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

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.

    • Personally,

      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.

    • “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.

    • 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.

  • 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?!

      • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • This kind of inconsistency is what Atkinson is will use to say the board can’t be trusted. You just need to look at that screen grab and you can tell it should be R18+. If we do get an R18+ i hope the MA rating becomes much stricter so that games aimed at adults end up R18.

    Why is it 15 anyway? Who decided that 15 year olds are mature enough? Having two 15 categories has always confused me. It should be a linear correlation.

  • It seems the classification board is just as confused as everyone else. Well whatever I guess Australian kiddies can go around ripping peoples heads off while the USA/UK kiddies have to wait til their 18+.

  • VERY TRUE – This should be refused before Left 4 Dead 2 – but its still good news. Means i can actually give the game a go.

    Now someone said a 15 y.o shouldn’t be playing this. I disagree a lot. The types of things shoved in the younger generations faces these days are enough to give an 80y.o a heart attack.

    If there was a R18 rating i would gladly agree that this should be there. If there was one, the Classification board can easily group games without too much detail. For example, easily give this a R18 without considering much else.

    But i think 15yo’s are exposed to much worse things than violence like Alien vs Predator. I’m no lost cause and nor are a lot of the younger generation (i’m 19 for the record) – but 15yo’s are out partying and consuming alcohol and even trying drugs in todays world. Marijuana and Alcohol should be more of a problem than video game violence.

    People mature much faster than previous generations I believe and there are much gorier films out there than Alien vs Predator that are rated MA15 or even M for that matter than 15 year olds and younger children are exposed to.

    Either way, my point is, i believe a 15 or 16 and definitely a 17 year old in the present time are mature enough to decide whether a game like this is fit for them or contains too much violence they can handle. And most definitely sleep okay at night after playing such game.

  • Definitely think it should’ve been R18+ (though their justification that it was fantastical violence that can’t exactly be duplicated in real life like say gun violence or beating up a hobo can). But I’m still super happy I’ll be able to buy it instead of pirate it. Hooray!

  • Wow, what the goddamn hell. I don’t get it. How did the L4D2 appeal get denied but this was successful? I mean, I’m more than happy we got the game but… this is far, FAR more gory than L4D2!

  • It’s good too to see that people aren’t just going ‘Yay it got trhough’. Gamers are thoughtful and want a R18 to protect children not harm them, this game at MA15 is not good, kids will play this and its a shame that the man who thinks he is protecting children is actually helping hurt them.

  • Clearly they got this decision wrong.. looking at that screenshot alone I would rate this game R18+..

    Im so glad this passed though.. we now have our flagship game!!

    Atkinson will start crapping on about how this shouldn’t even be released.. and we can say we told you so that if there were a R18+ category it could be classified accordingly..

    No matter what he now says about this game it supports our argument..

    Stick that in ya pipe and smoke it Atko..

  • Well I’m stoked. As an adult I want to play this game.

    That said this is starting to get crazy. Whats going to happen is simple. Parents will go into a store and see AvP. See that its M15 and buy it. And lets face it. Their kid will prolly be maybe 13 or 14 yrs old and they think ahh thats ok, close enough.

    If it was R18+ they would pass and get him something else.

  • I’m happy that I’ll get to play it uncensored, though it should still be classified as an adults only game. At least if I go ahead and import a copy to save some dosh now, I’ll still be able to find other players in Australia.

  • Im shocked that this got through. Really thought the appeal was gonna fail. I actually dont really like the AVP series of games, but still, suprised. It isnt, from what I can see, something that should be allowed to be played by those taht are 15, but I guess atleast it will mean that those that were going to import wont, and hopefully game store workers will let parents know what happens in the game when they go to buy it for their kid.

    To all those that said “Good, now this will help make atkinson change his mind”, no, it wont. He has already stated he doesnt trust the board anyway, and he is just as consistent with them when it comes to who he is saying cant be trusted when it comes to stopping kids gain access to games that would be rated R18+ if we had an R18+ rating.

  • Nobody was on the Board, nobody has played the game, you have no idea what you’re talking about – listen to you guys gesturing your opinion like it matters.

    Wow you have the Internet, your opinion deserves to be heard!

    • That’s exactly right! The media release from the Classification Review Board says that the violence is relatively infrequent, is inflicted in a fantasy setting, and the darker stuff is not player controlled. You can’t appreciate these aspects until you actually play the game.

  • I dont know if someone already said this but IMO the reason the verdict was successfully appealed was nothing more then embarrassment.

    For Rebellion to say:

    “We will not be releasing a sanitised or cut down version for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.”

    If you think about it, that statement is a huge insult to the government, the OFLC and the general Australian public.

    Also IMO that statement also got the government concerned enough to release that document that is up for public scrutiny.

    Something weird is going on in the OFLC.

  • Good news, will definitely check this game out.

    BTW I went to the OFLC website and had a laugh at the amount of X18+ stuff coming through. “Buttman’s stretch class” FTW!

  • And FYI, when you complain that the game shouldn’t be made available to 15 year olds, then fill your post with spelling and grammar mistakes. You kind of sound as if you are 15.

  • The problem with this is that Atkinson won’t look at this and say, “clearly we need an R18+ rating” (like the rest of us would say). He’ll look at this and say “I wouldn’t trust the review board to be able to tie it’s own shoes”.

    In fact, he’s said just that on numerous occasions before and this game isn’t going to change his opinion.

  • Congrats to Sega for sticking to their guns and not making a farce of it like L4D2 and for winning the appeal.

    While I don’t entirely agree with the rating I am very glad this game will get a timely release here.

  • Just to effectively sum up, the re-classification of Alien Vs Predator is both a good and a bad thing.

    Good: It highlights the inconsistencies in our current classification scheme.

    Adults can enjoy the uncensored version if they so wish.

    Bad: This a game CLEARLY not suitable for 15 year olds.

    This is easily a target for those against the push for an R18+ rating. While it would be an uneducated move, any willing politician could spin this to fill his/her wishes.

  • This is a total surprise. A game with more realistic violence than L4D2 is banned.

    Step 1: Ban zombie game within MA15+ guidelines.
    Step 2: Allow a more violent game within the rating.
    Step 3: Refuse to introduce a R18 rating.

  • Please Atkinson, make a big stink about this… please! Unintentionally make the case for an R18+ rating, once again. We’ll all be very grateful!


    Choc was the only person who actually considered REASONS! as to why this was passed but L4D2 didn’t.

    Why Sega passed:
    Extreme violence doesn’t happen often
    Extreme violence is optional
    Coincides with the movies this is based on
    Done with fictional creatures in fictional areas
    Didn’t take any bullshit and offer to change the game.

    Why L4D2 did NOT pass:
    Unavoidable violence (i.e. dismemberment happens whether you like it or not)
    Continuous violence
    Done to humans by humans
    Set in realistic places
    Actually OFFERED an edited version whilst appealing. What possible reason would the Review Board accept the more violent game when there is a less violent version right in front of them.

    Stop whining about L4D2 not getting passed when there are clear reasons as to why.

  • Wow wasn’t expecting this! Surely this game should be R18+? Totally justifies an R18+ category now. Maybe with this cock-up of a decision they’ve handed it to us on a platter?

  • omg will you people who keep saying that Michael Aktinson isn’t protecting the children just shutup, last time I checked the age 15 is far of from being a child, at 15 you start looking for a job and to me thats pretty adult. Do any of you even remember what it was like when you were 15,i’m pretty sure most of you werent all innocent little kids that needed protecting from scary games and movies, most of you were probably drinking at the time of 15 and thats not being a child at all.

    • And this changes the fact that it’s obviously not a MA15+ game, but a R18+ game, and shows our need for a R18+ game rating, how?

  • To everyone above, please STFU. This is an awesome game that we want in Australia, stop whining about the classification of other games, all that matters is that we’ll get an uncut version in stores 🙂

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