Will The Duke Make It Down Under?

For many a year, Duke Nukem Forever has been the punchline to vapourware jokes. Yet with the recent announcement that Gearbox Software is picking the game up, faith has been magically restored. Forums are filled with I-told-you-so fanboys proclaiming "Always bet on Duke", and there's every confidence the studio riding off of Borderlands' success can finally bring it home.

Whether the Duke can reach Australian shores, however, is a different bet entirely.

Duke is a man's man. He takes a leak when he needs to:

He enjoys the company of reputable women:

And when life gets tough, he relies on Nukem brand steroids:

This was all ok when Duke Nukem 3D came out, and we had a different ratings system. But the Classification Board has demonstrated that incentive & reward from drug use is a black & white issue. Fallout 3 evaded the banhammer by renaming its Morphine, and another NFL game, Blitz: The League, was denied outright for featuring in-game use of performance-enhancing drugs.

If Duke Nukem 3D is anything to go by, this muscle juice will be usable in-game, and provide positive benefits. Which means if the name of this drug doesn't change, DNF has about as much chance getting through as Duke has actually finding his bubble gum.

So will Gearbox edit this otherwise cheesy, tongue-in-cheek power-up? Or perhaps the Duke has a medical condition, such as chronic asthma, which would legally justify its use? Kotaku Au has raised the issue with 2K, who will hopefully respond with good news.


Comments

    At what stage do developers think about ratings? and if they do work towards a rating system, 95% of the time (yes I made up that %) I guess they would be working to the USA's classification standards.

    Junglist, do you know if developers have a guide for these ratings for every country they plan to release their game? Or is it a case of submitting the game and then adjusting depending on the result?

      I would think they would work to PEGI. It dose have the most contrary under is belt.... And looking at it, it actually looks like it is well done. Maybe Aus should just switch to the PEGI system?.....

      Generally you have a rating in mind when beginning a game. The last game I designed we were told the US rating they wanted to the game to come out at (we ended up going one higher. he. he.)

    2K has a pretty big presence here in Australia (obviously, with 2K Australia), so hopefully they will be sympathetic to our plight, and re-name the drug.

    Hopefully, this is the only issue the classification board has with the game...

      I think you mean "2K Marin"...Why rename the Australian studio to Marin :(

    I would think that logically (which I know is something the ratings board rarely uses) that if AvP was allowed to be ultra-violent given the environment and style of game it was, then Duke should be allowed to use steroids due to the over the top parody humour present in the game.

      remember tho, AvP was only let in AFTER the game devs protested it on the grounds that the violence was needed, due to the premise of the universe. It WAS banded.

    Hopefully it'll remain as-is. Hopefully the Board will see it as a satire and allow it through on those grounds or something. Remain hopeful people!

      Well you know what they say:

      Wish in one hand, and shit in the other. See which one fills up first.

    Maybe by the time it comes out we will have a new ratings system.

    If Duke Nukem Forever can really get released then anything is possible.

    If they ban it, I'll import it.
    If they change it, I'll patch it.
    You'd think Australian adults wouldn't have to go through this nonsense, but, here we are (maybe).

    And the worst bit is, people then wonder why piracy has a tendency to be rampant. It's not like players over here can get games that are refused classification legally anyway, and it's a massive loss of profit for the developers when players who want to play it are forced to download pirated copies.

    Dev's need to keep this in mind when developing games, and either regionalise it so that it can comply with the classification systems of that region, or be prepared to tolerate when players break the law to obtain a game they cannot obtain legally anyway. Personally, I hope for the former. Piracy sucks balls. But not being able to purchase and play a game because a bunch of prudes feel it is inappropriate despite my being a legal and responsible adult sucks even more

      I reckon pirating a game just because it's not available here is a bit of a cop out, you could probably import the game cheaper than it would cost to go to the store and buy it. (including shipping, if you get a decent deal)

    Or better yet, we amend our outdated classification system in time for a DNF release date :)

    The R18+ rating is on the agenda for the next SCAG meeting, so hopefully we won't have to worry about having to import, or getting a modified version.

    steam? ozgameshop? playasia? We have plenty of options if it does...

      Count Steam out of that list. They won't sell a RC game to Australians.

        There are ways of getting round that.

        1. Ask a yanky frined to gift it to you. XD

        2. VPN. Mind you, it takes a bit of effort to do. Never done it my self, tho have people I know that have used it, and it has worked.

          Just to clarify, here in Australia it's illegal to purchase, import or accept as a gift an RC game, iirc (hence why Steam will not sell to you).

          So the only legal way this will be coming to Australia is through the R18+ being introduced, or the game being regionalised for our classification system. Sucks, cos either way we're going to be waiting a while :(

            Are you sure its illegal to import? i have imported several R18+ games fine

              If something has been classified RC by the classification board, or would be if classified, then it counts as objectionable material. The Australian Customs Laws say that such material needs to be declared, and they will usually not allow such imports.

              So if you import such a game without declaring it, you are breaking the law. That said, if you're caught they're likely to only confiscate the shipment (assuming you aren't importing a commercial quantity of the game).

    If this is released on the ps3 than it really doesn't matter.
    It will be cheaper and uncensored overseas.
    Have the release platforms been announced under gearbox?

      Or Xbox 360.

      As crazy as it sounds, while the 360 has a region locking mechanism, it is optional so not all games are locked.

        Yes.. but it's also frequency locked.

        ie. You can't play NTSC games on a PAL machine and vice versa

        So your also banking on a long shot it not only gets an unedited EU/PAL region release but also isn't region locked by the devs

    This is just getting ridiculous, let the public make their own decisions about what material is suitable. If some drop kick parents give it to their 8 year old son than the government hasn't failed the parents have, simple.

    three words that always completely screw up the governments silly classification refusal system-
    Import the game

    They did remove the strippers from Duke 3d if i remember right, they were put back in later with a patch.

    Something to remember - Duke Nukem 3D *was* censored when it came to Australia. My copy didn't have the strippers, excessive gore and a few other bits & pieces, but there was a text file on the disc which explained exactly what to type into DOS to turn it all back on.

    Good on 3DRealms for putting that sneaky little getaround in there, but sucky for all of us who had to do it.

    ill just import it from the uk regardless, i refuse to pay the ludicrous price for games in australia

    Jung, FYI the sorts of steroids used for asthma treatment (corticosteroids) are completely different to those abused for muscle and bone growth (anabolic steroids). Their uses and effects do not overlap. I'm betting Duke's are for the latter ;)

    I hope it wont get banned, but our shoddy system has a habit for letting games that should have been given the RC.

    I hope i dont have to import but if i have to i will but i hope the OFLC will see that this is one of the most highly anticipated games in history and if banned one of the most imported ones.

      edit...

      The thing with steroids is you have too look at what contexts it used in, Morphine in Fallout 3 is a narcotic (and didnt they change it everywhere not just australia?) and in Blitz: The leauge, it was banned in what context steriods where used, steroids are banned in every sport on earth but last time i checked Duke Nukem forever wasnt a sports game,

      but i suppose to get rid of the award factor when the steroids effect are finished take a little health off your ego bar.

    As far as I know - the game is still relatively early in development and the section being shown may not make it into the final game. And even if it does (I believe it will), they still have to consider all the ratings systems. Even PEGI may give this one a hard time.

    Ummm, I may be wrong, but do we really KNOW that steroid use is in game?

    I'm fairly sure that shot isn't of an in-game screen but simply some prop from the show, the hand holding them certainly isn't manly enough to be Duke's.

    Sure there were steroids in the older games, Duke 3D atleast, but their appearance was also sufficiently vague that you could have called them just about anything, they just looked like a standard container of prescription medication.

    I'm not saying I think the game will make it in no problems, but I don't think it will be because of a steroid based insta-ban necessarily.

    The OFLC will just do what it always does: ban it first then let the duke through on appeal. Then a month or so down the track ban a couple of smaller games no one cares about to make it look like its doing its job.

    Duke will prevail.period.

    Hail to the king baby ... finally a fringe benifit of working OS every other week - I'll be picking this one up duty free in transit ... go on customs check my PC for offensive material .. can you say "VHD" file ?

    I'd wager good money that an uncut version won't make it to Australian shores unless the Standing Council of Attorney's General bows to overwhelming public opinion and allows the introduction of an R18+ rating. And there, frankly, I'm not holding my breath. SCAG is under no real obligation to take into account public opinion when making their decision, and a single holdout can still make the introduction of the rating impossible.

    The gore, on its own, would probably have made it through. The sex... well, it depends on how many strippers, I guess, and the number of, ah, 'services' Duke recieves. Combined with the speculated-upon drug use (oh, and the cigar smoking), though, and we may well have something that's not seen as appropriate for a 15 year old. What's more, by all accounts, it's trying to recapture classic Duke, and that means that the humour, utterly central to the franchise, is going to be offensive to a lot of people. And offense to a 'reasonable adult' is one of the kickers in the Classification Code.

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