It has been years in the making, and after lots and lots of campaigning, it has finally come. The upcoming Wii U game Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge will make Australian gaming history by becoming the first R18+ rated game to be released.
According to the Australian Classification Board, “Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge contains violence that is high in impact because of its frequency, high definition graphics, and emphasis on blood effects”.
Prior to January 1 this year, Australia did not have a classification for games that deemed to have high impact violence. Because of this, many games that were deemed to have ‘high impact violence’ were either modified (Left 4 Dead 2) or refused classification (Mortal Kombat 9). However, we have come to this weird situation where the Wii U version does not meet up with the original game – that was rated MA15+. This is due to that rating being based on the old classification system.
Unfortunately, Queenslanders will not be able to get the game legally within the state (though, you can cross the border to get it) due to the state’s parliament not passing laws to let it be legal. In addition, South Australia could theoretically ban it if they wanted to – but they haven’t made any opposition yet.
The ACB’s full press release is below.
‘Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge’ first R 18+ computer game in Australia
The Director of the Classification Board, Ms Lesley O’Brien announced today that Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge was the first computer game in Australia to be classified R 18+ in the newly created adult category.
The Classification Board classified the game R 18+ (Restricted) with consumer advice of ‘High impact bloody violence’.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge is an action adventure game for the Nintendo Wii U console in which players assume the role of Ryu Hayabusa, a cursed ninja battling a terrorist organisation.
Ms O’Brien said computer games classified R 18+ are legally restricted to adults.
“Under the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games, R 18+ computer games will have a high impact and it is for this reason that these games are not suitable for under 18s,” Ms O’Brien said.
“Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge contains violence that is high in impact because of its frequency, high definition graphics, and emphasis on blood effects.”
When making decisions about computer games, the Classification Board must use the criteria set out in the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games Act) 1995, the National Classification Code and the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games.
The new Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games came into effect on 1 January 2013. Prior to then, Australia did not have an adult category for computer games.
Under state and territory laws it is illegal to sell R 18+ computer games to people under 18.
An application to classify Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge was received by the Classification Board on 3 January 2013 from Nintendo Australia Pty Ltd and the decision was finalised today (11 January). It was classified M (for ages 17 and over) by the Entertainment Rating Software Board (ESRB) in the United States and 18+ by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) Scheme which covers most of Europe and the United Kingdom.
‘I encourage consumers to use the National Classification Database to find out about the classifications of computer games,’ Ms O’Brien said