Calm Down, Halo Reach Is Not Censored In Australia

Calm Down, Halo Reach Is Not Censored In Australia

Halo: Reach was classified MA15+ in Australia on July 1. But last week a “modified” version of Halo: Reach was also classified MA15+, suggesting that Microsoft may have edited or censored the game for release in Australia.

Since the “modified” version was added to the Classification Board database last week – the decision was made on July 21 – we’ve received a considerable number of emails from Kotaku readers alerting us to this fact. Almost every single one of them expressed fear that Halo: Reach had been in some way “censored” for the Australian market.

Given the Halo series is not one renowned for its high level of violence, or indeed any other contentious subject matter, we thought it unlikely the game had been censored. But still, it was odd.

So we asked Microsoft why two versions had been submitted for and awarded a classification, and what this “modified” version was all about.

“We can guarantee you that the Australian version will not be modified compared to other regions,” a Microsoft spokesperson told us.

It seems that, after Halo: Reach had already been classified, Microsoft received a newer version of the game – one that contained a “design tweak”. This “tweak”, whatever it is, isn’t specific to the Australian version, it applies to every version.

As a result of this, Microsoft decided to play it safe and resubmit the game for classification. Hence the “modified” version now listed on the Classification Board database is actually the version that will be released everywhere in the world.

So in summary: No edits were made nor censorship required to earn Halo: Reach an MA15+ rating in Australia. You can all breathe easy again.


  • haha i don’t know how anyone could worry about Halo being censored… it has to be one of the most tame FPS’s around…

  • Given how wildly varied the OFLC decisions are, plus Halo Reach going for a grittier, meaner feel and including moves like assassinations i think it was pretty reasonable for people (me) to have a big girly panic momentarily.

  • Apparently people have pretty short memories, when Halo first came out it was one of the first console FPS games with all the blood splatter and the punching of dead bodies etc. (At least I’m fairly sure it was a “leader” in those regards >_>)

    But yes, Halo has a pretty much perfect level of violence and gore for the game. It doesn’t need limb lopping and OTT brains to sell and be entertaining, it does that with gameplay, design and narrative.

  • I’m just surprised to see that this game received an MA15+ rating. If I’m not mistaken, every halo game before Reach has received an M rating (not the restricted MA). Will be interesting to see if this affects sales at all. I know that younger kids can still get their mum, dad, older sibling etc to buy it for them, but there must be some parents out there that will refuse to buy MA rated games for their underage children.

  • Chances are I will never play this game. But, I hate it whenever any game is modified to be released in Australia. We live in a country where video games are totally misunderstood. The people making these decisions are clueless.

    Still, hooray for all you Halo fans.

  • It’s probably something dumb like they had to get the game classified before offering the beta they did earlier in the year to us, and then had to resubmit it once they had the finished single-player game.

  • I want to know wich fucking idiots rate the games that go into australia, halo reach isnt fucking left 4 dead 2 or gta iv with all the prostitutes in it, There is hardly any blood and its not like ur body gets choped of.

    TBH with you all, they should fire the morons that rate the games that go into australia and replace them with actual games who know what the hell there looking at. And if im going to have to get halo reach imported from another country so be it but this is really bs.

    • Uhh, Earth to Jack?! Jack, can you hear me?!

      Did you even read the article? Which part of “Halo Reach is not censored in Australia” did you not understand?

  • Would you let a 9 year old kid play halo reach?
    Is their a gore filter you can turn down?
    Kind of struggling with this, I wouldn’t let him play Assassins Creed 2, but thinking about letting him play Halo.

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