Valve 'Pretty Bummed' By Australia's Refusal Of L4D2

No teeth-gnashing just subdued disappointment from Valve when, asked for comment on the Australian government's refusal to classify Left 4 Dead 2, effectively banning it for sale there. Maybe Gabe Newell's gonna talk to someone about it when he visits?

Said Doug Lombardi, the Valve spokesman, to Shacknews:

We were surprised to hear of this news yesterday. Obviously, everyone at Valve is pretty bummed. It would be a shame if folks in Australia, or anywhere else, are unable to purchase Left 4 Dead 2 because of a ratings issue.

Indeed it would, but that's gonna be the case unless the Classification Board reconsiders (unlikely?) or Valve changes the content (even less likely?).

Valve Responds to Left 4 Dead 2 Ban [Shacknews via Game Stooge]


    Classification Board, you have stopped nothing. Importing, illegally or not, here I come!

    Also, I don't see how they can justify banning this.

    I'm sure if worse comes to worse they'll just give us the German version

    Yay for importing of the internet :D

    Now i get it. That screen shot right there. The OFLC board is just still sore from the Ashes and it just hits a little close to home. But if the next game makes it 7 - 0, maybe the ban will be lifted?

    In all seriousness, I don't own a 360 and my PC struggles with Commander Keen, so I'll never get to play L4D2, but this really upsets me. The worst thing is, the SA AG won't get voted out, incumbent officials rarely seem to in this country. So we're stuck with it till he calls quits.

    Wouldn't it be hilarious if that joke screenshot was the *real* reason it got banned in Aus?

    The OFLC can handle pimping missions (GTA), casual dismemberment (plenty of games, probably most recently the wolverine game) and virtual prostitution crap (saints row 2, otherwise very entertaining) but can't handle the 'high impact' thought of England giving us a smackdown as a plot twist? ;-)

    I'm just shocked that these people let the Saw movies in and play on Sky but balk at letting adults decide for themselves whether to play games in their own homes. This can only fuel piracy as the steam restrictions will mean people who really want to play the game will have no legitimate option.

    Can someone explain to me how the legislation prevents steam from solely distributing the game digitally though? I thought the no-rating meant it couldn't be sold in stores, is an adults-only online service different?

    Personally, censorship aside, I wish more games would implement the 'violence slider' settings seen in neverwinter nights etc, it's great to be able to tone down the visceral/profane stuff for the family.

      That is correct, I believe they will be able to sell it digitally on steam just fine.

        People will be able to import it, but will there be any Australian hosted servers?

        I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of trying to play the game on offshore servers with awful lag as a result.

        I'm not so sure about that.

        I don't think Steam would let a game that is banned by country be be added to an account that is detected to be in a 'banned' country.

        A while ago Relic sold games on Steam which you weren't able to download if you were detected to be in Australia. So they do have the ability to block you from downloading digitally.

        But importing and installing from disc? I wouldn't be surprised if Steam still blocks you in the process - that is if Steam bans the account from registering a game that is banned.

        So would importing the game legitimately still work?

        Valve could release a patch shortly after release that enables everything that got banned....say like GTA4 Lost and the Damned.

        The last game to be RCed here, a Painkiller-typed title that I've forgotten the name of, was removed from Steam for us. I imagine this will be too.

    I was hoping they would mention that they were going through an appeal process or something.

    Ever since the news of the ban I was waiting for valve to say they've got our I just feel bummed.

      It's virtually impossible for them to go through an appeal. The reasons were because of the melee weapons and the damage they cause and the effects you see when using a melee weapon. And also because the zombies are "infected, undead humans" but not a different species.

      When i say virtually impossible, i mean, its impossible to play an edited version of the game thats still titled Left 4 Dead 2 - because it wouldn't even be L4D2 anymore. I understand the Classification Boards decision to ban the game - but then you think of other games like World at War, the zombies are humans and not only that, Nazi Zombies. But then again L4D is "infected" and not "dead" people.

      Question is, can you import the game from a site like Play-Asia where they have region free titles and play the game on XBOX 360 without MS blocking you from playing it online? Not only that, do customs check the game and see it's a banned game and receive a fine. If it's packaged they just run it through the computer scanner for drugs and unusual substances.

      So is an import region-free 360 title possible?

        What people don't realise is, is that if we put on a protest in front of the Adelaide premiers house, and soon, he'll have to give up.

        no one likes 10,000 angry gamers outside their house
        screaming at him to allow this wonderful game in our borders.

        and if you have steam, switch your steam download setting to Chicago US server, and i guarantee, you will have left 4 dead 2 for download.

        well...... they should of at least let it in with the gore lvels of the first 1

    The way I see it going is Valve will release a modified version here and then people will be free to import the gore enabled version as it won't be on the banned list any more.

    Yeah... I was expect Valve to come to the rescue... Guess their relationship with Australai has been pretty up and down lately...




    Guess I'm just a little shaken.
    Excuse me.


    "Valve changes the content (even less likely?)"

    Why is that so unlikely when they did it for Germany with L4D1?

    We should add a huge ironic twist and let out all this violence that games are supposed to be putting in our systems.

    But seriously, we've all been playing violent games for ages now. One more isn't going to make a difference.

    Since L4D2 is a popular game, we can expect a lot of resistance and so they may lift the ban.

    With Krudd trying to block steam/violent game sites with the internet filter, I think we have a much higher chance of becoming China than having the R18 rating removed.

      Technically it's Conroy, and really only Conroy, who's trying to block everything with a filter.

      But yeah, this all comes down to the SA Attorney General, Michael Atkinson. Adding an R18+ rating requires unanimous approval of all the state AG's, and he is the one who is single-handedly blocking it. If he would get his head out from his nether-regions, we wouldn't have a problem.

      But no, my state has to have the head of the "Politically correct-OH WONT SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN-brigade" as their attorney general.


    If only Honorable Michael Atkinson MP, Attorney-General, oh Thy Holy One, could get his head out of his ass and give us an R rating so children can play underage games and adults can play adult games then games could be better regulated and not banned in the faces of an entire audience.

    One man, in a country of 22 million, stands in the way of a decision of how games should be regulated. Said regulation not only contradicts its purpose of 'protecting the children', but enforces breaking another law by pirating.

    But hey, this IS 'STRAILYA!

    Write physical letters people!

    Specifically to the South Australian and federal Attorney Generals.

    Snail Mail makes public office holders freak out because they think they come from old people who matter :S

    To all of you planning to import...

    The wonderful program Steam, will most likely stop you when you try to activate the product.

    The xbox 360 copy will most likely be region locked.

    Importing might be harder than you think. Your only chance might be for a cracked downloaded copy, which means multiplayer most likely won't work.

    Lame, i know.

    We're all just a bunch of cockroaches, apparently. Bottom scum that gets told what to do, and we do it. I say, and pardon my french, fuck that with a 10 foot pole. Alot of people might think 'cracked' copies don't work multiplayer, and all I've gotta say is, you're wrong! There are alot of programs that can act as a perminant VPN/LAN allowing for your cracked version to play online with anyone else in that VPN/LAN. My theory is try before you buy. I f'd up with Fear 2. After they lifted the ban, I bought it, and I didn't like it - my own mistake, by not sticking to my theory. I can guarintee I will be downloading an illegal copy of this game, because 1) We shouldn't be limited by lame ratings, 2) Importing a game from another country will still get blocked, and there will be no Official Australian servers, and 3) Valve should not have to edit their content just because our Government is run by fucking imbociles.
    I have absolutely no problem in purchasing a game I like, if I'm given the oppertunity. If the Government wants to parent me (even though I'm almost 30) and lock me in my room, I'll sneak out the window. Case and Point, that's my 2 cents worth.

    Michael Atkinson is like one of those comic book villians who always gets away at the last second and you want nothing more than to see him pay for his crimes or at least be stopped in some capacity from committing more.

    He is a brave man I'll give him that, the more he pushes this agenda of his the higher the chance their is of some genuine nutter gamer finally snapping and ridding the world of him on all our behalves and if that happens we all lose.

    I would be much happier if he just for once in his sad backwards thinking old-ways life realized that he is just plain wrong, that he needs to stop, that he needs to wake up to modern REALITY instead living in his fantasy land where all video gamers are children and need to be protected from 'evil games'. sigh

    There would appear to be a loophole in the law... was just looking at the RC notes... it is only illegal to purchase, hire and sell RC material (unless the content is illegal under law -- child pronography etc), however it is legal to own said material otherwise (kinda like a catch 22 - how can you own that which you can't obtain -- though a few cases of retroactive banning come to mind)...

    the simplest solution is to have a buddy overseas gift you the item in question. Apparrently (hearsay) Valve gets iffy with this when roughting cheaper versions (getting a friend to buy orange box in Thailand for half the price and gift it to you) but otherwise it works. I've got an option to look at this and as far I can tell does not break the law. Anyone more versed in legal matters (I draw pictures and use google) have an opinion/clarification on this?

    It's the Minister for Home Affairs everyone needs to write to... he's the one sitting on the public consultation discussion paper. Not Atkinson.

    The sad thing is that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Australian society.

    Australia (in particular, New South Wales) is so ridiculously conservative in its policies that its a wonder we have any freedoms at all. No violent or socially-questionable computer games, No Paintball guns without a lisence, Airsoft guns are considered illegal firearms, (All other guns never stood a chance), fireworks are banned - including now in Canberra, and its easier to get a pilot's lisence in NSW than it is a stinking Driver's lisence. (120 hours on L-plates in a car, vs. 75 hours behind the yolk on a Cessna!)

    Hell, you can't even buy decent TOY guns any more!

    Heaven forfend the public hurt themselves, or be exposed to anything slightly linked to controversial subjects! It would be unethical!

    This country needs to harden the frak up. If this sort of crap continues, I'm emmigrating.

      Try Victoria sometime. All of the above AND you need a permit for a hunting knife or sword, even if it's decorational.

    If it's only illegal to sell the game, not own the game, is it legal for Valve to setup Australian servers for those of us who import?

    I am fed up with this ultra conservative government. "Oh you can't have that some one might get offended or hurt" Well thats a god damn shame. Thats what you get when you vote in 50 yr, white, christian Men. Sorry for the racial and religious slur, i don't mean to insult each one individully but when you put the lot together they turn into a massive turd. (Breath out)

    Thats better. Now i am going to move to America and get my self shot.

    Why didn't anyone put an OFLC tag on the guy with the bat?

      because it's the Australian public that is getting smacked around the head.

    We can import it but good luck getting a good ping on any server, there will be little or no Australian ones.


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