Yesterday Syndicate was refused classification as a result of "repeated and realistic post mortem damage which exceeds strong in playing impact". Now EA has issued a statement in response.
It’s regrettable that government policy in Australia is denying adults the right to play Syndicate. The game will be not be available in Australia despite its enthusiastic response from fans. We were encouraged by the government’s recent agreement to adopt an 18+ age rating for games. We urge policy makers to take swift action to implement an updated policy that reflects today’s market and gives its millions of adult consumers the right to make their own content choices.
It's an interesting statement. At no point does EA dispute the classification board's decision -- from the sounds of it the violence contained in the game does push it outside the boundaries of the MA15+ rating -- the issue appears to be with Australia's lack of an R18+ rating.
At no point does EA confirm whether or not it will be resubmitting an edited version Syndicate for re-classification. Our feeling, from speaking to a few people, is that EA probably won't attempt to re-submit the game, especially not in time for the global release of the game. EA may wait until an R18+ rating is passed at a state and federal level before resubmitting the game, but how long we'll be waiting for an adult rating is anyone's guess.
David Emery, the Manager of Applications at the Classification Branch claimed that we may be waiting at least two years before we see R18+ games on shelves. By that time Syndicate will be long forgotten.
UPDATE: EA has confirmed that it will not be resubmitting Syndicate for classification.
• We are not releasing Syndicate in Australia. The reason for this is because we do not have an R18+ in place as yet. • We will not be appealing the RC decision. Syndicate is a game made for a mature audience and any changes would significantly affect the game's quality and appeal. • Syndicate will continue to be released in New Zealand (unchanged) on the 24th February 2012, and has a confirmed rating of R18+