Aliens Vs Predator Appeal Successful, Now Rated MA15+ [Updated]

Sega has been successful in its appeal to the Classification Review Board over the refused classification of Aliens Vs Predator. The game will now be released in Australia with an MA15+ rating.

The Rebellion developed and Sega publisher shooter was originally refused classification in early December. In its report, the Classification Board cited "decapitation, dismemberment, locational damage, impalement, eye-gouging and the use of human heads as trophies" as some of the reasons why the game's high impact impact violence was deemed unsuitable for a minor to see or play.

While developer Rebellion said they would not tone down the content to meet the guidelines for an MA15+, Sega decided to appeal the original classification decision to the Classification Review Board.

That appeal has now been successful and the original classification ruling has been overturned.

“It is with great pleasure that we announce the success of our appeal," says Darren Macbeth, managing drector of Sega Australia. "We are particularly proud that the game will be released in its original entirety, with no content altered or removed whatsoever.

"This is a big win for Australian gamers. We applaud the Classification Review Board on making a decision that clearly considers the context of the game, and is in line with the modern expectations of reasonable Australians."

UPDATE: The Review Board unanimously determined that Aliens vs Predator should be classified MA 15+ with the consumer advice "Strong science fiction violence".

The Board noted that "the violence depicted in the game can be accommodated within the MA 15+ category as the violent scenes are not prolonged and are interspersed with longer non violent sequences. The violence is fantastical in nature and justified by the context of the game, set in a futuristic science-fiction world, inhabited by aliens and predators. This context serves to lessen its impact. The more contentious violence is randomly generated and is not dependent on player selection of specific moves."

Aliens vs Predator will be released in Australia with an MA15+ rating on February 18 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.


    Good but baffling.

    10 x worse then L4D2 but gets through. EA must be spitting chips.

    I personally don't think 15 year olds should play this game, but under the current system at least adults get to play it...

      I agree with Choc - this is a strange decision. Now its ok for a game to feature dismemberment etc of actual humans, but not of zombies?

        But you have to remember, theyre not ZOMBIES, theyre "Humans infected with a rabies like virus"

        /facepalm at Atkinson

      What a bunch of inconsistent idiots... AGAIN.

      So they are now saying we don't care that this game is aimed at mature people 17 in US 18 in Europe, here in Australia we want 15 year olds playing this...???

      I can not wait when they get rid of Michael Atkinsinson next year and we get an R18 rating to bring some common sense to the ratings.

      Valves problem was they announced to the world "well we will appeal, but we will also submit this toned down version at the same time"

      so the classification board makes its safe bet. uphold their decision and push through the toned down edition. we got L4D2(mostly) and they didnt need to backflip on their decision.

      when Sega's turn came around they took the risky bet. they stamped their feet and made the all or nothing call. and and classification board folded on appeal.

      so what you really want to know is. what would have happended if EA and Valve had done the same and stuck to their guns?

        This is a good point, Valve probably doomed themselves by submitting a cut version at the same time of their appeal.

          I tend to think it's more a badly argued case by EA to the review board.

          I am keen to see however whether the members on the review of L4D2 are the same ones on the AvP review.

            AFAIK all the members on the board must be present for the viewing of the material to be reviewed and the vote.


      I think its great that it got Classified at MA15+

      Not because kids 15 and under can play it, I dont think they should be able too, but because its a perfect case to highlight how broken our system is.

      And shows that we need an 18+ Catagory for games, like the rest of the World does. It shows people that content not suitable for Minors is being shoehorned into a catagory that its not ment for.

      Not because we think minor's should be playing it, but because the Classification Board has no real option apart from effectively banning it from sale.

      I hope the G4C guys pick up on this and try to highlight to their constituants that we need a higher rating, not just Refusing Classification.


        Its 15 years old and over not under 15's

      "Good but baffling.

      10 x worse then L4D2 but gets through. EA must be spitting chips."

      L4D2 depicted human violence even though it was reenacted through zombies, They still were technically human/humanoid. Whereas as the board said this game depicts futuristic character in a Dystopian future with much less consistent violence then that off L4D2.

        Protip: Stick your hands inside a marine's neck, rip his head off.

      This is a great win for adult gamers but at the same time this is one of the major reasons why we need an R rating for games!
      I hope you're taking note of this Mr Atkinson.

      Their inconsistencies surface yet again. Now how about they let an uncensored L4D2 in eh? I know everyone's pissed off at atkinson but our censorship body should cop some flack too.

    Definately buying now, hope we get the Special Editions they're offering overseas.

    I think some money went under the table.....

      Same here. Either that or maybe some pressure from government bodies.

      Either way, something with this just doesn't sit right...

        I believe the argument SEGA used was that this content is in the films of the same characters and was rated MA15+ and that the ability to tear humans apart is optional.

        For those talking about Left 4 Dead 2 violence. The reason L4D2 copped it was that the dismemberment of the characters occured every 5-10 seconds and therefore incredibly hard to avoid.

        the ripping of the humans head in AVP occurs every so often, if that and the human player can choose not to do this

        i believe that this is why the Review Board has passed the game today.

          Read the media release ($file/Media+release+-+Announcing+decision+for+Aliens+vs+Predator+-+18+December+2009.doc) people, which states: 'In the Review Board’s opinion the violence depicted in the game can be accommodated within the MA 15+ category as the violent scenes are not prolonged and are interspersed with longer non violent sequences. The violence is fantastical in nature and justified by the context of the game, set in a futuristic science-fiction world, inhabited by aliens and predators. This context serves to lessen its impact. The more contentious violence is randomly generated and is not dependent on player selection of specific moves.'

          It seems the main factors were:
          * the violence is relatively infrequent
          * it is committed to aliens in an alien environment
          * the really strong violence is not player-controlled

        I think this is the classification boards way of pressuring the govt into creating the r18+ rating for games. or the govt itself forcing things through to make it's case.

          I totally agree.

    My jaw just hit the ground, good now I can set up my old high school's LAN club again, this will be the star attraction.

    As much as i was hoping for this, it CLEARLY shows we need an R rating for games. there is no way that a 15 year old should be able to play this.

    also, how on earth is this LESS violent than L4D2???? WTF?!

      Same goes with COD4 and GTA4 (to name a couple) in my opinion.

        Cod 4 violence isnt high and it isnt out of context at no point do heads actually explode and limbs dont fall off when shot only way is through explosives and even then it is not commonplace where in L4D2 the limbs actually struggle to stay on the bodies(oh glorious it is :P)

        GTA 4 should never have been rated MA but in my view if it had of been banned we probs coulda cleared the whole rating thing up a yr ago

    Cool, but strange...I'd like to know what made them change their original verdict? So now it's ok to decapitate humans, but infected humans who are obviously zombies, they are a protected species?

      Do you have any idea how rare the zombie has become lately? There's been mass cullings of late and what used to be a plague has now been reduced to a population teetering on the edge of extinction!

      Won't someone PLEASE think of the zombies?!?!?!


        Ha! Awesome.

        Thumbs up.

    This is certainly not an MA15+ game. It needs to be R18+ but oh look at that, our system is f***ed up and we don't have one.

    Wow this is good news in more ways than one.

    This is a perfect example of a game that should be rated R18+ being shoved into a lower rating because we don't have a R18+ classification.

    G4C, take this and use it as your flag.

      The problem with what you’re saying is that this is exactly Atkinson’s point – that games are getting through at lower ratings than they should. He can use AvP as the perfect example now.

      Admittedly, this can be just as good for us. The problem here isn’t that we think it should be MA15+, the problem is that it SHOULDN’T be. Both the gamers and Atkinson completely agree on this, which is a common misconception by both parties arguing and the media that reports it.

      The difference lies in the fact that we believe this game has a right to be distributed and Atkinson doesn’t. We believe it should be distributable under the protection of an R18 rating, Atkinson thinks it shouldn’t be distributed at all.

      This is where the true divide between gamers’ and Atkinson’s opinion is, and this game is what we should use to highlight it and gain a support base from the general public.

    soooooo, go team video game i guess?? im happy we get to play it but i also feel like we missed an oppitunity. had the RC been upheld AvP would have been our shining example:

    a game from a reputable developer, without the negative elemenets other games that have been refused classification contain(no nudity, drugs or terrorist massacres, just wholesome sci-fi horror and ultra-violence), which simply follows the tone and setting of an well known, established movie franchise.

    thats the kind of game you can point to and say "see, this is exactly why we need an R18+ catagory". because there only rebuttal is that its too violent, which considering the source material is a fairly useless point.

      I think if anything, its an even better shining example, now it can be thrown in the teeth of Michael Atkinson and turn his stance into a pro R18+ stance. I mean, his stance is all about keeping the violent games out of the hands of children, and here we have a game which is clearly R18+ material, put straight into the hands of 15 year olds. How can he be all "think about the kids!" and not support the introduction of an R18+ rating now?

      This is a better opportunity. Instead of non-gamers seeing R18 as allowing more violent games, they will see that it protects children from games like this.

    What would have happened if he'd allowed the R rating: Game is released as R18+, only adults can buy it.

    What actually happened under Michael Atkinson's system: Game is released as M15+; anyone over 15 can buy it.


      adam adam

      you havent realised atkinsons stance on ratings

      R18+ any child can obtain it with no difficulty

      MA15+ suitible for anyone

      he says we shouldnt have the 18+ because minors will get a hold of it easily well then theres a problem with the sale of adult materials and not the material in question then

    are you KIDDING ME!??

    Inconsistent, poor, poor decision.

    We aren't just rallying behind R18+ because we want these games in no matter what. This game deserves more than an MA15+ rating and it is obvious. If this is allowed then so should L4D2. This is human impalement and decapitation - L4D was zombies and was basically the same.


    I just released a little in my pants.

    Just like that? First refused classification for "decapitation, dismemberment, locational damage, impalement, eye-gouging and the use of human heads as trophies" and then granted classification without any changes made to the content?

    What does an appeal to the board consist of exactly?

    Not that I mean to complain about the game getting through, I believe there's a suitable audience for it in Australia, but I do question the board's inconsistency in reasoning while regarding their guidelines. It just doesn't make sense.

    Clearly not a game for 15 year olds. The decision is somewhat baffling.

    I'm not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, I'm glad that we'll see an unedited release here. But on the other, I can't help but think that the first classification choice was the right one. The content described previously certainly sounded like it should be 18+ only, and letting a game through just because the only other alternative is banning it doesn't really seem like a big victory; it feels like another glaring fault in the system.

    you know, it's entirely possible that this was done on purpose to increase discussion and really push the R18+ rating...

    I think it's actually kind of clever if thats the case...

    I'm dumbfounded. I just can't work out how they can justify it fitting into MA15+. However, it will work towards the argument that R18+ material is being pushed through into lower ratings. How Atkinson can argue against that is beyond me.

      He then just says that if we have an R rating, XXX material will get through under it... you know, like all of those rape games that are just flooding the market atm?

    This isnt even a victory, this just shows the how spastic the whole system is and gives more ammo to the people saying that the OFLC can't be trusted to rate things correctly.

    Don't get me wrong I'll buy it and play it, but I wouldn't give it to any 15 year olds.

    The original classification (which refused classification) of Aliens vs Predator, as well as the review classification of Left 4 Dead 2, were conducted by different people from those who conducted the Aliens vs Predator review. I suspect this may explain some of the inconsistency. We should be thankful for the new members of the CRB, who conducted this review.

    Good that the game is coming out, But I completely agree we need an R18+ rating here now. putting this game into the hands of anyone 15 years old is foolish, we should have had a R rating by now. I can only imagine the outrage from some parents now that "my young son is playing this horrific game!". Way to go, Atkinson, way to ruin it for the rest of us.

    I guess the guy who voted to have it RC'd last time was on toilet break.

    Bribery FTW! Wonder how much money changed hands?

    In the words of The Doctor "What. What? WHAT!"

    This is rediculous. Clearly NOT an MA15+ game, ugh

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