Valve Considers Resubmitting Left 4 Dead 2 Under R18+ Classification

Valve Considers Resubmitting Left 4 Dead 2 Under R18+ Classification

Nearly four years ago, our classification board refused to classify Left 4 Dead 2. A highly sanitised version of the game just for Aussies, but now that the R18+ rating is in effect, Valve is considering resubmitting the original, uncensored game for classification.

On January 1, a new R18+ rating went into effect (Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge was the first to claim it.) Fans are now wondering if Valve is keen to revisit the subject with a fully unedited Left 4 Dead 2. Writing on Valve’s official forums, Chet Faliszek says yes.

“We have been exploring the options here and what we can legally do,” he said.

“We will have more information on this when we understand the issues fully and how we are moving forward.”

The game was submitted and refused, the decision was appealed, and the appeal was denied. It sounds like Valve isn’t yet certain if Left 4 Dead 2 is eligible for a re-review under a new rating, or if an old decision is final no matter what.

Still, any expense of resubmitting Left 4 Dead 2 for classification “doesn’t worry us,” he added. “This is something we want to do.”

Valve investigating R18+ options for Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia [GameSpot]


    • Given that they’ve updated L4D2 so that it includes all of L4D’s maps, they could always try submitting a complete/game of the year edition that includes all that stuff on disk and see if that works. To be honest though, I’m not entirely sure how the law works when it comes to resubmitting. I thought if the game had been RCed past a certain amount of time ago it would be fine to resubmit, but I honestly have no idea.

      • Well I believe Mortal Kombat is being resubmitted are a “new version” with the DLC bundled in so I don’t see why Valve can’t do the same for L4D2.

  • I think it’s allowed to be resubmitted, but only 2 years after it has been refused. I have not actually read the law, it just seemed to be something that came up in a ton of articles.

  • Never grabbed 2. If it’s re-released in OZ then I’ll definitely pick a copy up for myself and tell all my gaming buddies to do the same.

  • My question would then be that if this happen, does existing owners of the “sanitised” L4D2 get access to the newly classified one? Or maybe pay a small novelty fee to remove that teenie weenie bit of code responsible for the censoring?

    • From what they have said in the past, they would probably release it to everyone that had previously bought it.

      Also, knowing Valve, this is the way they would go.

    • I would imagine that if it was re-classified, there would simply be a steam update that would remove the offending bit of code that does the censoring. steam_appid=510 anyone?

    • Presumably they would need to give existing purchasers an option to switch. Having an MA15+ game morph into an R18+ game on update would be problematic: would they need to recall all remaining boxed copies from retail since they’re incorrectly marked? If a store sold a copy to a 15 year old, would they be guilty of selling an R18+ game to a minor?

    • I’m pretty sure they mentioned around the time that it would be a matter of a simple online patch. If for some reason they decided to up and charge for it out of the blue it would come as a mighty shock.

      • You kidding? I would buy it if they charged for the R-rated version, support the game they continue to update when I only originally purchased it for $15. Heck I’d buy a new copy at $50 if I can play L4D2 uncensored!

  • And I say, YEAH

    Seriously though, that would be a brilliant step (provided it passes) because it would calm everyone’s fear of the R18 classification being just a rebrand of M15.

    And poke the ACL in the eye, which is always good.

  • As one of the owners of the original version of the game (dubbed the uncensored version), the difference in content is not really that great, and its certainly not as ‘gory’ as some other games on the market.

    Still, this is fantastic news. Definitely a step in the right direction on Valve’s part.

    • There was far less blood (was there any blood in the censored version?) and the ‘dead’ zombies disappeared before their corpses hit the ground.

      That was such an immersion breaker for me.

        • There’s worse than Dead Island that’s gotten through since L4D2 was refused, standards just seem to get relaxed over time.

          L4D2 was RC’d in part due to graphic violence at melee range and dismemberment of human looking corpses, but Dead Island was focused around that. not to mention how something like Dead Space 2 involes you stomping on corpses for loot – that supposedly got through because necropmorphs don’t look human. Well, apart from the glowing babies that explode when you shoot them.

          Hell, consider that Fallout 3 was originally going to have Med X be called “morphine” and show an animation of the drug being injected when applied – but that was too graphic and implied drugs were linked to a rewarding in game benefit. Fast-forward to 2012 and Far Cry 3 has you blending your own drug mixes from herbs and flowers you pick up, and it shows the animation of you injecting yourself every time you use one, even just to heal which is ALL THE DAMN TIME.

          Hell in the co-op you just go ahead and pick up booster kits off the ground so you and a buddy can help each other shoot up, and the characters even remark on this in a way that strongly suggests there is a narcotic effect – and this provides benefits such as improved health regeneration, more damage, etc.

          Us having an R18+ is a step in the right direction for a lot of reasons. It gives people a clearer idea of what games should and shouldn’t be played by minors, and hopefully will prevent misclassification in the future. I don’t necessarily agree that some of the games refused wouldn’t have fit under MA15+, but there are plenty of games that don’t that have still made it in. I’m grateful for that as someone who wants to play those games, but that doesn’t make it right.

          The whole system has just been too darn inconsistent for too long. So here’s to a bold new world of R18+.

  • WB games have resubmitted Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition for Classification, which i think is an excellent move!

    • that would be alot easier to pass since from memory I don’t recall them ever submitting the komplete edition (guess after the RC for the original it would of been a moot point under old classifications, though makes me wonder if the original will still be RC unlike komplete)

  • Oh yeah, I have the OG censored version, it’s not like it’d bad because it missed the gore, but it’s kind of a thing amount zombie media, it HAS to be gory. Can it truly be called a zombie game otherwise?

  • Great move, Valve. L4D2 without gore doesn’t feel right. It’s perfectly playable, but it’s not as satisfying.
    The issue with an update is making sure those who download it are over 18 – I don’t think they’ll be able to to do it without a retail re-release, especially since it’s a new law and the boundaries haven’t yet been tested..

    • There are great inconsistencies, still, regarding digitally distributed software (and movies too). You cannot, realistically, police them like you would over-the-counter transactions. It is also ridiculous that apps (for iOS/Android etc) are still not covered by the classification system, even though many of those are approaching the quality and distribution of console games.

      • Totally. Its pretty much impossible to police online content. As soon as you legislate against something, the goalposts will have moved.
        I just don’t see this as being an update available to anyone with an L4D2 save on their hard drive.

  • hey guys, just grab “left4uncut”, it disables the filter and gives you all the juicy gore the game was meant to have in it. The warden doesn’t pick it up either. Been using it for years with no issues. Couldn’t play L4D2 without it.

    • I doubt Valve would go out of their way to ban something that desensitised their game. They can filter it, but doesn’t that mean they have to block third party apps that remove the filter. I reckon they left it alone on purpose. 😉

  • This needs to happen.

    The worst thing about L4D2 censored is that it doesn’t display fire- if a zombie is on fire it just starts dancing. It sucks quite badly.

  • Just give it a slightly different name. Like anyone will notice the content hasn’t changed at all, given minor changes allow for reclassification.

  • I own the Australian edition on steam and mine is uncensored…. I don’t know how it happened, I donwloaded straight from Vavle, it used to be censored I got a new computer re-downloaded No add ons. Now gore. It’s been that way for over a year now on my account.

  • I got excited for a moment there, but then I realised that I read this fourteen days ago and it’s actually very vague. Bit slow to the punch don’t you think?

  • as a fan I imported L4D2 from the UK. Uncut. Lovely.
    same with Mortal Kombat.
    so…silly Australia…bit late now…

  • As prolifetip said. . . get Left4Uncut.
    I play L4D2 at least once a week. Downloaded from Steam, play fully uncut.
    And there is quite a substantial difference between the cut and uncut versions.

  • This and the MK game will be great tests of the new rating system, at least in relation to violent games. Still a worry that nothing has changed and the new R18+ will just be a rebranded MA15+.

    • Then read the guidelines. They are significantly different.
      R18+ allows for the classifiable categories (violence, language, sex, etc) to be of HIGH IMPACT and thus receive an R rating, as opposed to only STRONG IMPACT which would warrant an MA15+ rating.
      So in regards to the R rating, there are essentially no restrictions in these categories unless they breach the code ie: showing sexual violence, drugs use rewarded or used as an incentive, etc.

  • Yes please Valve. I have literally one achievement for L4D2. That’s how long it took me to stop playing. Burning enemies that weren’t visually on fire and not being able to see where your bullets or melee weapons were hitting were my my gripes as they did hamper gameplay. Then enemies disappearing before they hit the ground was just immersion breaking – let them stop moving first at least.

  • yes, I believe they are allowed to re-visit there decision after 2 years. So they should be fine.
    Or they can just release a GOTY edition, which essentially count as classifying a whole new game

  • A highly sanitised version of the game just for Aussies,…
    From what I heard, we just got the German version?

  • if you buy the game on the xbox live marketplace in Australia it will be uncut
    oh those sweet guts and dismemberments

  • Haha I find it funny how people actually bought the Aus version I just went and bought a copy of it online from America the first day it came out I would have thought that people would have done the same.

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