Mortal Kombat Has Been Refused Classification For The Third Time [Update]

Last year Mortal Kombat was Refused Classification. Warner Brothers, the local publisher, then resubmitted the game and it was Refused Classification again. Now, surprise surprise, Mortal Kombat: Game of the Year Edition has also been RC'd.

This might actually be a record — has any other game been Refused Classification this many times? Technically, Mortal Kombat: Game of the Year Edition is a different, modified version — but at its core it's the same game.

To be perfectly honest, we were a little surprised that Warner Brothers actually tried to put resubmit the game to the Classification Board, to the extent that we called the Board directly to confirm — but yes, Warner Brothers did pay the fee and resubmit the game for Classification.

It's a strange one — we wonder why Warner thought the game might get through on the third try?

UPDATE: Warner Brothers, has informed us that the game was resubmitted for the PS Vita.

Warner had hoped the smaller screen might have reduced the impact of the violence in the view of the classification board. They have not resubmitted the game on any other formats.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment submitted Mortal Kombat Vita for classification to the Australian Classification Board as we believed that the smaller screen of the PlayStation Vita greatly reduced the impact of violence.

This view was not shared by the Australian Classification Board and as such has been refused classification in Australia.


    Why not wait until the reform?

      My guess: by the time the reform happens (if it happens) MC: GOTY edition will be in bargain bins around the world and they couldn't make any money releasing it so late here in Australia.

      Firing up a media frenzy by deliberating submitting RC-level content is a great way to entice Aussie buyers to pay retail price for this game.

        OH COME ON, AGAIN?!

          That's it, i'm moving to New Zealand to be a illegal immigrant.

            Its dem immigrants! I knew it was them!

            You do realise that you can go and work in New Zealand without any kind of special visa because of an agreement between NZ and Australia. Heaps of NZer's do it over here these days. However, the job market is even more woeful there than here these days so probably not a good idea.

              so you wouldn't be an illegal immigrant.

    I reckon it's a good marketing ploy :) Just look at this article it generated.

      This x1000.

      This is the only way they can advertise the game to an Australian audience.

      That is an awesome point. The fee is about the same price as an ad page in a games mag!

        Plus, I don't know if they could legally advertise a RC game on Australian media could they? This might be their only avenue.


            So... They want us to import it?

              they're not telling you to import... but they're not not telling you...

                So they are, because you just used a double negative.

                  Logic fail.
                  A double negative doesn't mean a positive, it means either a positive or no answer.
                  In this case not telling someone not to import could easily mean not saying anything at all.

                  Having said that of course they want you to import the game, they make money if you buy it irrespective of region.

    Wow. I'm surprised the classification board has actually been this consistent. Not something you'd usually expect from them.

    Doesn't matter; will import.

    You know what, you might be right. It certainly does whip up a media storm whenever this happens to an already high profile title. And with reform just around the corner (1st Jan 2013, if the inquiries recommendations are adhered too), paying the submission fee for classification, knowing full well it'll be knocked back, is certainly a form of cheap marketing.

    Is this available to buy off the US PSN/XBL stores? It would probably be a risk-free way to import.

      When the other Mortal kombat was RC'd the gummit was all like "WE WILL BE ON THE LOOKOUT TO SEIZE YOUR IMPORTED COPIES OF MK!!!!111". Then, like, 2 weeks later they forgot all about it.

      Importing optical media presents basically zero risk. Even if it is caught you just get some letter from some sanctimonious bureaucrat warning you. If you were trying to import hundreds of copies, well, then you might be fined or whatever.

        Importing a 1000 copies is a fine for a different reason though.

        They would justly assume that you were going to sell them. At that the 100k worth of stock you just bought into the country probably wasn't going to net them any GST.

        Fact that it was a RC'd game wouldn't help though

      Funny thing, I've found that some of the higher rated content on XBL is available, but IP gated. e.g. I was unable to buy the Dead Rising 2 prequels from the US store because "this content is not available in your region".

      So I reckon that even if it was available, you may be unable to purchase it. Couldn't be certain though. And no idea about PSN.

        I had my copy of MvC from UK checked at customs last week.

        Easy, you just make a US/UK PSN or XBL Gamertag. I have a US and UK PSN ID and bought stuff from the PSN Store, which is then playable across all IDs on the PS3.

        Same with the XBL Gamertag, have a US one to get the Tropico 4 demo and downloaded that with ease. My friend got a UK one to get the Online Pass for MK to work and he said he once he downloaded it, it was unlocked for all his GT's

        So yeah, not 100% on Games from XBLM, but I would think they would be the same. I know they work off the PSN store...since I got 3 Welcom Back Packages ;p

          Sorry, I should have made it clearer - I got that region warning when I was trying to use a US XBL account. I was surprised, but it happened for both of the prequels when I tried.

        Well I was able to download the demo of Mortal Kombat from the US PSN store without an issues. I assume if the game is RC then the demo is also RC, but I could be wrong on that.

    Well good for me I ordered it online!
    OZGameShop got it 2 days after its American release last week.

    WIll import , my money goes off shore...your fault lazy government!

    Hope they try with the Vita version as well. Go for four bannings!

    (On the other hand it would be pretty incredible if the Vita version got accepted somehow)

    I don't understand the response to this.
    While I don't agree with the law, you always get people posting "I'm importing it anyway! :D" Why would you advertise to the world that you're breaking criminal law? Is it the anonymity factor? You're basically admitting to a crime in a public place.

      Ridiculous laws should be publicly broken, otherwise we get stupider laws.

        That's a slope if I've ever seen one. You don't just "choose" which laws apply to you - that's anarchistic. You go through channels and appeals, like what is happening currently with the R-rating.

        What you definitely don't do is leave a paper trail on a public website, admitting to a crime. If people import, its their own business. You certainly don't "taunt" - that's just asking for trouble.

          I regularly jaywalk.

            i dont carry hay in the back of my taxi

          I disagree. Civil disobedience in the face of stupid or unjust laws is really important. Of course you have to accept any punishment.

          Nope = You do - If I don't like a law I break it. I'm a rebel without a cause.

      What is the likelihood of getting busted? Publicly declaring such things on a gaming-centric site such as KotakuAU? o.O

        I'm not saying you'll get busted FOR posting. it's more confirmation evidence than anything else. I doubt it's cost effective for the police to trace people in the thread anyway.
        That doesn't mean it's a good idea though. Notice how Kotaku never references importing RC material themselves? Because they know they could get done in for it. Just be careful, is all I'm saying.

          Nobody can prove you even knew it was a prohibited item. I might have pre ordered it from ozgameshop before it was even classified and then forgot about it.
          And plus, importing prohibited items of such a low calibur is more often than not frowned upon

            Oops slipped and hit publish.
            Anyway, generally, if you import only one copy, it gets seized,and that's it. Extravagant fines are for mass importers.

            Ignorance isn't a defense to the law.

      Except for Western Australia, there are "guidelines" for every other state you must follow in order to legally own the game.

        That's a bit of a fallacy. As far as I'm aware, it essentially comes down to illegal to import, but if you happen to own a copy it's okay. If people say that they have a copy, not a problem. People are directly stating that they are breaking the law by importing, not claiming to have a copy.

          If anything all it can do is make some people pay closer attention to what's being imported and by whom. Until they catch that copy in customs they really can't do anything about it.

      Intentionally disobeying certain laws is a well established concept.

      However in this case it's nothing so grand and mostly just internet anonymity and complete apathy towards these particular laws by both the general population and the people supposed to be enforcing them.

    I'm a bit disappointed they did this so early. I know the ratings review is in progress and won't be completed for some time, but if they held off for six months it might have squeezed through the federal houses and while individual states would have still been working on how to sell it, the game may have at least received an R rating, meaning it would could have one day been sold.
    Or, you know, import.

    Oh please. I and everybody else already imported our copies months ago...


    ...I mean, oh dear, now I must continue on without being able to play this game!

    This got me thinking about Ninja Gaiden 3, so I looked it up. It has been classified MA15+ BUT it's modified

    I laughed when I saw the headline.

    The stupid thing is, even if we get an R rating a lot of people will probably still import because it's cheaper.

      Cheaper, yes - and will probably stay cheaper for a while.
      More importantly, I feel we are being/have been trained to consider imports before considering local sources. I don't think this is being done on purpose; it's just a side-effect of the current classification scheme. I know that whenever I think about purchasing an upcoming game, my first thoughts are to check any number of online stores - none of which are Australian - and now, in part because I know I can save money, even when we have R18+ classification for games, I'm going to continue looking online.

        The last thing I bought retail was Zelda Skyward Sword, and even that copy was one that the store grey imported. Before that, the last true Australian retail copy I bought was LA Noire I think.

        Everything else has been Steam, Ozgameshop or play-asia.

    Hahaha so silly. I've played through most of Syndicate and for the life of me I do not know why that game was refused classification (I know the reasons they came up with) but I've seen more violence in a heap of other games...just so silly.

    Everyone currently in positions of power in this current government, needs to be pushed out or die out. Their inability to be able to connect with people and being stuck in ancient ways of thinking is something that needs to be pushed aside and forgotten.

    What shits me is I cant seem to be able to play my imported copy on xbox live....

    Is this the norm?

      You'll need to create a foreign account and download the code there. Regardless, you can't play Ranked matches online, you need to go into one of the Rooms. Look for an AUS labeled room or create one yourself.


    You gotta create US XBL account to redeem the code or which ever region you bought the game from. And you'll need a US gold subscription which can be obtained online. I could be wrong but I *THINK* purchases are generally IP blocked if you're outside the region.

    Oh and I imported my copy of MK9 on 360 more than 7 months ago. Great game. I'm starting to enjoy seeing games getting RC'd because A) it's just publicity and B) it's only going to push our cause further.

    Peace out folks!

      You don't need a US Gold account.

        True. True. LIVE Gold card codes are universal, MS points are region locked.

    Looks like the Vita gets it's first RC! Still will import! :D

    Matt N. . .
    It is not illegal to own or watch/play RC content in your own home, except in WA.
    RC does not equal illegal. It means restricted.
    Shit like child porn is illegal.

    When customs were confiscating copies of Left 4 Dead 2 the person who got fined was a WA resident.
    The other states customs officers had no real legal reason (grey area) to confiscate the games.

      Straight from the classification Boards website:

      "Computer games that have been Refused Classification (RC) cannot be sold, hired or demonstrated in Australia. "

      "Generally, you can import any film, computer game or publication into Australia that has been classified. However, material that has been classified RC (refused classification) cannot be imported into Australia.

      Material that is imported is subject assessed by Customs. Material that is considered to be objectionable or has been refused classification is a restricted import and requires permission to be imported. These types of goods may be detained or seized by Customs."

      What are ‘objectionable goods’?

      Under subregulation 4A(1A) of the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (the Customs Import Regulations) ‘objectionable goods’ are publications and any other goods that:

      (c) in relation to a computer game — are unsuitable for a person under 18 to see or play

        Huh, that seems kind of strangely-worded. I mean, a six year old is a person under 18, and there's loads of games that would be unsuitable for them to play...

    Its not illegal to import rc'd stuff peeps. its only illegal to play them. The distinction is important.

    Some ppl should read the legislation regarding this's even stricter in WA?

    crap now i'm more worried my 2 copies of Syndicate haven't turned up yet (while a book i ordered from uni arrived tuesday, and both were from the UK)

      i should also mention they were posted on the same day. Guess i'll keep playing the waiting game..

      Western Australia is not allowed to have any RC games within your possession. You are subject to a fine by them merely existing in your house.

    It's illegal to import RC material in all states & territories. It's illegal to posses RC material in WA. Once it has crossed the boarder you're safe. The chances of customs seizing your copy are slim to nil.

    They are more concerned with intercepting guns and drugs.

      Not exactly. Every state has individual rules for RC games. All states do not allow people under 18 to purchase RC games from overseas (I think one state is 21) and all states do not allow the RC game to be re-sold to anyone. After that, each state have their own rules. Some do not allow you to own the game if you share the house with someone under 18 for example.

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