The Witcher 2 Modified For Australian MA15+ Release

Namco Bandai has confirmed to Kotaku that The Witcher 2 has been modified for Australian release under an MA15+ rating. The change comes after the Classification Board refused to give an MA15+ classification due to 'sex as a reward' appearing in one particular side quest.

According to Namco Bandai's local team:

In the original version your character Geralt was given the choice of accepting sex ‘as a reward’ for successfully completing this particular side quest. The Australian Classification Board originally refused classification as they deemed the inclusion of ‘sex as a reward’ as not suitable for an MA15+ classification.

The change is only minor, in that the character choice is now made automatically for him. The character and the side quest are still in the game but presented in a slightly different context. No other changes have been made and this change has no impact on gameplay, storyline or character development.

A minor change that seems to ultimately hit that perennial question of 'interactivity' as a critical issue for game content. You can't choose sex as a reward, but if the game removes the choice from you without necessarily removing the content it becomes acceptable. Hmmm...

UPDATE: We've tried to clarify with Namco Bandai and it does seem that, in this side quest, the offer of sex is rejected automatically. Given all we know of The Witcher 2 it seems there will still be plenty of sexy time for Geralt, just not in the specific context of 'sex as a reward'.


    Was there ever a choice in the first place for getting sex as a reward? Is anyone really going to choose 'no' if offered digital RPG sex?

    Does this mean that the decision is now automatically made *not* to accept sex, or is the sex now automatic and thus not a reward per se?

    Our classification system is so broken... :(

      At first I lol'd at your response and then realized that the distinction is not clear. So, if sex is the reward and not provided as a choice is that then suitable under the ratings guidelines? As there are other games released in Australia (Mass Effect) where sex is available in the game.

    I don't care if it has no effect on game play, I now have to import a non bastardized version. Putting aside the whole artistic principle of the matter "sex as a reward" is almost exclusively the reason anything as been done since forever.
    I mean you don't think the metrosexuals are feminizing themselves for the fun of it do you??

    So you still get the sex, you just don't get to choose yes or no. I mean if anything this seems kind of worse, in that you get it even if you don't want it. Seems like a silly ruling to me, I'm sure there have been other cases where sex can be considered a reward in a game, but I guess with such a minor change it doesn't matter too much.

      Uh, I'm guessing that NO YOU DON'T GET SEX AS A REWARD AT ALL since sex as a reward is not suitable for an MA15+ classification.

        Sorry posted this before the update. From this comment "You can’t choose sex as a reward, but if the game removes the choice from you without necessarily removing the content it becomes acceptable" I had thought the sex was left in, it just wasn't a choice any more.

        Though I still think this is a little silly, if the game has sex in it, that you can choose to have, does it matter if it is a reward for something you did?

          If you're getting sex as a reward for something, then I'd read that as the person giving the reward is a prostitute.

          However, if you're having sex in Mass Effect etc the two characters are choosing to have sex.

          Is this a logical distinction?

            you are talking about the aussie classification board here, logic has no place. =]

    So do you automatically accept or decline?
    Either way, offering the choice seems like a more mature option.
    I suppose 15-year-olds just aren't that mature for another three years.

    Maybe i'm reading this wrong but - the choice of whether or not to have sex is worse than no choice at all? weird..

    And how graphic will the sex be? The reality is there will be no actual visual depiction of sex. From this we can infer that there is no reward for sex and as such no need for an RC in the first instance. Telling someone they got laid and giving them a picture of a semi naked girl as a 'reward' does not equate to sex - in text, cinema or in interactive gaming this classification really is bollocks.

    Sex is a reward and I don't have a choice in the matter.
    Sounds just like marriage

    Thank god for the OFLC.

    Now all of the mature adults for whom this game was designed won't be at risk of perceiving sex a mutual agreement between rational individuals, rather than an inevitable consequence over which they have no control.

    I'm glad they cleared that up for me.

    Must have been a tad graphic since there were quite a few occasions in Mass Effect and Dragon Age Origins where sex was a reward.

    That R18 classification can't come soon enough can it.

    Sex as a reward is unnacceptable?... No one tell my Fiance...

      Mark, I'm also curious as to how this is going to effect the GoG digital download... will they be giving us an Australian sex reward declining patch, or will the GoG version be uncut?

        Oh, how I hope for a patch called "Australian sex reward declining patch."


    Watch the imports come now hahahahahah

    Australia is a laughing stock

      I dont think theres going to be any imports for something this small of a change. epsicaly on PC


        The Collectors Edition is like $45 on websites like GoG and Ozgameshop. Whereas Steam have it listed as $90 which we all know is aligned with retail prices in Aus.

        I never buy PC games from Australia anyway because of this 100% markup compared to buying from an online store.

    I highly doubt this will effect the GOG version in any way at all.

      As GoG don't have an official presence in australia(i think) they can't really be charged by the govt.

      Unlike Valve which kinda has to accept since they have content servers operating here and the like.

      I'll be more pissed if the collectors edition i ordered from overseas was to get pulled up

        My GOG pre-order lists my TW2 preload as "The Witcher 2 (AU edition)" which is why I first went looking to see if something was cut. ARHG!!!!

    Meh - i am getting from ozgameshop so this dosen't really effect me and by the sounds of it the changes are minimal anyway.

    Not fussed over this, only a side quest anyway.

    I just want to be able to download my Steam version come the 17th.

    My thinking all parties to do with the Witcher 2 in Australia knew about this and thats why it was pulled from the Australian Steam store, now they can upload the Austrlian region version of the game to our Steam store.

    I wonder if this will addect the GoG version?

    Now I suppose the question is will steam get the censored version, or is the only option for people now to choose another distributor, be it digital or retail.
    On the same note, I hope that GoG doesn't block it for Aus buyers too.
    I'm not fussed if that's the only change made, but out of principle I don't want to support sales of the 'censored' version.

    What do they think, people 15+ don't have sex or something?
    Guess we better tighten our sex laws as well.

    Didn't the Witcher 1 use sex as a reward?

      You know.. Sex Cards? etc?

        ... and sex with the Witch.

        OFLC - Consistency!!

          They are the most consistent at being inconsistent!

            It has been previously stated that each game is case-by-case and no previous rulings are taken into account.

    You know, just playing Fallout: New Vegas I have met multiple characters who have rewarded me sex for completing the quests. One rewarded me sex just for finding her Vault clothing.

    and I know I've played plenty of other games that had the same result.

      though fallout sex scenes probably aren't as graphic as this (the screen goes black, wake up fully clothed)

    It'd be great to know if this will also affect the gog version for Australian customers.

    Any word on what version will be eventually available from Steam?

    Isn't sex the reward in games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age for developing a (virtually) meaningful relationship with the (virtual) people you travel with?

    Pretty inconsistent, guys. Again.

      Well, without knowing the exact quest, it could depend on how the reward is.

      In Mass Effect, you form relationships, which can eventually culminate in sex.

      For all we know the Witcher's one works more like "Yay, you found my missing cat, here's some sex", which is more close to prostitution then a relationship, which is seen as being quite different.

        My point is that it's functionally the same. As far as I'm aware, prostitution is the exchange of wealth or coin for sexual acts or gratification. This is not what's demonstrated in a quest chain, unless the final part of the quest is "Pay 10 gold crowns", or whatever the equivalent is.

        To oversimplify it:
        Perform task -> Sex.
        Advance relationship -> Sex.

        Aren't those functionally the same? The nature of the tasks may be different, but either way, the consequence of the players' action is sex.

        That's all I meant; that it's the same from the designers' perspective, and when you strip back the flavour of the tasks, it's the same from the players' perspective, also. As such, differentiating them based on the flavour is kinda pointless.

    OFLC once again proving their hit and miss methods of ratings.

    Mass Effect sex? Sure, no problem.
    Witcher 2 sex? ZOMGWTFBBQ?!?! NO!

    Do you think they could be any more inconsistent? Really?

    Not that I care either way since mine is coming through GOG too :)

      I mean seriously; Why do we even pay these clowns at the OFLC?

      If any other enterprise were as inconsistent as the OFLC they sure wouldn't be getting their Australian Quality Endorsed Company 5 tick seal...

        This is consistent im pretty sure it was their main issue with Risen, and one of the reasons hookers were changed in GTA.

        The rules say that drugs and sex can't be incentivised.

        Meaning if you take morphine it can't give you a +5strength bonus.(See Fallout renaming to fake drugs so as not to confere a real world legitimacy)

        You can't be able to pay a hooker for sex even if it's only implied(Risen &GTA)

        And you generally can't reward Sex for doing well at Video Games. Though one would think it would work well for things in real life.

        "Ok all of you people weigh 250% more than your medically ideal bodyweight, first one to hit the 100% mark gets to sleep with this supermodel"

      The sexing in ME was not rewards based. It was as a result of a (well or not so well intended) relationship within the game.

      The Witcher 2 has it in the form of a reward based approach. Now what I find funny as hell is that you do not see or hear Fox News going on about the Witcher 2. Look at the shit storm those morons kicked up over ME 1 :D

      Having said all that...I am still not happy with our ratings board. Which is back to your main point. They are not consistent at all (present example excluded of course).

    Why don't we just make all sex illegal and be done with it? And by done with it, I mean done with the human race. Then there's be no more OFLC to restrict what no fully grown, consensual adults can do or not do in a non-existent virtual world.

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