Aliens Vs Predator Refused Classification In Australia

Aliens Vs Predator Refused Classification In Australia

Sega may not have bothered to submit upcoming shooter Aliens Vs Predator for classification in Germany. But they did in Australia. And we’ve just heard this morning that those efforts appear in vain.

A statement from Sega reads:

“SEGA Australia can today confirm that the initial submission of Aliens vs Predator has been Refused Classification by the Classification Operations Board of Australia. We will continue to investigate all options available to us, including the possibility of appeal.”

We have contacted the Classification Board to obtain their report and will update you when we know more. Hint: it might have something to do with what happens next in the screenshot above.


  • This game wasn’t even on my radar – now I may just have to import it to see what the fuss is about. Well done classification board!

    • Contrary to popular belief the purpouse of the classification board is not to hide games from people. They classify games and when a game is too violent and clearly beyond the maximum classification they can give them they simply don’t classify the game.

      That doesn’t make the game banned or illegal, it just means it can’t be sold in Australia on retail shelves.

      So you’re not being a rebel or in anyway particularly criminal for importing the game, there is no crime in owning the game or purchasing it overseas and bringing it in.

      • Actually, it is officially a crime to import and/or play a copy of a game that has been refused classification in Australia. It is an extremely grey area (realistically, NTSC copies of a particular game are a different sku that can’t be illegal to import for personal use as the NTSC sku would’ve never been submitted to the Classification Board, and therefore hasn’t been Refused Classification, and therefore isn’t illegal to have a copy of), but from a legal standpoint, your imported game can be seized at customs and you can be fined for importing a RC game.

        This doesn’t tend to happen that often though, as customs officials either are unaware that these games are RC’d, or have much better things to do than worrying about a piece of software.

    • Directly quoted from the report –

      “The game contains violence that is high in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons aged under 18 years to play”

      Is this for real? I mean, I know it isn’t their fault and all, but it really just felt like the OFLC was rubbing it in our face just a little bit

      • Lol so Men In Black was real. It would be a real shame for this to get banned after the appeal. Its aliens for crying out loud. Killing people is what they do best.
        Next we will see a title such as Destroy all Humans get banned thanks to extreme violence against people. It’s utter stupidity i tell you

  • And since the publishers have already stated that they will not modify the content to fit any country’s classification schemes, unless the appeal works, we will not see this game at all in Australia.

  • Anyone else get the feeling that when Michael Atkinson started making press against the Classification Board, the Board started tightening their classifications? Could be a coincidence, but it sure feels like it isn’t.

    I am hoping it will have the other effect though: a clear case of ham-handed classification and enough momentum to see real change.

    • I totally agree, I don’t think it’s conincidence that we start seeing more RCs after Atkinson comes out publicly and criticizes the ratings board for being too lax. I’m curious whether it was his public comments that are driving the ratings board to be more hard, or if he’s privately contacted them and applied pressure for them to adhere to his uber-strict regulations on MA15+ games.

      If this keeps up, it’s going to do one of two things: it will either highlight the ridiculousness of Atkinson’s stance on the rating system and force the overhaul we gamers want (hopefully this is what happens), or he will maintain his stance, force harsher restrictions and eventually destroy the games market in Australia.

    • It’s entirely possible that there’s a concerted push from within the classification board itself to ban more titles simply to make gamers angry so that they get off their fat asses and do something about it.

  • No local release, no local dedicated servers? No point in importing!

    Also I think the “rip-their-spinal-column-out-of-their-body” finishing move for the Predator might have literally been the straw that broke the Marine’s back.

    • how so its selling the product in australia thats illegal its my own perogative to set up a server running the server side software for a game

      a better point would have been banned game less than 50,000 imports why bother there wouldnt be enough people to play with

    • Alex: Don’t forget about new zealand! While not as fast as Aus servers, you should be able to play with the Kiwi’s with relatively low latency if you import a copy ^^

  • I knew this would happen, I remember the devs explaining how detailed the “trophy kill” system was and new we wouldn’t get it.

    Not going to stop me from getting it though.

  • And you wonder why many people pirate games in this country. Pathetic Atkinson and Classification Board. I hope them kids enjoy more Underbelly and CSI.

  • wow, this IS unexpected. i had hoped to return to the glory days of AvP multiplayer when this game came out. even today a 3 team fps is pretty unique.

    why couldnt they keep this game and ban all the AvP movies instead =(

  • So David, what happens next in the above screen shot? Does the Alien pump the human with morphine and therefore giving the human an unfair advantage in sports (and points!)? Perhaps the Facehugger gets involved in vile depraved acts of sexual volience with someones mother and daughter?

  • The Classification Board banned a video game? Is it Friday already?

    Seriously though…this is now beyond ridiculous. Surely, SURELY, there has got to be a way to stop this government-imposed censorship. Last time I looked, I didn’t live in Iran or Venezuela.

  • The scene that dave refers to I have seen. The player as the alien can rip a head from the body of a human with the spine attached in full graphical detail

    i knew this wasn’t goign to arrive uncut.

    The fact is, the more games are banned the better off the R18 argument is going to be. Once it shows just how many games are getting banned then industry is going to start a major push on it, even more so then they do now.

    Fun fact, same thing happens in Aliens vs Predator the movie which is rated MA15+ time for some parity for fuck sake

  • I was expecting this to happen.

    Everyone kept making comments on the updates that the game was very violent and could easily be RC’ed. At that point I had a feeling this game would be RC’ed.

    On the bright side, we still have import options, and this places more pressure on R18+.

  • This is starting to become a weekly ritual. It’s only a matter of time before a AAA game release is refused Classification.

    Banning more and more games will certainly bring out more lobbyists and attention of the voting public and hopefully force the issue with the government. Especially now they are looking down the barrel of a double dissolution next year if the ETS is smacked down again by Cardinal Abbot and his cronies.

    My message to all gamers; get involved in the next Federal election and make our antiquated 20th century classification system a real issue.

    • A couple of AAA games have already been hit with an RC and modified so they can still be on our shelves.

      Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead 2 are the biggest of them.

  • I agree with Mr Cullinan. This is just another blow that truly highlights the definite need for an R18+ classification within this country of ours.

    With the number of games banned in the past two years, it makes me feel like we are living in a dictatorship!

    • Democracy is nothing more then dictatorship of the majority. The problem though is that the concept of majority is clouded by the SYSTEM of democracy we use. Majority can really mean ‘the swinging minority on marginal seats’ and not a much broader part of society like mature gamers. What I’m trying to say is a handful of fundy christians can hijack our ‘democracy system’ and railroad it towards their end goal and the problems with this don’t end at video game classification.

      Realise your vote matters and be careful where you give your preferences. Labor, with appropriate power would deal with this issue but with Fielding, SA’s Attorney General or the Liberals in their way they are unlikely to be able to.

      Make them realise this. Send them letters. Tell them you’re telling your friends the same thing. You won’t stand for a minority bullying you and limiting your freedoms.

  • Okay that’s it. This is the first game refused classification that I was actually interested in.

    I’m wondering if this game features anything more violent than the movies?

    Dev’s need to wise up to the tried-and-tested method of submitting the game ultra-violent, then toning it down in a revised (read normal) version

  • Not happy.
    I have been waiting forever for this game.
    People should be able to play what ever they want to play. Let them determine the game for themselves before you ban it. arghhhh I am now having the worst day ever.

  • When they eventually cave and give us an R18+ rating, I hope the caveat is they can still ban movie tie-in games just for fun.

    It would be a public service. I remember when stores like Myer still had serious game sections, and inevitably you would go there and they would have shelves full of copies of some lame movie tie-in game or celebrity endorsed game and zero copies of anything you wanted.

    The infamous one at Myer in the Melbourne CBD was the two shelves full of “Britney’s Dance Beat” for PS or PS2, I forget which. Every few months when I was in Myer, walk through the game section, those shelves were still there. I can just see Myer management saying “even Britney games aren’t selling, obviously no-one buys games anymore, get out of that business”… oh, and they also had shelves full of “Enter the Matrix” and “The Emperor’s New Groove” for years on end. It was embarassing.

  • Every time I see another game Refused Classification I go for a quick look at the OFLC site to see the result for myself. Every time as I am perusing the latest classification decisions one thing always brightens my day. I go there upset about another game I will not be playing and I always come away chuckling.

    God bless you porn film naming persons… your childish yet cleverly descriptive rip offs of every movie name ever manage to brighten my mood every time.

  • Some of you may not be aware of this but the South Australian parliament has passed legislation this week which means that R18 content (DVDs and magazines) has to be covered up and also placed not on store shelves

    So R18 is effectively banned from visual sale in South Australia.

    Also, R18 films are no longer allowed to be promoted in either poster or trailer format or advertised on television or promoted in any way.

    This legislation was rushed through parliament with no public consultation and no industry consultation.

    This is a very dangerous piece of legislation as it is censorship in disguise. People off the street can no longer just see an R18 film and buy it in South Australia, they need to know about it and somewhat feel like a dirty porn pervert by having to ask for the disk which is covered up and hidden behind the desk.

    FYI this does not cover adult stores, ;\

    • This shit scares me, seriously. Once a Government starts thinking that it knows whats best I get worried.

      I’m seriously considering moving back to New Zealand.

    • Lets just do away with South Australia. (Sorry, Aunty Claire, but it’s for your own good) Apart from it’s grapes… there’s nothing. Would anyone seriously care or notice if it was gone? Mr rAtkinson doesn’t even deserve to be a memory.

  • It’ll get worse before it gets better. We will likely see those stupid anger mongering shows, Today Tonight and ACA do something like; “Your children are in danger when playing video games… find out why after the break.”

    Does it occur to anyone that what politicians do is run a protection racket? Creating the perceived problem that never really existed then offering the solution if you let them take charge.

    Poli:”Hello Mary, did you know your son could turn violent and not grow up to be a good citizen if he plays this game with the dreaded “side boob”, we have these papers from TOP MEN that agree with us.”
    Mary:”Oh dear, I saw this on TV. Can I see those papers?”
    Poli:”Well…. No, its very complicated, but I understand them better then others, that’s why you should vote for me. I know the issues and I can protect children from these problems. I can give your son that chance to be a Doctor or a Lawyer.”
    Mary:”But Tommy wants to drive Cranes like his Dad.”
    Poli:”You wouldn’t want Tommy to use his Crane to hurt people would you? That’s what GTA4 lets him do and if he sees side boob, well the tragedy of lost innocence, I dare not think.
    Mary:”Oh dear, what can I do!?”
    Poli:”Just remember, a Vote for me is a Vote for your Children.”

  • I love how our government tries to send these messages about supporting our local economy and how piracy is bad.

    And then they pull shit like this encouraging people to import or pirate and hey once you’ve tried either of these alternative methods and realised just how much cheaper and sometimes easier it is than buying from an Australian retailer (yes this is the case for piracy AND importing) why would you go back and do it for a game that they have let in.

  • To use a quote from Douglas Adams – The OFLC were increasingly of the opinion that we’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place.

    If only we’d stayed up the in trees, the OFLC wouldn’t need to protect us from games that have violence in them whilst allowing movies/music/the evening news reports that have violence depicted.

    Maybe people at the OFLC need to move from the 1970’s into the new century??

  • The inconsistency displayed by the OFLC is remarkable to me, but what is more disturbing is the sinister circles of power in which they operate. What the Kotaku readership needs to understand, and forgive me if I’m covering material that has already been discussed, is that the OFLC is essentially the mouthpiece for a conservative ‘watchdog’ group called the Lyons Forum. The membership list isn’t available on the public record but, essentially, they are a group of powerful ‘concerned citizens’, conservative politicians, religious figures, all of whom have deep, clandestine connections to the front bench of the Liberal party. Investigations into the identities of the Lyons Forum members have revealed that amongst their ranks are people like Peter Costello, Trish Draper, Fred Nile, Julian McGuaran, and Brian Harradine. Their mission, initially, was to prohibit the sale and exhibition of ‘pornographic cinema’, as defined by their conservative perspectives, but that soon included films like Pasolini’s ‘Salo’, ‘Baise Moi’, and ‘Ken Park’. They are, of course, also ‘concerned’ with the gaming industry. I know that the people who are attempting to lobby the OFLC mean well – but you are firing bullets at scarecrows. The OFLC is the legislative manifestation of the aims of the Lyons Forum, who are obsessed with maintaining Australia’s cultural infantilism, and basically banning – or, in their parlance ‘refusing classification to’ anything that they don’t like.

    I don’t know how you fight them, other than attempting to undermine the clandestine nature of their activities, unmasking their membership and demanding an explanation from the Rudd government as to why a neocon pressure group is prohibiting your access to material that the rest of the world seems mature enough to cope with unimpeded.

    Just don’t forget that the reasons why ‘Aliens Vs. Predator’, ‘Left 4 Dead’, and all the rest of the banned material in Australia found themselves in such a situation are far more complex than is obvious, and involve a great deal of trickery, deceit, and autocratic cultural engineering. Fight the real enemy, everybody.

  • well i guess it was a bit violent for the 15+ category, but why not throw on a big red adults only/18+ sticker like everything else, movies, magazines, books, knifes, cigarettes, alcohol, gambling etc can all do it.

    oh well, import time for us adults. (liely cheaper too)

  • this is just embarrassing now. the whole world thinks less and less of australia every year. i know we are behind the times with everything but this is insane.

  • Seems more and more high profile games are getting banned in Australia.
    Up until a couple of years ago it didnt really matter. All the banned games were garbage.
    But, the past couple of years:

    Dark Sector
    Fallout 3
    Manhunt 2
    Silent Hill
    Soldier of Fortune
    and now AvP

    Theyre just off the top of my head.
    And yes, some were later edited.

  • Maybe the problem is in the fact that it’s called a “game” and therefore is intrinsically linked to an audience of a younger age in the minds of the Atkinsons of the world. Perhaps the answer is moving away from “gaming” and giving them a different title or category…i’ll let someone more creative come up with what exactly but calling it some form of “digital entertainment” as opposed to a “game” just may be the answer in maturing the category from something that was originally only intended and marketed at children to something that reflects the current state of affairs…Look at it this way, a “game” is for children but a “movie” is for general consumption. Within movies we have sub categories like children’s, adults only, action, romance, etc etc. Maybe if we stopped calling them games and referred to them interactive entertainment (or something more catchy) it just may solve the problem?

  • I can’t help but imagine the OFLC in a big heavy lifter mech suit saying “Get away from FUN you BITCH!”

    • i prefer to think of us, the gaming community, to be in the lifter. the queen being the OFLC and Newt being all that is good and tasty.

  • Just a reason why the R18+ should happen so that violent games like aliens. Get the right rating.. of R18+.
    But on top of that retailers should be forced to enforce the ratings on games, aka Id checking people who purchase games. just like video rentals etc.. o well..

  • Come on! It’s science fiction! They are make-believe freaking monsters! It’s exactly what happens in the movies which have had a M15+ rating for the last 20 years. Does the OFLC have a weekly quota of games they have to refuse now? Dammit

  • First all my work has been arsing up, making me re-do DAYS worth of advertising schedules, now THIS.

    I am normally a pretty calm guy, but this Atkinson chap just drives me completely bonkers. Give me my R18+, I’m 24 for Pete’s sake!


    Problem Solved.

    otherwise it will just get pirated, and then devs SHOULD sue OFLC for lost revenue.

    • Sure, a lot of people have said some logical things on this argument, but that has to top them all. If it’s rated R18+ then why not just sell it in Adult stores only? It solves the problem of parents stupidly buying it for their children as it send a VERY clear message about the content. You can be sure the parents are going to go that extra mile to keep it hidden too.

      I’m all for this idea. I can’t believe I didn’t hear about it earlier. You are brilliant.

      • Yes, its an extremely logical argument.

        It seemed so obvious when I thought of it…
        Only problem is IF EB or something decides to kick up a stink about a games store that cant sell certain games.
        A NOTE TO GAME STORES, if this proposal makes it through the ranks, and gets put into legislation, dont oppose it. let the ranking get approved FIRST.
        Otherwise you’ll just ruin it for everyone…

  • I wrote to all the AG’s and forwarded the response to G4C so watch for updates. Unlike the usual arguments I’m asking for a response on how they feel that one person has the right to veto a discussion from within a democracy. Look up any dictionary and this would be called a tyrannical action. Tyranny and Democracy can not exist in the same government regime, they are complete opposites. We’ll see what the response is from the AG’s on this.

  • At least they’re doing their job now, it seems.

    Just import it, it’d probably be cheaper anyway.

  • A lot of people commenting here seem to forget that without a R18+ classification, the OFLC is simply doing there jobs.

    This game obviously belongs in the 18+ division uncut. In fact, I am happy that they do seem to be tightening up on their classifications. With more people frustrated by the lack of an 18+ classification comes added momentum for the addition of one. Show the aussie government that as gamers we are not just a subculture limited to kiddies and teens anymore.

    The gamer demographic is aging no doubt with the growing up of Generation Y. No wonder friction is caused when we are governed by the less techno-savvy generations such as Atkinson.



    If that’s not proof gamers are of all ages I don’t know what is. That’s almost enough for me to play a CoD game MP.

    Not impressed with the choice, but until the rating exists what else can they do? As for the content being banned, a part of me says blame Howard for what he did to the country, and the other part is somewhat miffed at the fact American neo-con views have infiltrated Australia.

    Time to fight back, who’s for a proper footie game?

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