God Of War: Ascension Rated R18+, All Mention Of The Game Being Removed From QLD Stores

God Of War: Ascension Rated R18+, All Mention Of The Game Being Removed From QLD Stores

One day R18+ games will be classified in Australia and won’t be newsworthy, but today is not that day. We’ve just gotten word that God of War: Ascension has been classified R18+ and, given Queensland’s issues with passing the correct legislation, retailers have been advised that they cannot sell the game in that state.

“As Queensland has not passed legislation for the R18 rating for games we must remove all reference to God of War Ascension immediately,” stated an internal message sent at one major retailer. “This includes all game slicks, posters, pamphlets, hand written signage, 2-way units and pre order signage.”

[related title=”More Stories on R18+” tag=”R18″ items=”5″]When QLD missed the deadline to pass its own R18+ legislation, I wondered specifically what affect that would have at retail. This is an interesting look at precisely what has to occur.

Queensland Parliament is set to discuss R18+ in the middle of February when Parliament reconvenes.

Hopefully this issue will be sorted sooner rather than later.


    • As a South Australian, receiving state of the “Most Backwards State in Australia” award from 19?? – Whenever Atkinson resigned, this is great news.

      • Even when you had Atkinson, Queensland made a pretty good case for most backward state. Since the last state election, we’ve pretty much solidified that position.

    • How about you save the moronic vitriol for if they decide to vote against it rather than that it hasn’t had a chance to be decided yet. Even if they were currently active there’s no reason to expect something of such a low priority in the scheme of things to be at the top of the agenda.

      • Sorry but this is BULLSHIT. They are the only parliament that has a single house and could ram this through in 5 seconds if they wanted to. The fact is they knew since MARCH this was coming and failed.

        Every other state which had to go through TWO HOUSES, managed to do it. Queensland has no excuse. None. It just harms their retail economy because you think Australia post is going to run a customs scheme on this? Nope.

        • Yes, because what you really want in a government is the ability to drop whatever else they’re doing and ‘ram’ the unimportant things through.

          • its not important to 1) keep your retail economy on par with the rest of the nation 2) Ensure your state is in line with Federal positioning and laws? Well i’ll be.

            Yes Queensland had a busy year sacking 30,000 people last year, but they couldn’t find one day (on average the debates in the other states lasted 2 days total) to talk about it and vote? I find it hard to believe.

            Like i said, there is no excuse for this. My point was its even EASIER for Queensland to pass this due to only having one sitting house. Perhaps i didn’t communicate in the right way. Given the amount of stupid shit parliament usually wastes time on in between good policy discussion and votes, they had the time. Guarantee it.

          • I agree with you Choc. Whomp made a stupid comment and now he is just being argumentative for the sake of being right.
            Qld doesn’t have an endless backlog of other issues. They didn’t need to drop everything to deal with this. They just have arrogant old fuddy duddies who didn’t want it through for false reasons.

          • Exactly, I’d much rather send my money overseas or simply pirate the product.

            Prohibition empowers black markets.

      • That is as may be, but how many other states had the Bjelke-Petersen cartel running them into the ground for two decades? Other states ain’t got shit on QLD’s history of corruption and flagrant stupidity.

      • If you look at the election results, there was a fair amount of support for Labor and Katter’s Australia Party. The seat distribution is somewhat disproportional simply because there were a lot of tightly contested seats that Labor lost. So Labor still got votes, just not enough to win any seats.

    • Queensland has always been the most backwards and conservative state in AUS. Just look at our marijuana laws and many more.

    • IANAL, but it wasn’t illegal to own unrated games before, just to sell them. I’m assuming it will be legal to own, but in theory you could have it seized when you try to bring it across the border.

      • IANAL has to be the stupidest acronym I’ve ever read. It sounds like some porn companies attempt at copying everyone else and chucking an i in front of everything Apple style. iAnal.

      • I’m a Queenslander and I preferred sunshine state.
        We actually have the choice so 90% of cars say Sunshine not Smart, it was a dumb move by the politicians changing something that didn’t need to be changed and wasn’t wanted.

        So not even Queenslanders say Smart State only moronic politicians.

      • Well Qld now calls itself that mostly because I think they realised the rest of Australia was laughing at them at the time when they called themselves the smart state and were proud of it.

        When actually it comes from a time when on average Queensland had the lowest educational standard and when Qld had a state premier who claimed that education was not important because he never got one and look where he was. He also allowed for a brief period of time due to the high illiteracy amongst its residents, he made it so they could legally sign documents etc with an ‘X’

        So yeah Smart State, not so much. I also believe that mathematics is a mandatory subject all the way through high school in Queensland because of the states past with education, and also why I believe students are not permitted to leave school at the end of year 10 without a guaranteed apprenticeship lined up or a similar thing. Unlike here in NSW where you could decide to just drop out if you hated school.

    • The Smart state went when the LNP got in to power – They actually got rid of that reference, no licnece plates or mention of it now on stationary, the reason to save a few pennies., not realising that they had to pulp and destroy all current Smart State material – that costs money and is wastefull, They then had to spend money to replace all the stationary, posters banners etc. Smart State indeed. Don’t expect any of our gaming needs to be satisfied without a trip or online order from the southern states. The ymay even look into other media again banning certain movies and other media.

    I have a feeling that the floods are probably going to push the decision out even further.

  • Wow. As a South Australian, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve been able to look down my nose at any other state on censorship issues.

    Man, this is gonna be sweet 😛

  • So, it’s illegal to sell in Queensland. Does that make it illegal to take to Queensland? (Bring it home from a holiday, when you move?) Is it illegal for someone in Queensland to buy from an online store operating out of NSW? Can I send a copy to a friend in Queensland?

    • R18+ games in Queensland right now are in the exact same situation that X18+ is for most of Australia. It is illegal to sell them in the state but perfectly legal to own/buy from another state.

      • Before the R18+ system was in place, the best way to get uncensored games was to buy from New Zealand, mainly because our sheep bretheren share the same region code for dvd (for those Xbox owners playing at home)

        Nothing stopped me from importing a whole host of games. In fact, I remember buying GTA + GTA2 in a collection some years ago, MA15+ sticker, but the CD’s had English 18+ labels on the disc so that was pretty lax

    • I can’t believe someone even considered posting this to Kotaku! These memos are for staff and staff only. Someone is gunna get in hugeeeee trouble if they get found out!

      • Maybe the fact that they are posted to our intranet and aren’t for customers to be reading? We can pass on information but thats not even the point.

      • That’s not the point. Someone took a photo of private information and then shared it with the internet. Yes, this would have been announced eventually, but this was not announced by Sony, was it? It was leaked by an employee that should not have taken it upon themselves to share it if they are concerned about losing their job. People have been fired for less, all i’m saying is it was a ballsy move they should have just been avoided. IF they were to be found out and lose their job because of it, it is entirely their own fault.

  • Unless Steam is going to start blocking games based on your state (either what you’ve told them as a billing address, or maybe your IP address?), I don’t think this will affect the sale of R18+ games in QLD toooo much…

    • The God of War series is on Steam?? :p

      I get what you mean; for us PC gamers it shouldn’t make much of a difference, but it will still affect the general console gamer crowd.

      • Yeah, they may well release it on PSN. Of course you’ll have to pay $99+ for it, but at least you’ll be able to get it on launch day 😛

      • Ah yes – oops 🙂 I’m a PC gamer, didn’t even think of consoles. *smacks forehead* And I know nothing about God of War 🙂

    • love to see them try geoblocking. i get told im in perth half the time (iinet). Newmanland is such a shambles (curling up into a ball and mumbling “Queenslandah!”).

  • With all the problems over recovery efforts from the floods and economic issues in QLD, there is now way that R18+ legislation is going to be any where near the top of the priority list for the government.
    Given that legislation in Queensland has not even been drafted as far as I can tell, I would not be holding my breath to see this even get a mention before mid year.

    I can see the game stores in Tweed Heads right now making a much bigger orders for stock of R18+ titles 😉

    • the legislation is drafted and is before parliament, They wanted a commitee report and got one. It reported back to Newman yesterday. The report discussion and potential vote is set for next week according to the schedules released for QLD parliaments first sitting.

    • Have you played GOW3? I thought that was pushing the limit of the MA15+ rating to the very edge and then some. I’m not a squeamish kind of person (I won’t think twice about ordering a big juicy steak after having a tour of an slaughter-house) but even some parts of that game made me a little uncomfortable with their violence.

  • All you people spouting on about poor QLDers not being able to play R18+ games are surely kidding, right? eBay, friends in other states, no issues here.

  • “… , I wondered specifically what affect that would have at retail.”

    “effect” Mark 😛

    Never played the series so personally doesn’t affect me (no, that was not on purpose -_-), having said that, it means a lot of other titles down the road will. Bleh.

    • I don’t understand why people have so much trouble with affect vs effect. It’s really very simple: If it’s a noun, it’s “effect”. If it’s a verb, it’s “affect” – except for those times when it’s “effect”. Ok?

  • Preorded the Collectors Edition from EB, rang them regarding it and they will hold it until the release date where if the R18 isnt lifted in QLD by then it gets cancelled. Kinda dissapointed but hopefully they sort their stuff out before the actual release date.

  • So now instead of QLD retailers getting our hard earned $$ it’ll go to online retailers instead. For shame QLD, the state is not only letting itself down but the whole of Australia.

  • The legislation.will likely be passed before the game Is Released anyway, but this just Shows how incompetent the qld govt is. The Game isnt illegal to.buy, Own or import as its been rated at A federal level. The constitution
    makes it firmly illegal to restrict interstate commerce. But as always i’ll be importing from hong kong as always.

    QLD needs to stop dragging its feet though.

    • actually you are wrong. it is the constitution and the seperation of powers that gives Queensland this power. The federal government controls classification, the states control the sale and display of the items.

      This is how they got R18 through Federal Parliament and the AG meetings. They threatened to remove the power from the states if the states did not comply. So the AG’s finally came to the party.

      • No I’m not wrong. The constitution states that trade Between States shall be between states shall be absolutely Free. This Is why it is legal to buy and own X18+ material in all states. It has been this way since federation. Look it up. The situation will be no different with R rated games.

        • Its not legal to by x18+ in all states.
          X18+ stuff is illegal to sell outside of NT & ACT. Not illegal to own it though.
          R18+ games are (currently) illegal to sell / promote in QLD. Again, unless somethings changed recently, it shouldnt be illegal to own a game thats been passed as R18 by the ACB.

        • FYSHWICK exists for a reason. Fireworks and X18 movies. Its not legal to buy X18 movies in NSW for example from a retail outlet. Same with Queensland and R18 games. NSW has a law that says no X18 in retail even though X18 is valid classification. QLD has this with R18 right now.

          • So why can I walk into any number of adult stores in my town (Tweed Heads NSW) and purchase X18+ material if it’s supposedly illegal to sell it to the general public in the states.

        • Ah yes section 92 Free Trade Agreement between States. Queensland is known to break that one often by trying to exclude out of state people from certain things.

  • Midnight cross border runs anyone?

    Say I got a copy of this in NSW, decided I didn’t like it and sold it on eBay from QLD, am I breaking the law, breaking the law

  • Very strange, at one point I believed that GOW:A had already been rated MA15+ and did have a listing on the Classification Database, but I can’t see where I found it now…

    • My GF works at an EB in SE QLD, apparently all of the pre-orders are being moved to the tweed store. I’m assuming they will just sell it from there, on paper at least.

  • NT and ACT are not states, first of all. Second of all, it IS legal to BUY and OWN X rated content in ALL states and territories. It is however illegal to sell or advertise X rated content anywhere in Oz except for the ACT & NT.

    In practice just about every adult shop everywhere sells X rated content regardless as the law is rarely enforced.

    As I stated earlier, buying and owning X rated content is legal due to the fact that the constitution mandates trade between states be absolutely free. Note the word “absolutely”, therefore the situation is no different with R rated games. The government cannot change the constitution without holding a referendum, it is not like changing a law.

    In reality, none of this matters because QLD has already agreed to pass the legislation. They are just slower doing so. Every bill introduced is reviewed before being voted on, unless it is an emergency piece of legislation. So people need to stop getting so paranoid and jumping up & down like lunatics. If implementing an R rating hadnt been agreed to by all 6 states & 2 territories then we wouldnt have it aleady in force everywhere but qld. Changes to the classification scheme require the support of ALL jurisdictions. Obviously that includes QLD.

    Again – you can own, buy and import anything that has beem rated by the Classification Board. So relax. The legislation will be in force in qld before March, I guarantee it.

    • this guy gets it 🙂 the states control SALE AND DISPLAY of classified goods. It is the STATES RIGHT to refuse the allowance of said goods to be sold AT RETAIL STORES IN THEIR STATE.

      The commonwealth controls classification.

    • With that said though both EB games and JB Hifi have updated their website to say the game is unavailable to QLD customers trying to order online. Once the legislation is passed then I’m sure that will change.

  • I see 10 more years before Queensland gets the R18+ rating for video games at the rate the goverment is going. How hard can it be to say one word Yes you would think the federal goverment would have the final say.

  • god fucking damn this state pisses me off sometimes. actually its pretty much only the political environment that annoys me, so frigging backward.

  • correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t Queensland’s legislation actually on the SALE of R18+ games, not the actual classification? As far as I’m aware, classification is actually handled at a national level not a state level, and the R18+ legislation has passed there. As there is no current legislation regarding the sale of R18+ games in Queensland at present, there ought be no actual law preventing the sale or display of said games until such time as there is. Pretty sure Kotaku actually did an article regarding this very fact as well.

    • I don’t understand why 2 hours? Daylight Savings is only an hour difference.

      I can’t argue with the 20 years remark.

  • I am certainly one of those people who lives in QLD and heavily supported the R18+ bill. Talk about it biting me in the ass. I am certainly not happy about this.

    Let’s just hope this is just because the parliament here is slow. Otherwise I’m up for a trip over the border…

  • You might think this is a big issue, but really it aint, unlike before where you couldent get the game, you still can, just import it FROM AUSTRALIA via ebay or something and not only will you get the DLC codes and they will work (because still in Australia) but the game will run and everything should be fine.

  • For the billionth time, it is being officially voted on mid feb. It has already been agreed to be the QLD government. The legislation has been drafted. They have just been slow. All this hyperbole by gaming sites and EB/JB having notices that it cant be shipped to QLD is simply for publicity. Even if QLD never intended on having the legislation it is NOT illegal for stores to ship from interstate to QLD. EXACTLY LIKE SHIPPING X18+ dvds from ACT & NT.


  • thinking When i get this game, i might email mister Michael Atkinson a picture of myself holding this game up, pointing at the r18+ and give him a message stating “Well guess you were wrong, still no mass murders in Australia yet”

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