Mortal Kombat Banned, Warner Challenges Classification Board

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One of the biggest franchises in the gaming world, Mortal Kombat has been ‘refused classification’ by the Australian Classification Board, thus being banned in Australia.After 18 years of video gaming blood and gore, an upcoming Mortal Kombat game has been refused classification and cannot be sold on its scheduled April 20 release in Australia.

Publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment said: “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.”

The publisher is set to appeal the decision with the Australian Classification Review Board, stating in a statement that the company believes the violence that got the game banned is on par with other titles already available in Australia.

While games like Fallout 3 that also received ‘refused classification’ (RC) status have gone back to the drawing board and altered their content for re-release in Australia, Mortal Kombat is being resubmitted for appeal without change.

 

The gaming industry has been contesting the lack of an R18+ or Adults Only rating for video games for years though has been met by stiff political resistance. The current ratings system is based on legislation (namely the Commonwealth Classification Act) made in the mid-90s when video games were seen as more of a children’s medium than mature entertainment.

CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, Ron Curry released a statement today condemning the decision to ban Mortal Kombat.

“The granting of another RC to a video game clearly designed and targeted at ADULTS again highlights the shortcomings of the current classification scheme. In particular, the absence of an adult classification,” said Curry.

Former-South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson was in firm opposition of an R18+ classification for video games, but his resignation in mid-2010 was seen by gamers and the industry as a potential window for change (that so far has not come).

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