UPDATED: The upcoming reboot of the 90s game series, Syndicate, has been refused classification in Australia, meaning that Australian gamers will be unable to play the game legally and will have a tough time playing it without piracy or risky importing.
The game will continue to be released overseas and it again shows how terrible lack of an R18+ game rating is for Australia. EA has officially responded to the ban saying that
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 ofadult consumers the right to make their own content choices.
EA has said that they will definitely no longer be attempting to release the game in Australia because of this and will not be appealing the decision. They also say that the game is made for a mature audience and any changes would affect the quality, according to EA. New Zealand will be getting it on the 24th February 2012 and it will be rated R18 there.
Let’s hope that EA and every other publisher, gamer and developer’s wishes finally come true and we get an 18+ rating soon. Otherwise, expect more censorship that hurts the Australian gaming industry.
UPDATE – Terence Huynh: The Classification Board gave refused classification because the board did not like the “intense sequence of violence which include detailed depictions of decapitation and dismemberment” and the fact that the player has the choice of “whether to target [civilians] or not”. They can be shot but not decapitated or dismembered.
The full decision can be seen below, which we have acquired from the Classification Board.