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In the wake of F.E.A.R. 2′s unbanning, we pinged Warner Bros marketing guy Mark Aubrey to get his thoughts on the classification u-turn. You can read the full Q&A after the jump.
To me, it sounds like they simply spent more time going through the game when demonstrating it to the Review Board. It’s also worth noting that the Classification Board and the Review Board are not the same thing; the latter only ever hears appeals of the former’s decisions. They’re comprised of different people, too, which might also help explain why a different decision was reached.
In perhaps the most glaring example of the OFLC’s utter disregard for consistency, Grand Theft Auto IV will be released in Australia on PC completely uncut. Even though the console versions were cut, cut, cut.
According to a new rating from Australia’s Office of Film & Literature Classification board, there may be a new OutRun game in the works. The OFLC has rated a game titled OutRun Online Arcade for a multi-platform release, one published by Sega and, oddly enough, “produced” and “authored” by THQ. The two companies had enjoyed a publishing agreement on Game Boy Advance titles in the past, but development duties on the OutRun series has largely been handled by internal Sega teams and UK-based indie studio Sumo Digital.
Fallout 3 edited and set for a local release. It was only a matter of time. But what exactly can we expect from this altered version? Hopefully we’ll have an answer for you soon. For the time being, all I have is comment from an OFLC spokesperson.
As expected, the main changes were to the portrayal of drug use in the game. According to the OFLC, the incentives and rewards for their use have been “removed”. I don’t want to cause alarm, but this doesn’t sound like a simple cosmetic change (such as a rename of morphine). I mean, the “reward” for using morphine is the ability to ignore the detrimental effects of pain on the player. I can’t see why you’d use morphine if this was taken away.
Anyway, I’m just speculating now. I should have the board report later this afternoon, so be sure to watch this space for more details.
In its original state, Fallout 3 was deemed no good for the Australian market. Too many drug references for the Australian Office of Film & Literature Classification’s liking. But now, well, now it’s all good! A revised edition of the game has been cleared for release, and has been classified MA15+ by the OFLC, a rating based on the title’s “Strong violence, drug references and coarse language”. For the record, an MA15+ rating – the highest Australian law permits – means persons under the age of 15 can’t legally purchase the game. What’s unknown at this stage is the extent of the edits made; it could be a few simple name changes to the in-game drugs, it could mean a more fundamental overhaul of the game’s menu/icon system, we don’t know yet. It’s the middle of the night in Australia. We’ll update when we do know.