It’s Official: Fallout 3 Refused Classification In Australia

It’s Official: Fallout 3 Refused Classification In Australia
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Yes, the rumour was true. The Office of Film and Literature Classification has handed an RC to Bethesda’s Fallout 3, making it illegal to sell the game in Australia. It’s not known at this stage if the ban was for drug use, as the original rumour states, or gore as I was predicting.

I was ready to dismiss the rumour when I first heard it, but my suspicions were raised when Red Ant failed to confirm or deny it. It’s not unusual for a publisher to do this, but it seemed particularly odd as Red Ant had no problem in the past commenting about Fallout 3 and the OFLC.

We’ll be on Red Ant and Bethesda’s backs to see what they plan to do. Most likely the game will be edited to remove the offending content and resubmitted, as AFA Interactive did with Dark Sector.

Even if it is edited, I don’t think it’ll stop some from importing the title, as was the case with Grand Theft Auto IV after it was censored for Australia.

Update #1: According to Bethesda’s Pete Hines, the developer has no comment regarding the ban. [Thanks briosafreak]

Update #2: A leaked OFLC report reveals exactly why the game was banned.

Fallout 3 Game (Multi Platform) [OFLC]
Rumour: Fallout 3 Refused Classification Because Of Drug Use? [Kotaku AU]

Comments

  • Oh boy here we go.

    I reckon that this’ll be the game that finally pushes some gamers over the edge. I mean, looking at the games that have been banned before, i.e. manhunt 2, leisure suit Larry, etc., it has never been something that would cause that much of an uproar, in fact, must gamers probably aren’t even aware/don’t care. Even GTAIV wasn’t so much of a problem, as it was soon discovered that the only thing cut was a short cut scene which would not detract from the overall game if it was missing.

    But this… Fallout 3 is massive, definitely one of the biggest games of the year, is going to be a real problem. It sounds like they are complaining about some fundamental things, things which Bethesda may not even be able to remove.

    If this game is edited, or even banned outright, then I hope more gamers will consider importing, and will also let the publishers know so they can apply more pressure to the government to get us a an R18 rating.

  • I’ve been waiting for a non-shit game to get banned before going nuts on this 18+ issue, and now we have it! Could care less about Gettin’ Up and Manhunt BUT NOW YOU HAVE GONE TOO FAR!!!!

  • I’d say that the OFLC was quicky forgiven for GTA4 because Rockstar had the ‘foresight’ to edit the content before submitting it for classification.

    It’d have been a very different story had Australians had to wait 3 months for its release.

    So for that reason I really hope (sorry) Fallout 3 doesn’t get released here, or at least several months after its worldwide release date!

  • Clearly the government would rather I do some harmless legal activities… like visiting a brothel to do hardcore S&M with three smacked out girls, drinking myself senseless while smoking a pack of smokes or watching a DVD that has people getting chopped to pieces with a chainsaw.

    To see a game like Fallout 3 banned is just insane. I and many thousands of people will have to break the law for a game we have waited many years to play.

    I’m honestly disgusted with Australia tonight.

  • the government is paid by the people in the form of taxes; thus the government is employed by the people; thus the government should do whatever the people say;

    and the people want an R18+ rating.

  • Yet another game I import.

    I seriously still cannot believe media is being banned in this fucking day and age.

    And seriously, Morphine? Gordons hazard suit says “MORPHINE ADMINISTERED” every fucking time you get shot. Why isn’t that banned?

    This is total bullshit

  • I hope this galvanises the effort for an R rating for games. As other commenters have pointed out, so far it’s either been dodgy games given the RC rating or they’ve submitted a toned down version. I don’t think that’ll work this time because it’s probably been banned for the drug use and a Fallout without drugs is like Doom without a shotgun.

  • ……..oh no…. no… no…. NO!!!! WTF!!!! THis shit has gone 2 far.. By not letting fallout 3 in the country they are denying us access to one of the greatest pieces of art ever made… They have NO IDEA what they have started. Its war now!

  • Ah well, looks like I’ll final get to test out the region-free abilities of my ps3. I’ve always been a bit of a luddite when it comes to importing.

    Seems like people recommend play-asia for this so I’ll go check them out. When is the game planned to be released…Woah I’m on the internet! I’ll go look myself.

    Cheers!

  • great now i have to import this and knowing some of my pals are now going to get the game from pirates of the high sea.

    this no R rating needs to end we need an r rating hopefully this will be the beginning to people being angry and actually raising the issue with the government so something can b be done.

  • @RabbidRaven: You’re quite right, this is the game that pushes me over the edge. GTA-IV, I considered importing, but when the content was revealed it wasn’t anything that affected the gameplay.

    However, Fallout is and always has been one of the more mature games. Having been a fan of the series for a long time, I’ve enjoyed being able to pretty much do anything in any content. An open ended world before open ended was in vogue.

    So I guess now it’s time to see if the 360 version will be region free (hey, it could happen!) or head off to the UK or NZ (Unless NZ gets an edited Aussie version like GTA-IV)

    For shame, Michael Atkinson. For shame.

  • can we write to someone???

    can Kotaku get a petition together or something that can be sent to whoever keeps rejecting an r18+ rating of games for Australia

    i can guarantee you’ll get thousands of signatures
    especially if we get street teams together and go get signatures in the major cities

    i really want to find the people that keep denying games entry into Australia and slap them.
    Most r18 games are less brutal than the daily news

    PLEASE KOTAKU PUT A PETITION TOGETHER SO WE CAN STOP THESE IDIOTS!!!!!

  • Well it looks like I’ll be happily breaking the law yet again and import Fallout 3. I absolutely will not tolerate having my entertainment choices dictated by old men in suits. Get stuffed Michael Atkinson.

  • praying for region-free 360 version, otherwise im just going to import it. thanks for the massive inconvenience, Australia!

  • I too will jump that law-breaking bandwagon and do whatever it takes to get my hands on this game. Thank you Office of Film and Literature Classification, you’ve fucked it again.

  • Fucking hell. I’m so disappointed in our system. On Sunday, I was watching Dexter on ten, and I saw the two bodies cut into dozens of peices unedited, and yet, a game that has drug use is banned?

    Seriously, what the fuck.

  • No point complaining to the OFLC themselves, they have no say about whether there is an R18+ rating or not.

    You won’t be able to demand a re-appeal yourself on behalf of the distributor, that would just be plain stupid.

    It all lies now in the hands of those that have created a game. I can foresee two options.

    a) They edit the game
    b) They appeal it on the merit of the original two Fallout games having similar content, and were not rated RC.

  • Yes, but Dexter was on at the 9:30pm time slot which is considered the “mature audiences” time.

    Remember – Video games are for kids, so anything that challenges that idea has to be bad for us. Big Brother has spoken!

  • Well if they’re just banning it for the use of morphine, that shouldn’t be too hard to fix.

    Just replace “morphine” with “health injection” or even “nectar” and away you go – hello MA rating.

  • @ INFINITUM – the problem is this is one part of the law that the States of Australia have retained control over rather than the Federal Government having a say. Problem with just giving this power to the Federal Gov at the moment is there is already a lot of controversy going on about the State Governments losing too much of their own power to the Federals.

    I wont get into my own personal opinions here about which is better, but I think everyone can agree the flaw with any issue being held by multiple State Governments is that they ALL need to agree if its a national issue (as in Video Game ratings)

  • Everyone write to Michael Atkinson over your disgust but be polite and articulate as you can otherwise we as gamers will not be taken seriously!
    I have already written a letter and got a 3 page reply cutting me down reason by reason, he’s massively stuck in his way’s and needs to be BOOTED from power!!
    Email him at this address, if we dont take action together our voice will not be heard!
    [email protected]

  • Heh, this news come in with a funny tune… cause i just saw the recent JB HiFi catalogue and they’re advertising Fallout 3 as an upcoming release

  • @ SAMSON

    Yep. You can import UK 360 games and they work here. Same goes for NZ games.

    I’ve used game.co.uk and gpstore.co.nz in the past and they’re both fantastic. I’d like to buy my games here, but until they do something about that fundamentalist douchebag in S.A., it looks like I’ll be buying another game in England this year.

  • I cant understand this rating system and the people in charge of it, why is there no R18 rating in Australia yet.

    As a 23 year old gamer i feel that i should have the Right to play R18 games.

    Does the public get to vote on instating an R18 rating?

    Anyone know? Thanks.

  • Shouldn’t we encourage Tom Crago to get off his fat arse and actually do something for the game industry, apart from continually beg the government for money?

    It’s time he used the fees paid to him to letterbox the residents of Croydon in South Australia – or even put up a candidate – to run against Atkinson, because if Atkinson is not in the seat he can’t be an AG and can’t enforce his stupid beliefs onto the majority of Australians any more.

  • Why does our government continue to punish mature gamers? This whole situation is getting ridiculous.

    Better go and cancel my pre-order.

  • As someone else stated, all attorney generals need to support the issue. Believe me, a lot of people have been trying to get support for R18+ games in Australia but during the general meetings, there’s always one idiot who votes against it and thus, no R18+ for us.

  • Yeah, unfortunately this isn’t an issue about Australia being ultra-conservative, but a legal issue whereby the Attorney-Generals for each state have to agree on an R18 rating. A legal loophole from decades prior which is only rearing its ugly head now, and which is all but impossible to alter. Yay for politics.

    This will NEVER happen while Michael Atkinson is around, and don’t think that any amount of petitions or letters will alter his view. He’s as pig-headed and arrogant as they come, and knows FAR better what’s good for us and Australia than we do. He’s heard all the arguments for an R18 rating, and it doesn’t matter how rational or evident of better serving the public they are – he’s a political warrior on a mission from God (help us all).

    Simply put, we just have to suffer until he’s out of there.

    Til then? Import. All the way.

  • THIS is what I typed in and summited in all my disgust, horror, confusion and disapoinment, with a touch of some hope this is 1 of many that have been sent to start the flow of recognition to something that should of been done ALONG time ago.!

    To whom it may concern, I have never complained about the Classification department, but considering it is ‘banning’ me from a Game (beeing 25 years of age and able to make my own decisions) I am disgusted and appauled that my own country would tie my own hands behind my back. This has got to end with the indtroduction of an R18+ classification rating for the Games industry, I have been a Fan of Fallout series since day 1, this is obsered! Starcraft 2 has the Indication of using a Needle to inject morphine to ‘boost’ your marines stats, why not ban that to?! Why is the code good for 1 but not the other, Bioshock ring a bell? Please for the sake of this goverment of ours NOT inforcing piracy or inporting (which undoubtabley people will be forced to do out of the act of freedom of speach unto themselves) inforce a Strict but fair R18+ rating on games, theirs enough things out their worse then games then what’s in the contence of the games themselves, have a look at the internet for example just google 1 word and BAM, also dvd’s, adult stores ect ect. Why are you beeing so strict on these games when they are for ADULT entertainment (considering the chonra we are talking about)- Fallout – and as adults, I for one, will NOT have my voice unheard nor have me right’s privelages as a human beeing to make MY own dececisons takin away from me, while I understand and agree somewhat about the keeping it away from kids and unstable adults, I do NOT agree that this is to be a blanket effect on the majority of people who are SANE working class Tax paying citizens, please revoke your decision on the Ban of Fallout and do not let it go into the hands of children by PERSIFING the context of the game as such to the target audience which we are The MATURE minded, able to make dececions for themselves, non insane majority called society.

  • It’s all about the cash. -Games retailers- need to lobby their MPs and state AGs, arguing that a lot of money that could be spent inside Australia is going overseas because of this. No-one in power will lift a finger to amend minor, easily-demonised issues like this until -businesses- start complaining.

  • its so simple, Ive spoken to countless gamers and designers in the industry, my uncle a games designer and agrees the industry is not to blame, a game is a form of art, it’s the same example for the artist who snap shot those portraits of a young female, now that was he’s choice but art is so stigmatised really bad that no soul can depict the essence of art, we as adults know right from wrong, i believe gears of war is violent that’s a game on xbox 360, chainsaw gutting through body, head exploding from a execution but wait, as i write this message some kid under the age is playing gears of war in Sydney or Melbourne or god knows where, the point is how do you justify that you cannot but must i say this game is r rated but is in the system, i’t’s all wrong i say, at times i see kids/teenagers smoking who is to really blame I’m guessing the parents, it’s the system in denial, what about the neglected aboriginals in northern territory is it now that the government implicates a method of decisions when all these years a cry is finally heard, that’s just the tip of the ice burg man it doesn’t stop there gambling and list goes on, a child is bound to the parents and what a child learns they notice, now to correct this problem you do not need to be einstein, it’s simple in computer stores r rated games need a id code on the game stating if this game is hocked or deemed misused then a fine s issued, see it’s common sense even people who work in computer stores agree rated games stay in the

    glass storage, it’s a means to regulate a game not to ban a industry from oblivion, all game makers now black list Australia how the hell do you think it helps the independent developers move forward, we are not America nor the UK, “the statistics are so bad that the profits are nothing” see art is priceless and to deem art trash or inappropriate is a joke. I’m surprised people have not protested about this,

  • I’ve been expecting something like this for a long time, because FPS games have been getting more realistic and more gory every year.

    Perhaps if the creators had made Fallout 3 turn based and gave it an isometric view point, like the original Fallout games, it would have got past the sensors like the original games did.

    No sympathy for Bethesda.

  • Well great, now instead of BUYING the game like I was going to, I’m just going to have to download it illegally. Thanks Red Ant!

  • Ok, looks like I’ll be importing this game. I took a look at amazon.com but they won’t deliver it here. Can anyone recommend a good site to import it from? Or will e-bay be our only option?

  • Na Bethesda is fixing it up no need to worry its not the blood and gore its only the drug use im happy as long as it has blood and gore p.s no need to worry

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