OFLC Classifies Saints Row 2, No Edits Says THQ

sr2.jpg With Fallout 3 refused classification, and Grand Theft Auto IV censored before it even hit our shores, one had to wonder about THQ's Saints Row 2. It contains similar themes to Rockstar's opus, and if Fallout 3 is anything to go by, the board is really cracking down on games, no matter how tame they may be.

Never fear - THQ sent word late yesterday that Saints Row 2 made it past the OFLC without a problem and, more importantly, no region-specific edits. It's now being classified by the NZ OFLC. What this means is we'll be able to enjoy the same game as everyone else.

It's got me thinking though - is it possible the world is getting less-explicit games because of Australia? What do you guys think?

SAINTS ROW 2 Game (Multi Platform) [OFLC]


Comments

    hmm.. let me think about this.
    6.5 Billion vs 20 Million.

    They're not going to change the game because of AU OFLC.

    Despite what Rob has said about the population difference everything costs money. I'd say it would be plausible for games to be slightly cut down in attempts to ensure no need for edits, etc.

    I wouldn't say that AU OFLC would be responsible I would say that its more-so the mentality that if it could get banned in one country it could get banned in another and thats never fun.

    That said, I seriously hope not as we will hopefully be getting an R18+ rating someday *shakes fist*

    Yeah I doubt it... I wondered that too recently but I wouldn't think our lack of an R is significant enough on the world stage.

    The guidelines for the OFLC have not changed since the time that these laws were first introduced to Video games, as in around 1994.

    It may be that the OFLC appear to be cracking down more but its just not the case. There has and may always will be a clause in the classification by which if a player gains an advantage by taking what is purpoted to be a drug, then the game is refused classification.

    Blitz the league copped a ban on that as well. Without it, the game would have been classified G.

    If you want a real opinion or real information about how the OFLC works and feel like doing some research you can get a hold of the OFLC guidelines for video games. It is available in a readable document form as well as explicity stated in the legislation which governs the board.

    Also, every game publisher in Australia MUST have a designated OFLC officer. It is that persons responsibility to ensure games are classified before release and to comply with OFLC requirements.

    Just as an FYI to give some kind of indication as to what the requirements are

    1. The board is happy to classify in production games so long as the game is in a state where it can be played from start to finish.

    2. The publisher can self censor games. That is, if the publisher is of the view (under the guidelines) that the game will be rated G PG or M, the submit a report with the expected rating and content of game and the OFLC rubber stamps it. If a publisher abuses this (re: take 2 with GTA 3) they can lose that right and must submit all games in a lengthy process. As far as i am aware, Take 2 has once again won the right to self censor.

    3. If the game is deemed to be a MA15+ candidate, the game must be taken to the OFLC and played from start to finish in front of the board. The vote is then taken and a report drafted. The publisher is not told that day whether they pass or not, they have to wait.

    4. There are very few things which move games into RC territory. From memory they are

    1. Realistic drug use with enhancement. You take a drug and you get hit for it, the game passes.

    2. Interactive sexual assault. The game can imply a sexual assault happened (like a cop game etc) but must not depict or allow the player to interact with one.

    3. Nudity. However they have become more lax on this in recent years.

    4. Snuff film style.

    That's pretty much it. The problem is as games further push the bar this will become more common. In the year that I did a research project about the OFLC system, Australia turned over 1 billion dollars in video game revenue. If the bans start to heavily affect that revenue and the economy because to many games are getting banned, the government will change it.

    So sadly, until more games get banned it is unlikely to change. It will not be until over 20% of games are banned and there is a direct, adverse affect on the economy that the government will act.

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