Mortal Kombat Banned In Australia

We've just gotten confirmation that Mortal Kombat has been Refused Classification in Australia.

After speaking with the Classification Board we can confirm that the rumours currently flying around the internet are correct - Mortal Kombat has been refused classification in Australia.

We've just received a statement from Warner Brothers which states the following.

The highly anticipated video game Mortal Kombat, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) in Australia, has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board and will not release in Australia. We are extremely disappointed that Mortal Kombat, one of the world's oldest and most successful video games franchises, will not be available to mature Australian gamers. WBIE would not market mature content where it is not appropriate for the audience. We understand that not all content is for every audience, but there is an audience for mature gaming content and it would make more sense to have the R18+ classification in Australia. As a member of the iGEA, WBIE is reviewing all options available at this time.

Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association had this to say:

The granting of another RC to a video game clearly designed and targeted at ADULTS again highlights the shortcomings of the current classification scheme. In particular, the absence of an adult classification.

As with many other forms of media, there is a demand and place for an adult themed narrative. We trust adults with this material in other media forms, yet deny them similar access simply because it’s a ‘game’. We would not accept the argument that because it’s “unsuitable for a minor to see or play” that it should therefore be banned in any other media form, so why video games?

When a highly anticipated game receives an RC we can expect two things to happen; interest in obtaining the game will actually increase and people will still get the game either through importing (ordering online) or pirating; the latter an encouragement to commit a crime in order to perpetuate the crime of accessing illegal content. Ironically, the game is then widely available in Australia without any identifiable classification markings. How is this informing parents and protecting children?

It is the industry position that an adult classification sends a clear message to the public that the content is not suitable for minors and is the most effective means of guiding access to mature content. Refusing classification of titles that meet adult rating criteria in every other Western country in our digital age is ineffective and naïve.

It is also important to highlight that content that exceeds the guidelines of an R18+ classification, should it be introduced, would still be refused classification and banned in Australia.

More news as we get it. For more information on the R18+ situation in Australia click here.


    F*CK!!!!! Just paid off my preorder.

    Times like this make me wish I wasn't australian. Never thought i'd utter those words

      What are the option? I want to get it on 360, and its region locked. Is UK version uncut still?

        You should be able to go in and cancel the pre-order and get a refund. Don't let them force you into getting a credit if there is nothing in store that you want.

        Seriously though, I have to agree with people who say that they saw this coming. As soon as I saw the fatality footage, I knew it was going to have a hard time getting passed.

        I'll be importing it.

          the only change as far as i can see is an upgrade in graphics, that's no reason to ban a game

        Just get your money back for the pre-order from whoever you went through.

        Go here:

        Mortal Kombat goes for £39.99, which is roughly $64AU. Delivery is cheap as, quite swift too. You're laughing!

        Region is the same for UK when it comes to Xbox 360 games, I assume it's the same for PS3.
        Only problem I ran into is; you can't re-sell UK games on the 2nd hand market in AUS. But that's no biggie, that shit is currently bad for the industry anyway.

        Plus your hard earned cash is supporting a system that is pro-adult gamers, and you save money doing it this way too!

        It's a win-win situation.

          Cheers for the link :)

          Only problem is, Game aren't doing the Kollectors Edition! lol

            Nope, EB were able to secure the rights to sell that particular edition. They tend to get the best ones anyway.

        Ozgameshop has pre-orders for AU$54, free delivery, that's the best price I've found so far. Was planning on going through them before I even knew it was banned.

      Cancel preorder
      Order from, they sell the UK version, will work fine on the AUS 360...same region.

        Yeah but I'm chasing the collectors edition, thats the problem :(

          NZ version from Mightyape will get you your collectors edition and the correct region

      So, not getting a video game makes you not want to be Australian? Awesome priorities chief. It makes me sad that YOU'RE Australian.

        I think he's trying to convey a sense of disbelief at the democratic process rather than a disenfranchisement of his national identity. The problem is far greater than simple classifications as well, it goes to Australia's complete lack of appreciation for the Arts as well. Gamers aren't taken seriously and thus we aren't represented democratically.

        Wow, way to totally miss the point. Yes, its this one video game that makes me wish I wasn't Australian (sarcasm there just in case you missed that too).

        I think Mark summed it up pretty well.

      Problem is, Australians keep voting for Labor and Liberal parties who created this system and refuse to change it.

      I bet 90% of Aussie gamers vote Labor or Liberal.

    Surpise surpise... Honestly who didnt see this coming?

    Banning games makes gamers violent. Not the games themselves. I am furious over this.

      Yeah but that just proves games are addictive, you can't get your fix and you get violent (or since you're a gamer it's probably Hyperviolent)

        Thats just plain ignorance. The fact you just called GAMES addictive by nature is a myth. Are Edutainment addictive? Hardly they're defined by their content more precisely deceptive reward systems are what addictive.

        More importantly people are addictive by nature & if you condemn games to this quality then you must acknowledge that ALL media has addictive qualities. For example Sugar is more "addictive" than any media or beer is 10,000% destructive than any media. Games are a healthy hobby when like everything is used in balance. That a very dated perspective you got there, I recommend you enlighten yourself otherwise you're just another bigot.

      Gamers don't kill people. RC kills people.
      /afk going to demolish some orphans.


    I don't know what I would prefer they do... edit it and launch in April or wait until we hopefully get an R18+ rating later this year... (or maybe release an uncut version later when we do get the rating?)

      One thing that's come up in the R18AU topic is that there will not be any retrospective reclassifying of games previously RC if an R18+ rating is issued in Australia.

        I was under the impression that it wouldn't happen automatically, but the publisher could choose to resubmit if they felt it would pass.

          I think you're spot on with this. Question is... is Australia enough of a market that anyone will bother?

          Valve probably would, because updating everyone's copies of L4D2 would be a doddle and digital distro means the market will be instantly ready for the R version. But getting a newISH game into shops probably wouldn't generate the same returns.

          The way the legislation and guidelines are written currently a publisher doesn't have the right of resubmitting the same game - all they can do is appeal a decision. If an R18+ was to be introduced there would likely need to be a specific addition to the legislation and/or guidelines to enable resubmission for possible R18+ classification. Therefore as I understand it the AG's would need to make a conscious decision to allow resubmission and actively enable it to occur - something so far unlikely given the publicised statements about the subject.

    hands up who's ordering from play-asia soon?

      Yo! +1 from this guy!

      Play Asia?

      free shipping at Ozgameshop

        Yup! Assuming the UK doesn't ban it too. I got Bioshock 2 from there - rated 18 on the box lol.

      I already downloaded my copy today ...

      Pffffffffffttttttttttttt :0)

    Oh wow I didn't expect that, my friend is going to be disappointed. Time to import.

      To clarify I didn't expect it because most games are actually getting through now, including Duke Nukem and Bulletstorm.

        Good point, how does Bulletstorm, a game that promotes killing with style, and swearing up the dicktits get through without RC.

          well one can say it's part of the story.

          Mortal kombat it's just 2 guys laying into each other

          the biggest issue that the classification board has.

          is stuff must be in context

          so people running around swearing and defending themselves is fine. Yes i said defending because every enemy in that comes after you.

          2 guys fighting each other to the death for no apparent reason than that they can. doesn't really put anything in context.

          They could also argue that a game like this could cause real fight's. and since the fights end with death thats an issue that something like wrestling doesn't incur

            I'd say that "for the fate of the Earth" is a pretty legitimate reason.

              "2 guys fighting each other to the death for no apparent reason than that they can. doesn’t really put anything in context."

              By the above logic we should be banning all Mixed Martial Arts, Wrestling & Boxing games too

                at no point in any of those games can you blow someones head off man

                and when i say what i said im saying that's how they would see it.

                as the follow up to this article states the ripping in half of an enemy would be seen as unescecary after a defeat

            "2 guys fighting each other to the death for no apparent reason than that they can. doesn’t really put anything in context."

            I didn't realise this game was a commentary on the war in Afghanistan. *boom tish*


    I'm so over this classification rubbish. Like L4D2 I will just import this.

      did you get caught when you imported l4d2? :O

    So I wonder what happens to all those pre-orders that have been taken?

      They will have to be refunded their deposits.

        EB Games informed their customers to call their support hotline to organize refunds. Not sure what GAME and JB will be doing about it, but I would hope it was the same thing.

          Under the Trade Practices Act, if a supplier cannot supply something that you have paid for they must offer you a full refund. Dont let them bully you into a store credit.

    I knew that would happen... Duke makes it through, MK gets banned.

    Hopefully they pull a Rebellion and get it put through without edits.

    Big shoutout to all lazy parents who think it's someone else's job to watch what their kids are doing.

    Mortal combat targeted at adults?

    Since when?

      Since all those kids who played the original grew up and have big bucks to spend on nostalgia.

        Snap!!! And also true

    This is really not the sort of game you can censor to make it suitable for MA15+, either... the violence is kind of the whole point of the game! (But then, neither was Fallout 3, Left4Dead 2, and all those other games which WERE modified and re-released).

    Unfortunately, this is really just par for the course in this country these days.

      my guess is the reason behind the ban is the fatality's

      i mean just using the description on wiki

      "The Fatalities are usually lethal, featuring a brutal and morbid execution of the now-defenseless enemy character; however, some of them are actually non-violent and humorous, and some are even resulting in the suicidal death of the victorious character."

      See to the board that lacks reason. Because there is no need to execute the defenceless enemy character. and the suicidal death part doesn't help either.

      i'm willing to bet if they made it so that there was no actual deaths a the end of the fight there would be no ban

      You Know, I was so suprised about MC being banned that i fell right out of my chair, when i realised that falling caused pain, I

        Sorry 'bout the reply above, accidently hit "enter". Anyway, "- fainted outright from astonishment" was what I planned to finish that with

    The demented Australian ratings system strikes again...

    However, never fear MK diehards:

    Never had a problem getting RC games from there. ATTENTION GOVERNMENT: See how easy it is to bypass these stupid laws???

      I'll probably end up going with Zavvi...

      though, will look around and see some deals on the Kollector's Edition

        Also depending on what happens with New Zealand...

        Mighty Ape -

        They will likely get in the US versions...

          I'll happily buy it for any Australians... at a price!

      Is this legit?



    In all seriousness, this is some of the worst gaming news I've ever heard...

    "It is also important to highlight that content that exceeds the guidelines of an R18+ classification, should it be introduced, would still be refused classification and banned in Australia."

    I think this is wrong. I may be the only one that feels this way, and I'm not going to go about arguing my case because I think it is best to stay focused on just getting an R rating, not arguing over how it will be done. However I am an adult and I think I have the right to see whatever I want, providing it doesn't actually depict a real criminal act.

    I'm not sure but I have heard of movies that are so violent/gory/sexually explicit that they get banned here, and I'm pretty sure when it has happened there have been arguments over it. I'm an adult and I will choose what I want to see, no matter how horrible it is I still see it as wrong for my government to ever say 'the public can't see this' in an effort to 'protect' us.

    But again I'll be happy just to get the R rating on games.

      but 706 to use the arguement which we all despise as it would never apply

      Something like rapelay is something that would go in that RC area.

      Pretty much nothing that gets made should ever go in the RC area.

      theres not alot that goes into that section even for movies about 20 if memory serves right. with most being pre 2000 era

      Though i think with R18+ we should also Get X18+ only because of the Fact that it exsist's for movies and i expect that when it can be done well the porn industry will cross to games(not saying they should, but again theres no reason to exclude them. Just make it those games are sold only at adult toy shops and you solve that problem.

      there already on the net now anyways

      You can't ask for an R18+ without some substantive context around how it would look. SCAG recognised that at their last meeting. To say YES to an R18, you have to understand what it is you are agreeing to.

      Just as importantly as to what fits into and R18, you have to identify what doesn't. That's where the fear and misinformation springs from, as per Atkinson. He was an expert on saying an R18 would mean excessive violence and depraved sex. We need to identify clearly the upper limits.

        Isn't Mortal Kombat the very definition of "excessive violence"? It's kinda the point...

      Somewhat ironically 706 you've negated your own argument with the line "providing it doesn’t actually depict a real criminal act."

      You can't have "no limits", then impose exceptions to that. By doing so you create limits, aka censorship. Who's then to say where those limits stop? I know, a censorship/classification board.

      I'm not really sure what you mean by the exception which would ban depictions of a real criminal act though. Currently lots of games depict criminal acts - murder, break and enter, theft etc. If you mean showing actual real life criminal acts occurring, well while that could apply to say film (e.g. snuff films), games by their nature are simulations (I suppose the exception could be FMV cut scenes).

      Personally, I'm quite happy for limits to exist, and the classification board to have a role to play. Those limits however need to be balanced, applied consistently across media and subject to appropriate review and updating.

        He's saying that if a game is marketted and it contains actual footage or photographic depictions of real life crimes, then yes they should be banned because the creators of the game are profitting from violating the law - and in the case of photographic depiction of rape, child pornography, etc., they're profitting from directly violating the rights of others.

        If, however, the game is a virtual simulation where no crime has been committed/no one's rights have been violated, then the game should NOT be censored/refused classification on ANY grounds. No matter how gorey/vulgar/sexually promiscuous the content of the game is (or for that case ANY form of media) then - as a free society - the content shouldn't be made illegal. No crime was broken in the production/marketting of the product and so it should be free to purchase and obtain.

        Granted a game containing virtual simulations of child rape and gore would be considered HIGHLY immoral and unethical in our society, the fact that the content is 100% fictional means that it doesn't impreach on anyone's rights and therefore, I believe, it should be legal.

        I would never purchase such a game, but I believe no media should be censored. I think it's the consumers' job to determine what they do and do not buy. If people do not support the content - they will not buy it. Simple as that. As much as the public wants violent/sexually explicit games or snuff films to be banned, the problem here is that it comes down to personal bias - and when the control is put in the hands of the government, people are going to be upset by the results.

        Do I want an R18+ classification? As the current system stands, yes.

        Would I rather the classification system be stripped of all legal power and exist only as a way of informing consumers of the content of media? Hell yes.

        To sum up, I would like to say this: When it comes to media, there will always be ideological conflict on whether the content is "suitable" to exist within society. I think to be a truely "free" society, we have to accept this, and in turn not allow the government to determine what is suitable for us or not - except in cases where people have had their rights compromised by the direct production of the media form. It's up to consumers and suppliers to determine what they choose to buy and sell - and in turn send the message to the production companies what they deem morally sound and not.

          Yes, this is what I meant, thanks Urser


    OzGameShop should get a nice boost in sales from this. Or PlayAsia.

    How long til we see the exact terms for it's refusal?

    Here's hoping a massive sh*tstorm hits the fans at the AG's office.
    But I'm not completely surprised at the outcome. Hurry up, you bureaucratic turtles! We need that R18+ rating for games soon!

    Import time. Man, fuck our classification system.

      Guess I need to find out if my Xbox 360 is region locked. if so, mod chip time. Even more money going out of the country now, nice job.

      Honestly, what a kick to the nads.

        The 360 is region locked, and a modchip or similar won't usually get around the lock.

        The UK release should be uncensored, as their rating systems have an 18+ category, and UK releases are the same region as Australia. Often can be gotten for fairly cheap too.

        Yeah, I second the NegativeZero - get a UK version. No region issues, only downside is you can't trade it. But, no doubt you'll save some cash on the import regardless.

    Will we get details on what caused the ban?

    Guess the Australian government misses out on the GST revenue, and Harvey Norman will have to complain about online sales with this one.

    World's oldest? Really, sorry WB, please do not add hyperbole to these press releases.

      Nothing is up on the Classificaltion Board site yet...

        I spoke to them directly. It'll be on the site tomorrow.

          Or you can click here where Gamespot has been nice enough to scan the documents for all to see now -

    And my ever increasing collection of RC games gets another addition. And cheaper than what I would of paid for it locally too. Thanks Classification Board, you and that whining git Gerry Harvey make the decision to send my money overseas almost too easy!

    All aboard the Censorship!


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