selling games online to Australia.

    Given that it’s a smaller market games in NZ are priced differently, digital pricing on Fallout: New Vegas is a classic example.

    #25 3 years ago