Here’s Why Aliens Vs Predator Was Refused Classification In Australia

Here’s Why Aliens Vs Predator Was Refused Classification In Australia

Decapitation, dismemberment, locational damage, impalement, eye-gouging and the use of human heads as trophies: that’s why Aliens vs Predator was refused classification in Australia, as we reported this morning.

The official Classification Board report on the title says the Sega game is “unsuitable for a minor to see or play” because it “contains violence that is high in impact.”

Here’s the full description of the content in question:

“The game contains first-person perspective, close-up depictions of human characters being subjected to various types of violence, including explicit decapitation and dismemberment as well as location damage such as stabbing through the chest, throat, mouth or eyes.

Characters can be stabbed with a Predator’s wrist blade or an Alien’s tail in depictions reminiscent of impalement. The Predator collects “trophies” by explicitly ripping off human heads, their spinal columns dangling from severed necks.

Head can be twisted completely around in order to break a character’s neck. Eyes can be stabbed through or gouged, leaving empty, bloodied eye sockets.

It is noted that a player is able to combine manoeuvres together in quick succession, which further increases impact; for example, a Predator can stab a character through both eyes with its wrist blade and then rip off their head, with spinal column still attached. Extensive post mortem damage, including decapitation and dismemberment, is also possible.

Depictions of violence such as the above are accompanied by copious amounts of blood and gore, including ample wound details and visible skeleton.

In the opinion of the Board, the violence in the game causes a high playing impact due to its first-person, close-up perspective, conceptual nature and the level of explicit detail involved in the depictions. The game is therefore unsuitable for a minor to see or play and should be refused classification.”

In essence, similar to the situation with Left 4 Dead 2, it’s the human appearance of the victims of such high level violence that increases the impact.

Sega told us earlier today that they are considering all their options, including the possibility of an appeal. We’ll update you when we hear more.


    • The funny thing was, as I was reading the above passages like “a Predator can stab a character through both eyes with its wrist blade and then rip off their head, with spinal column still attached”, I was quite literally thinking the same thing. It sounds freaking awesome.

      But we have to think of the children. Cos you know, a 5 year old kid playing this game will suddenly have the urge to go and rip out people’s spinal columns, ammirite?

  • They should use the OFLC’s report as an advertisement for the game, it sure as hell made me want to play it.

  • “unsuitable for a minor to see or play”


    Well no shit Sherlock. I could tell any parent that. Not that this will have any bearing on my ability to play it. It didn’t work with Left4Dead 2 that’s for sure.

  • wont get though, no AVP for us. because there is not way such a core mechanic can be edited out the same way L4D did.

    its a pity but certainly not the reveiw boards fault. noone can say that the predator films are anything less that R18+ and a game that so faithfully recreates that is just not going to skim under the M15 rating.

    • Actually, both the predator films are only rated M.

      Additionally absolutely everything described here except eye-gouging was in the previous two AvP games…

    • I just read the reasoning again.

      “The game is therefore unsuitable for a minor to see or play and should be refused classification”

      It is clear that the ACB is oblivious to the fact that this game is *never meant* for kid.

      • thats a legal term, not a descriptive term. their context is correct.

        a “minor” in australia is any individual under 18. so what they say is correct. this game is unsuitible for anyone under 18 and without an 18+ catagory for video games is must be refused classification.

    • its the issue of melee vs ranged gore.

      decapitation by axe/bat/sword is considered differant to decapitation from shotgun. a rediculous standard but its what we got.

      peoples heads didnt come off from melee weapons in fallout 3.

  • I think the board’s decision was the smartest thing to do under the circumstances of no R18+ rating. This is the a game which would BE R18+. L4D2 was a stupid decision, because it’s very much like the first, but this is understandable.

    • Seconded.

      I doubt a lot of the people here saying it isnt that bad have seen the gameplay footage- for example when a predator sneaks up behind a dude, grabs him by the throat, lifts him in the air as he chokes and struggles, the suddenly BAM 2 spikes go right through his head from under the jaw and out the top, simultaneously ripping off his head and leaving a permanent “shocked” expression on his face… the predator then pockets the head… its pretty messed up.

  • “causes a high playing impact due to its first-person, close-up perspective, conceptual nature and the level of explicit detail involved in the depictions.”

    This is no different to me sitting in a cinema watching a film depicting the exact same thing, in a close-up POV shot (which the Aliens franchise has done a NUMBER OF TIMES!)

    I completely agree this movie IS NOT suitable for minors. But if the movie versions have the option to get an R-rating so that adults who wish to watch the film can do so, WHY THE HELL CAN’T I GET THE SAME FREEDOM IN MY VIDEO GAMES.


    PS – How’s the corruption and bullying accusations going Atko?

  • Chances are, same with Left 4 Dead 2, had this game gone through without any issues, without the song and dance that goes with being Refused Classification, it would have gone onto retail shelves and I’d probably not notice it.

    Yet, with the description of why the game was refused, I kinda want it now, just to see what the fuss is about. I mean Silent Hill Homecoming wasn’t that great, and Dark Sector? Please… yet part of me wants it, just because I’m not supposed to.

    RC just make things so much more appealing. So I guess the lesson here is: if you want someone to be attracted to you, just get Refused Classification. People love the mysterious kind…

  • I guess this illustrates the heart of the issue: The classification guidelines demand that games be evaluated as a past time for children only. I am endlessly amazed that it still can’t be seen as a mature form of entertainment.

  • By that description I can understand why it got refused. I guess you would have to see it foryourself to judge just how bad it looks.

  • And yet the Saw game gets classified….

    A game about a Serial Killer who sets up deadly and elaborate traps, taken from the series of movies that have ridiculously violent traps that are depicting real people getting killed..

    But its okay, we can stop them going to see those movies at the Cinema….and we’ll completely ignore the fact minors can get their hands on those DVDs if pepole over 18 go and buy rent them and take them home…because if we acknowledged that, then our arguements for protecting the minors would fall down in a massive heap.


    Sad thing is, we should expect to much more of this in the future.

  • All those acts listed above can be found in the Predator or AvP films and yet none of those were refused classification. While I’m pretty sure Predator was rated R when it first released on VHS none of the films rate worse than MA15+ now.

    I call bulldork.

    • The different classifications are defined in terms of the “impact” on the viewer. They also work under the assumption that an act that you actively participate in has higher impact than if you are a passive observer.

      So it is quite possible for things found in an MA15+ movie to exceed that rating when they occur in a game.

  • pfft.
    so even though its an “alien being” it could still corrupt us and “de-sensitize us toward violence? uh huh. theyre trying to protect us just in case we mutate and turn into some freak monster killing machine. rofl.
    its funny that fps games encounter almost no issues and in these we actually kill characters that ARE depicted as human.
    OFLC = out of control!
    David, have we had any update on our mate’s appeal re:MW2?

  • In all fairness to the Classification Board, they’ve made the right decision here. R18+ sounds like the appropriate rating for this game, and it’s not their fault that they’re unable to give that rating.

    • Steve is right, and the most important line in the report is the last sentence. that line can also been seen as a statement from the board that they know the game is ment for adults but there hands are tied due to the lack of the correct rating.

      The board also have L4D2 still in their minds as well as the MWF2 No Russian Controversy as well.

      SEGA will most likely appeal but i believe it will be the RC will be upheld, however SEGA could try and make a big push with it to bring it into the spotlight to the majority of the population.

    • I totally agree. Just another reason the classification system for games needs a complete over-haul, including the introduction of an R18+ classification.

      Pull your fingers out, AGs (or should that be AsG?).

    • they even said ‘unsuitable for minors’. and for some in the past theyve said ‘not suitable for those under hte age of 18, but as theres no rating’ or similar

  • AVP movies are ok but not the game? Hannibal alright for minors to see? If there was an R18 classification in Australia where ID is required to purchase the game then I suppose minors wont get their hands on it… unless those irresponsible parents who work for the classification board buy it for their kids. They shouldn’t be banning and games just because they cant look after their own kids properly, its unfair on the rest of us.

  • This situation has got to come to a head soon, unless we get a fair and representative ratings system this will happen with greater and greater frequency. Until that day FTW and hope that every dev studio that plans to release a violent game decides NOT to region code their products.

  • I wonder if the guys from the OFLC linked linked the game to any of the movies. That’s just what predators do!

  • As graphics get better (and thus the depictions of humans in games more lifelike) more and more violent games will be RC’ed and this issue will become much more prevalent than it already is.

    The latter half of this year has seen higher-profile games hit by the RC-hammer, games that we actually care about and want to experience as they were intended.

    Part of me hopes that Atkinson succeeds in having Modern Warfare 2 pulled off the shelves. My hope is that it may galvanise gamers into action and bring much more publicity to the issue.

    I actually sympathise with the Classification Board. They are doing their job within the restrictions they have. Yet they attacked from both sides: by gamers for RC’ing their favourite games, and by Atkinson himself: “The Classification Board in Australia does everything to try to get games in under the radar.”

  • So once again we see movies receive the ‘R’ classification but a game from that movie franchise is refused classification altogether.

    It really is a case of double standards.

    So it is ok for a Predator movie to have close up gore, chests exploding, decapitation and human head trophies but when the game contains the same it’s all of a sudden to impacting.

    When are we going to actually see the R classfication for games and usher in a safe rating system for minors as adults alike.

  • ‘The game is therefore unsuitable for a minor to see or play and should be refused classification.’

    I dont understand how they can knock back an R18 rating but state its not for kids.

  • I understand that killing the “infected” in some ways maybe harmful due to the fact they are human. But you play as an alien killing Humans or Humans killing aliens.

    Theres a fine line in there.

  • “a Predator can stab a character through both eyes with its wrist blade and then rip off their head, with spinal column still attached.” – This sentence makes this game sound even more awesome.

    Fingers crossed for Atkinson to be ousted or for QLD to pass the laws enabling us to have an R18+ category..

  • if they appeal they are wasting time and money and effort

    that will never fit into the guidelines in a million years, especially considering L4D2 was upheld.

  • note unsuitible for minors


    i didnt realise that was even the target audience for this stuff i know 15 yr olds that havnt seen any of the alien or predator movies

  • Prohibition is NEVER more effective than regulation and control. When the fuck will the human race realise this?

    .. and this game sounds AWESOME! Play-asia, and other OS retailers must be loving the Classification Board right now!

    I know I’m preaching to the converted here, but No shit this is unsuitable for minors. It’s just such a pity that by having an R18+ category, less minors will play it, and all the adults get their fix as well, legally. Just madness…

  • Here we go again. Good luck ‘gamers 4 croydon’ i hope your other policies are up to scratch. This is getting absurd.

    Concerned gamer age 22.

  • I’d say an appeal would be a waste of their money. AVP sounds like it’s several steps up from what L4D2 had on offer and it was unanimously RC’ed on appeal.

    One wonders how they could possibly tone down the violence without significant rework also. Importing seems to be the most likely solution (with the added risk of possession charges in WA / NT).

  • Sounds fair enough to me.
    Everything in that report I agree with, especially the part about being unsuitable for players under 18.

    So… next topic. R18+!

  • The way that they describe it makes me want the game more. What DO they want Predators and Aliens to do to humans?..

  • OMG Aliens Vs Predator wasn’t meant for minors. Im pretty sure that the Makers of Aliens Vs Predator didn’t make the game for Minors. It was meant for Adults, We need a R18+ Rating for Games in Australia.

  • Wow! This game sounds awesome!

    If we weren’t under the thumb of belligerent wowsers this game might not get the publicity it deserves!

  • This is entirely accurate for the game. R rating, minimum, except we don’t have one. And there will be more and more of this as realism improves. The problem is gaming is evolving, but the rules aren’t. Gaming is becoming more mainstream, but the misconceptions of the general public and the people in charge are going to keep Australia from enjoying a selection of the more realistic and cathartic games until people start to realize Michael Atkinson is losing touch.

  • play-asia here i come. Another part of my income that will go overseas because of some beurocrat and his mission to win the BIGGEST DOUCHE IN THE UNIVERSE AWARD. take a bow son…

  • I wouldn’t mind working on that board: “This game is TOO FUCKING AWESOME for human consumption and MUST BE BANNED to maintain ECONOMIC PRODUCTIVITY.”

  • You know what? Screw Michael Atkinson taking a moral highground over violence in games. Maybe some of us enjoy what he calls ‘senseless and depraved violence.’ This doesn’t make us sick in the head or mean we go around pulling out people’s spines, it just means we enjoy it on a completely vicarious level.

    I wish he’d come to understand that people enjoying violent games doesn’t mean they enjoy violence in real life. His whole moral arguement would fall apart if he did.

  • Its AVP.. what the hell did they expect the Preditors to give you flowers while the Xenomorphs yipp happly at your feet with your slippers..

    Ofcourse on the other hand I wasn’t overly surprised this was banned.. its Australia… its a great looking game.. its an awesome book series.. (no comment on the movies) its a fantastic franchise.. all in all the things that get banned here.
    This is a PRIME example of why we should have the R ratting for games.. so the audience its targetting can play the game..

    … Polititions.. I say we nuke from Orbit.. Its the only way to be sure

  • Its nice to know i’m not the only one that sees a Classification Board report as an advertisement for me to import. I totally had no interest in this game until I read that, now its an instant buy.

  • If a few more high profile games like L4D2 and AVP get refused classification it will just give more ammo to point out the problems with the system. But we still need the senate review paper to be released. So the politicians have something to read about it first.

    As for the examples that Atkinson wanted included, what better than all the games that have been refused.

  • It’s just another reason for an R18 reating however people are reading too much into the “minor” thing. We’re not talking about children getting access to the game. The OFLC is grading this based on MA15+ being the highest rating the game could achieve. Technically 15 year olds are minors (even the bratty “I do what I want” 15yr olds.)

  • They need to make an OPTION to turn off gore, or something like a parental mode, I’ve seen other gory games with this sort of option and pass the OFLC no problems.

  • My uncut copy of Left 4 Dead 2 arrived via FedEx yesterday afternoon. Once I had called FedEx and confirmed it passed customs, I thought “owned”. The Classification Board and Michael Atkinson can shove it up their ass if they think they’re stopping me from playing adult games.

    I’ll be doing the same with Alien vs Predator. Good on the developers for not being willing to censor it, they shouldn’t have to compromise their work for pathetic little Australia.

  • thank god i live in the uk.are goverment actually lets adults decide themselves wether to play adult games and this beauty is top of my list.bring it on sega

  • The classification board has to classify this against minors because they have not adult classification. this is a failure of the classificaion board, not a game that cannot be classified. The Classification Board should be either disolved or updated.

  • The bannings are getting out of control now. This isn’t any more violent than the AvP movies or even the original predator when it came out in the 80’s.

    An 18+ rating is needed. This is getting beyond a joke.

  • I’m getting mighty sick & tired of the whingy
    ratings board.
    I don’t even particularly want Alien Vs Predator but they fact it’s being banned is more than offensive.

    I imported Left 4 Dead 2, and enjoy it because it’s silly fun. I laughed out loud and repeatedly when a friend showed me the AUS edited version.

    In fact, it offended me more than anything that OFLC can dream of banning.

    They are idiots. I don’t like to be told what to enjoy or see. They can go fly a kite.

  • I think the whole do we need an R18+ rating for games in Australia if the Classification Board could be asked whether they think one is needed i.e. are there games that they think are suitable for viewing by 18+ individuals but due to not having the rating must be refused. Also that would have to be allowed to answer honestly.

    All this faffy language is killing me.

  • Oh noes! A terrible looking liscence game will not be allowed in!

    The idea of banning something that could easily be rated R really annoys me. *Sigh* better donate to G4C again and sign up some more people.

    • Actually, the AVP games are the exception to the rule when it comes to Licensed games. This game is not a crappy movie tie in like Avatar or Enter the matrix or the etc

  • If GEN Y could separate reality to fiction I am sure they would allow the game, but the fact is GEN Y play these games and then go out into the streets and think they can carry it out in real life, the simple fact that bashings are threw the roof in the last 10 years and the fact that two blokes going toe to toe is not the norm any more, you want to kill the bloke with your mates and leave there for dead, jump on his head, kick him while he is down, put a knife threw him, it would be more appropriate if they ban more games until you can separate reality from fantasy, because in real life, you just don’t press restart and everything is back the same way.

  • Oh and Kotaku, when you get a chance to interview the God of War peoples, ask them for me:

    Will God of War III be available in Australia?

    • I am dead scared that the answer will be ‘never’. You kil Perseus in the most gruesome way and that’s in the first HOUR of the game. Add to the fact that he looks 100% human, I’m not so sure it’s gonna fly

    • I would not surprise me if the game got banned.

      So I am seriously thinking of waiting for the game to come out in the US, confirm that it region free (region locking is still an option in PS3), and then import *before* it gets submitted for classification.

  • I was going give this game a skip after Rogue Warrior but the Board have convinced me otherwise.
    Thanks for the info, I might actually try to get this game

  • Actually, it sounds disgusting. To hear the excitement in the comments… SOUNDS FRICKEN AWESOME … is also disturbing. The same thing depicted in cinemas is disturbing. Sure, if I don’t like it, I don’t watch it or play it, but we all still run the risk of some lunatic getting ideas from what he sees. Some moron just got busted for trying to mimic Dexter FFS. Minors will inevitably get to see and play the game regardless because gore-gamers, like idiots with their car music jacked right up, will think that everyone else is thrilled to be a part of what they are entertaining themselves with. It’s not fricken awesome… it’s fricken wrong!

  • I read that Rebellion aren’t making a ‘cut’ version of AvP as well just to suit Australia etc.

    I also heard that SEGA dont make region free games they tend to lock them to regions so importing an NTSC from US/Play-Asia might not work, would have to be a PAL.

    Though these are rumoured information so I dont know how accurate they are.

  • Gamers4Croydon is a political party in South Australia with the primary aim of putting political pressure on Michael Atkinson and raising awareness of the lack of an R18+ classification. We’re planning on running a candidate against Mr Atkinson in Croydon, as well as at least a candidate in the Legislative Council for people who don’t live in Croydon.

    If you’re interested in the R18+ classification, head over to, and tell as many people as you can about it. The more people know about Atkinson’s lies, the harder it’ll be for him to get away with them.

    Chris Prior

    I game, I vote.

  • well whop de fucking do theres dismember ment in the first 3 games,goin on from Aliens vs Predator then into AvP 2 with better graphics then came out AvP 2 Primal Hunt,better graphics granted that there ain’t as much blood as in the games out now but thats not the point the point is you let the first 3 games thru and they all had dissmemberment and seriously by denying it your just gettin alot of aussies really pissed off who gives a fuck how gorey it is,take serious sam HD thats got a lot of gore in it with the option to change the gore type to hippy(flours and rainbows instead of blood and gibs) childerens(candy kans and stars instead of blood and gibs) then theres the normal which is just blood and gibs like normal i guess just put that into the game and most it password protected for adults to change it and keep it that way problem solved lots of people happy too

  • At last a modicom of sence from the regulators.
    The most at risk in the population are not little kids but people heavily represented in the earlier comments above. This game leads them further down an irrsponsible and immature path in life. Vulnerable people need protecting from themselves so that the rest of us dont need protecting from them in the future.
    Games of violence are fine, if and only if, they do not be allowed to continually esculate in the LEVEL of violence.
    Enjoy the gaming….not the gore

  • The thing that’s annoying is that everybody knows this should be R18+, but due to some douchy tactics by certain Attorney Generals the classification board can’t give that rating. The sad thing is I can’t see us getting a R18 rating anytime soon, unless Atko gets kicked out of his seat, who wants to run for SA?

  • I cant believe they are doing this, what about free online games, just as bad.. Oh hang on what about porn, drugs, violence against kids, proper punishment for people who commit crime etc etc… Oh no lets be gutless and waste our lives from stopping people have fun….

    • Incase your not aware but the current fedral governement is also currently testing a mandatory internet filter that australians will not be able to opt out of.

      what alot of people dont realise too is that Australia in General is a center right country, both our main political parties are center right..dispite what one side may claim.

  • i’m shattered by this news, i almost wet myself when i first heard they were making this for 360. i guess i’ll have to import it from overseas, but i’ve never done that before. can anyone tell me what i need done to my xbox to play imports?

  • I actually think this is a good thing. If more developers refused to edit their games for the Australian market, it would give local retailers more incentive to lobby the government to get the R18+ rating in place (since we’ll all be buying AvP from overseas now).

    While Atkinson can block the rating, the government can put pressure on him to relent, and in the face of enough lobbying from developers, publishers and retailers, I’m sure they would.

  • Well in all honesty I am being desensitized to violence in games at least. I started playing COD 4 thinking wow a head shot is gory in this game. I then moved on to COD 5 and saw limbs being blown off and thought wow this is violent. I then looked back at COD 4 and didn’t react a bit. Next came L4D2 and I saw guts and smashed out backs and heads and thought wow this is insane. Again now I don’t even react a little bit when I go through a horde of zombies with a chain saw cutting the down.

    I now have played the AVP game demo and I think I have seen all the kills. This is truly the most gory game I have ever seen. When a predator kills an alien, or an alien a predator, I don’t care because the blood is green and they don’t look human. When either of these kills a human it is pretty bad. As described some of the kills really amazed me when I played. However I play COD 6 and I can’t find the gore and yet I don’t miss it.

    I think gore in games is just to cover bad game play. AVP is a very boring game with whoever rounds the corner on the enemy first gets the kill. There is no strategy other than for the humans to work together, and if you are stuck as a human you are food. I wish they wouldn’t rely on just the gore to sell the game, although reading a few comments it seems they are doing a good job with it.

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