The Last Of Us Has Been Rated R18+ In Australia

The Last of Us has just received an R18+ rating from the Australian Classification Board.

According to the report the game received its rating as a result of the game's violence. There were reportedly no incidents of drug use or nudity in the game, but the violence moved into the 'high impact' range, which forced the game into the R18+ category.

Early trailers and demos of The Last Of Us have featured realistic violent scenes, so it's no surprise that the final game has been classified as an adults only game.

We've asked the Classification Board for a copy of the full report and will update when we hear more details.

Via AusVGClassifications


Comments

    i have actually noticed that the bar has been lowered on whats considered R18, so more and more games that should be MA15 are classed as R18 now... i dont care too much cause im well over 18 years old and its legal now, just found it odd is all...

      Yeah this was always the fear once we got the R18 category.

      While it's true that many games that SHOULD have been classified R were shoehorned into the MA category in previous years, it does seem like some games that really should be MA are now being pushed into the R category.

      I'm not saying The Last of Us shouldn't be R, as I obviously haven't played it. The classification could very well be justified. I'm not talking about this game specifically, just the system in general.

        Going from the previews, and R seems deserved. In one video you kill an unarmed character begging for their life. Seemed pretty graphic.

          Exactly, it's not for kids, I expect GTA V and maybe Splinter Cell to be in for the same rating

            I expect gta v to be ma. Too much money is at stake if its r.

              Thats an interesting theory and im gonna use my lunchbreak to test it.

              I assume youre referring to the practice in the US of retailers not stocking a game if its rated AO?

              I'm going to Big W to see if they stock R18+ titles

                Well I'm here and yes they do
                God of War
                Metro Last Light
                Dead Island Riptide

                Interestingly though...
                No Mortal Kombat

                Heres my theory on it. the ESRB's Mature rating is 17+ and AO is 21+. While we dont go up that high its most likely going to be closer to the M rating there, so i think it will be rated R. Almost all retailers stock R18 games.

                Another thing to consider is that GTA is probably one of the most notoriously adult game series out there (thanks to the media) and you could ask any parent and they will have some idea of what GTA is even if they aren't game savvy themselves. Some of these parents will be happy to buy their kids COD or BF3 but a lot less will do the same for a GTA game, thats just a general mindset. This is just a mere theory but I think the OFLC will be giving it the big R, and it will hit the news and there will be a big discussion about it, someone might pull a scare tactic of little Billy playing a sexed up violent game and is now forever damaged, we all call their bullshit and then we all play the game and shut up about it, or at least some of us will play the game. Adults and the "cool kids" that is. Remember that GTAIV was partially censored her for a while so if they intend to release the game uncut then a R rating is more plausible.

                Not really no. Its more like a rockstar or take two wanting to "reach"... sell as many copies as possible... and you can reach more people with a ma than an r. Whilst a different medium i see it being a similar situation to films and the impact its rating has on the box office numbers.

              Not a chance it'll be MA

                Nope. Def R18. What used to be MA15 (based on violence) is now in the R18 category. R* know that idiot parents buy their games for their children.

                  For some reason I can't reply to your actual comment, but no, GTA IV is uncensored now, originally it was but the PC version was uncensored and then the 360 was uncensored in a patch when the DLC was released, I'm assuming the same happened with PS3.

                  Last edited 16/05/13 8:12 pm

                  Not quite.
                  The rating is based on the classifiable elements themes, violence, language , drugs, sex and nudity.
                  And depending what category they go into based on the impact of the element -
                  None, Very mild impact, Mild, Moderate, Strong and High Impact. If any of those elements are deemed High Impact the title is rated R18+. GTA V will either have High impact themes or Violence that will make it R18+

              GTA is R rated in the UK, that's where I've been buying my uncut copies from ever since the whole killing hookers issue.

        Yeah, in almost every R rated game so far (Mortal Kombat aside, since that was previously RC, and that Nintendo 3DS game that went from G to R somehow), I believe they would have shoehorned it into MA if the R didn't exist.

        It might seem like the bar has been lowered on what is an R game, but I think it's more that games that should have been rated higher are just being rated correctly now. It doesn't seem like that right now because we're so used to seeing games like this (or worse) earn an MA because actually refusing to classify a game is a pretty huge decision that can only be invoked in extreme circumstances.

        Maybe the classification board was on our side all along!

          The classification board WAS on our side all along. They were asking for an R18+ for games for YEARS. It was the politicians getting in the way, not the classification board.

          And yeah, you're right - these R18+ games were previously getting shoe-horned into the MA rating not because they shouldn't have been R18+ but because, faced with the choice between MA15+ and RC, the board wisely chose the lesser of two evils and went MA15+.

          It was always noticeable that when there was no R rating for games the classification board shoved a few games into MA15+ which really should have been R because they didn't want to ban them.

            Yeah, it's been going on a looong time. The first time I played Condemned 2 and forced a homeless man head first into a TV set, I kinda shook my head and said "this is not for teenagers".

            Good game, just... not appropriate. I really felt like the MA15+ rating didn't inform people about the level of content to expect.

      Doesn't bother me. The game is clearly aimed at adults, anyway.

        Exactly this.
        The difference between MA and R is only 3 years anyways, so the target audience wont be affected all that much.

        Besides, so many MA games in years gone by probably should have been in the R18+ rating anyways.

        Yeah it is, I think moral content should be assessed when rating interactive media.

        For instance, I would never give a copy of Heavy Rain to a child. Not because of the nudity or violence, but because of the ethical dilemma it forces on you.

          I'm glad you brought this up. It's good to see the games with adult content being given the R18+ rating as a reflection on the maturity required to interpret it conceptually, rather than just shock value of gratuitous sex and/or violence.

          There were scenes in Heavy Rain that weren't ostensibly violent, but had a very strong emotional impact that wouldn't be appropriate for young people.

      Because games were getting rated MA15+ when they should've been R18+. Simple.

      I think that was the point, so kids under 15 couldn't buy violent games full stop, regardless of whether Mum and Dad were with them or not.

    Yup. No surprises here. Especially when the reveal video had the main character pull a shotgun out, and when the adversary screamed "No!" he was then shot in the face. It's certainly high impact violence and I'm glad for an R18 rating to exist in Australia now. I eagerly await people using this game ad an example of "The opening of the floodgates of more extreme material"

      And for people to use it as a good example as to why the ratings working

    Hey look, a high impact violence game got classified correctly... the system works :P

    It's probably justified well enough. One of our arguments for having a R rating was that games that should be R were rated MA.

    This might be the first official R rated game I buy

      Mortal Kombat is a bunch of friends, especially as a (sick) party game.

      Mine too. It can sit on the coffee table right next to Game of Thrones which is probably not the first official R-rated DVD I've owned but could be (just because I don't buy many DVDs; it wouldn't even make the first 20 R-rated movies or TV shows I've watched).

    Does anyone know if there is a list of R rated video games since this classification came into force? I wouldn't mind looking to see what has been put into this classification and if they truly belong there

      I don't know how comprehensive their catalogue is, but the EB Games website (http://www.ebgames.com.au) allows you to search by rating. Hover your mouse over the platform (PS3, 360, whatever), then when the menu drops down you'll see a "shop by rating" option - click on the R18+ and you'll get all the R18+ games for that platform.

      Remember that Cook's Mad Recipe is a dummy title and that entry is actually a "modified" version of Ride to Hell: Retribution.
      Either this link or the previous.
      http://www.classification.gov.au/Pages/Results.aspx?ncdctx=8vbpfqKpxyQ%252f%252fSN20H5dGac%2b3osMC4Zk8278u4l8Yfc%253d
      click 'date (newest)' That helps
      The previously mentioned game that is originally PG and a 'modified' version is R 18+ is ATELIER TOTORI PLUS: THE ADVENTURER OF ARLAND (References to sexual violence)
      PG version : http://www.classification.gov.au/Pages/View.aspx?sid=O0t15%252f5OV5UlElUl5keIQw%253d%253d&ncdctx=M4VaWLShz2SZyDcEC1IjE0smoxEgJK70aAwgGRug9pyeDnUvecnf75Wwt7KHnnM7OfMrpt5VK82kIo9gf8FD1QGK12C9nOeaPtZyX71uwUU%253d

    I'll just get my mum to buy it for me. The last time I asked her to buy a new release for me it was Crysis 2, she asked "what game came out today?" and came back with the Pokemon Trading Card Game. So fingers crossed there are no other releases on that day!

      You're gonna ask your mother to break the law just so you can play a game?

      That's.... stupid.

        She isn't breaking the law. In every state a legal guardian or parent is allowed to buy the product for a minor. It's a loophole that exists because the Government doesn't want to be seen as telling parents how to parent (but in this case? i think its fully justified to do so because of moronic parents who ignore ratings)

        Missed the point, did we?

          Speaking for one of the few who did get it...

          Pragmatically, the classification system is advisory for parents. The laws against selling to minors is to prevent children subverting their parents control on the content they access, not a hard and fast way to prevent children from playing it. Most reasonable parents would think twice if they saw R18+ on the cover of a game. And if they're not, there are probably more serious parenting issues afoot. 2c>

      Get her to pick you up some pornography and a bottle of Vodka while she's at it.

      Haha, just kidding. We all know that it's not a hard line between 17 being too immature and 18 being "old enough". But if you're well under 18, maybe you should be enjoying the many form of entertainment that aren't rated for adults?

      It's easy for me to say, being 30 and having access to ALL THE CONTENT! But one day when you're a parent, and your 12 year old asks you for a copy of "Face Shooter 12: the murder/rape simulator" you might feel a bit differently.

        Exactly, discretion. Although, I doubt the murder/rape simulator would get past our classification guidelines.

        The people spouting crap on here about how it's illegal to supply your child with R18+ classified material is pure and utter bullshit. They are guidelines, not laws. It's illegal to sell these games to minors, but it's not illegal for a parent to buy them for their children.

      How is she, by the way? It's been a while. Tell her I'll drop by soon.

    meh doesnt mean anything - its only at point of sale, doesnt stop a <18 yr old playing it at home.
    Surely this would mean any game with large amounts of violence like god of war or similar, would be R18+ now?

      Ascension got R18 Where ya been! :)

      a parent (or any other adult) buying an R18 game for a minor, or allowing them to play, or even view an R18 game being played, is illegal.

      Supplying restricted material to minors.
      similar to supplying alcohol or tobacco to a kid, and they can be fined. EB / JB should have signs in store reminding parents of this.

        It is NOT illegal for a parent or legal guardian to buy an R18 game for their child in any state. It was seen as the Government telling parents how to parent if it was (though in this case i think its justified).

          From the Classification board's website:

          MA : The content is strong in impact.

          MA 15+ classified material contains strong content and is legally restricted to persons 15 years and over. It may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are strong in impact. A person may be asked to show proof of their age before hiring or purchasing an MA 15+ film or computer game. Cinema staff may also request that the person show proof of their age before allowing them to watch an MA 15+ film. Children under the age of 15 may not legally watch, buy or hire MA 15+ classified material unless they are in the company of a parent or adult guardian. Children under 15 who go to the cinema to see an MA 15+ film must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of the film. The parent or adult guardian must also purchase the movie ticket for the child.

          The guardian must be an adult exercising parental control over the person under 15 years of age. The guardian needs to be 18 years or older.

          R 18+ : The content is high in impact

          R 18+ classified material is restricted to adults. Such material may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are high in impact. Some material classified R18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community. A person may be asked for proof of their age before purchasing, hiring or viewing R18+ films and computer games at a retail store or cinema.

          Note that in the R18+ quote, theres no 'restricted unless accompanied by a guardian' clause. R18 is restricted to people over 18. There's no loophole. There's no way around it. Showing Restricted material to a minor will net you a fine.

          Last edited 16/05/13 11:20 am

            You are incorrect. The classification board website is not correct. The classification board does not deal with the sale and display of games, the individual states do. This is why the Attorney Generals ALL had to agree for R18 to be implemented.

            This is why ALL the states had to agree to update their legislation. In every piece of legislation in the states it exempts Parents and Guardians from the penalties within.

            I could go on all day but here is one example

            NSW

            CLASSIFICATION (PUBLICATIONS, FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES) ENFORCEMENT ACT 1995 - SECT 30 (Amended January 1st 2013)

            Section 30 part 1A) A person must not sell or deliver to a minor a computer game classified R 18+, or an unclassified computer game that would, if classified, be classified R 18+, unless the person is a parent or guardian of the minor.

              Well, I was wrong. Thanks for the correction.

              Though I think that having a restricted rating that is pretty much optional is sorta missing the point. Sort of undermines the whole argument of keeping high-impact material out of the hands of minors.

                It'd be pretty much unenforcible anyway, though. Once you get the game home they've got no way of knowing if you're letting the kids play it or not.

            VICTORIA

            CLASSIFICATION (PUBLICATIONS, FILMS AND COMPUTER GAMES) (ENFORCEMENT) ACT 1995 (As of January 1st 2013)

            (1) A person must not demonstrate in a place, other than a public place, in
            the presence of a minor a computer game classified RC or R 18+ or an
            unclassified computer game which would, if classified, be classified RC or R
            18+.

            (2) It is a defence to a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1) to
            prove that-

            (b) the parent or guardian of the minor consented to the minor being
            present at the demonstration of the computer game.

            Exactly, there is no loophole in the R18+ rating. That's like saying that it's okay to give kids alcohol and porn if an adult buys it for them.

            MA15+ on the other hand is a different story, if a 6 year old wants a MA rated game, or to go and see an MA rated movie they can, provided their parent/guardian are with them and says it's okay.

              Sure is. See my previous posts. Don't believe me? Go read the legislation. My quotes are directly from those.

            In Victoria you cant't sell a MA15+ game to a kid less than that age unless a consenting parent was there. Same applies to R18. Here the alcohol / entertainment restrictions are two very different things.

            Non-nanny state (Y)

        You are wrong, and under-age drinking is allowed in most states as long as it was supplied by a guardian and done on private property. Maybe you should learn what actual laws are before commenting.

        Last edited 16/05/13 8:18 pm

    THIS IS AWESOME! How good is it???? When we were pushing hard to finally get an R18+ rating in Australia, it seemed like the day would never come, and now I see that a hotly anticipated game gets a proper adult rating.

    We all know this game would have gotten through previously with a MA15+ rating, which just shows you how broken the old system was: It didn't protect kids, but rather actively allowed younger people to access adult material. This is what we fought for, and it is awesome.

    Not just Australia, but as an industry, we need more R18+ rated games that are properly rated for adults, to show people that games aren't just "toys for kids", but a legitimate artistic medium like film and books before it.

      Well... I wouldn't say that including excessive violence necessarily makes games "a legitimate artistic medium"... but I like your enthusiasm and I agree that it would be nice if "mature" themes were explored (though there's a big difference between mature themes and plain old violence).

      There's a lot more holding games back than ratings or the perception that they are toys for kids. For example, we rarely go past simulating the most primal of interactions, and no one has really worked out a way to marry narrative with gameplay. All kinds of interesting problems to solve, none of which are substantially affected by classifications.

        I agree with you about the state that games are currently at and the challenges they face going forward as a medium. I'm just happy it'll be harder to label them as just children's toys, so it's more about the public perception than the content itself. Can you imagine how film would have developed if it were considered a throwaway entertainment for kids, or if books couldn't contain sex or violence without being banned? While the best books and films don't tend to focus on sex and violence, I imagine that a restriction on adult content in these mediums would have had negative consequences for the potential works of art they've produced.

        Right now games are in their infancy. We're using the narrative tools of film to get across our stories, and just fumbling about for our own language. So while there are definitely more issues holding back games, I think the public perception of them is quite a large one that will effect progress in many other areas.

        Games like Journey, Minecraft and many others hint at future possibilities. The best games of the future probably won't focus on violence or sex and could fit into our old rating scheme, but would they ever get made if the industry as a whole doesn't shake off outdated notions of the nature of games as a medium?

        Books and Film have it just right I think, encompassing the full spectrum from "art" to "entertainment". They can tackle everything from zombie schlock horror, to deep character drama. Art (as in fine art) seems to be stuck in the arty farty zone of pretension, and its more entertainment leaning advocates have abandoned the galleries and found their home in commercial illustration and design. Music seems to lean more heavily towards entertainment, on a surface level at least, but that could just be because I don't appreciate the medium as much. And at the moment, Games seem to be relegated completely to the category of 'toys', not just toys, but toys for children, at least in the eyes of many non-gamers. I don't know where gaming will eventually settle, but I know it's capable of much more than just simple entertainment.

        Last edited 16/05/13 3:49 pm

          I respect your in-depth response and like the cut of your jib.

            Since working from home I find myself constantly typing out long winded, in-depth responses on topics I care about, particularly gaming.

            If you find my ideas intriguing you may wish to subscribe to my newsletter - "A gentlemen's guide to maintaining a well cut jib".

    Metro:LL got an R, so I'm not surprised at all that Last of Us got the same. This is why we have the rating, after all, and why we championed it for so many years, and now that we have it, we are seeing just how much we did need it.

    I see game store shelves with some games having R18+ labels now which is good.
    Imagine a shelf dedicated to R18+ games and labelled as "Adult interest" section on retail stores that be hilarious

    I've been looking forward to this ever since I heard about it. Going to pre-order it in the next couple of weeks.

    Read the legislation - there is no law to prevent minors from playing or watching R rated content. The law applies to point of sale and public display. In the privacy of one's home it is not illegal. The same applies to alcohol. The child being present at point of sale is illegal, but playing the game or movie with parental permission is NOT illegal. I have read the legislation. X18+ content is the only content illegal for a minor to view, period.

    Get your facts right before posting. I swear people just make crap up.

    PS, allowing a minor to view or play RC content too. Otherwise, parents have a right to decide so butt out.

    hmm cool, this is the first r18+ game ill be buying

    Yeah this sucks. I pre ordered before it got the classification and as a 17 year old, i'm unlikely to get it unless the guys at the store don't need my ID

    Quoting from the ACT legislation:
    (effective 1st January 2013)
    www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1995-47/current/pdf/1995-47.pdf
    "11 Attendance of child at certain films—offence by parents etc" (applies to R 18+, X 18+, RC and unclassified and subsequently classified those ways)
    "12 Attendance of child at certain films—offence by child" (WTF?)
    A child commits an offence if—
    (a) the child is 15 years old or older; and
    (b) the child attends the exhibition of a film in a public place; and
    (c) the child knows the film is classified X 18+ or R 18+.
    Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units."
    13 Private exhibition of certain films in presence of child
    If it's RC, X 18+, R 18+ or an unclassified film that is subsequently classified RC, X 18+ or R 18+.
    It's OK if you are the parent/guardian of the child.
    "23 Sale or delivery of certain films to child"
    Can't sell or deliver RC or unclassified and subsequently classified RC films to a child even if you're a parent. (All this is just for ACT of course, dunno what the other areas legislation says yet, apart from the bits quoted above)
    A person can't sell or deliver an R 18+, X 18+ or unclassified and subsequently classified either of those, film unless they are the parent or guardian of the child.
    "24 Buying certain films—offence by child
    A child commits an offence if—
    (a) the child is 15 years old or older; and
    (b) the child buys a film; and
    (c) the child knows the film is classified X 18+ or R 18+.
    Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units."
    Just an interesting few:
    "26 Leaving films in certain places"
    "36 Leaving publications in certain places"
    45 Possessing unclassified or RC computer games and other computer games
    (1) A person commits an offence if—
    (a) the person possesses an unclassified computer game or a computer game classified RC at any premises; and
    (b) classified computer games are sold or demonstrated at the premises.
    (2) A person commits an offence if—
    (a) the person is the occupier of premises; and
    (b) someone else possesses an unclassified computer game or a computer game classified RC at the premises; and
    (c) classified computer games are sold or demonstrated at the premises.
    43 Private demonstration of RC, R 18+ or unclassified but subsequently classified RC or R 18+ computer games in presence of child
    (is okay as long as you're the parent/guardian of the child)
    46 Sale or delivery of certain computer games to child
    ..classified RC, R 18+ or unclassified but subsequently classified RC or R 18+.
    No out clause for parents of the child.
    Out clasue for parents/guardians only applies to MA 15+ version of the above. (or unclassified and subsequently classified MA 15+).

    I think i was more surprised that Earthbound got a M rating for "Crude humor and sexual references than TLOU getting a R rating.

    Watching the trailer it did seem like it was going to go that way (Though to be fair we all probably thought that MSG: Revengance was going to be given a small black box too after seeing the tralier, but it never did) but i'm glad its rated appropriately.

    http://www.classification.gov.au/Pages/View.aspx?sid=Eq67szsgtyW14Rb7heHw1A%253d%253d&ncdctx=GsSXRyRdlMKxfsSXybcac4ZXfPGbjJIzXdrOhVdDzI9qawLmVA0tWHsHBG9lWpXU Heres the link for the Earthbound rating incase no one believed me that we actually got EB being released here.

    this is just like fallout 3 with was refused classification in AUS for a short time not because of the ability to dismember and maim people in game but of the use of the word morphine
    and then GTA IV with strong violence sex scenes and drug use and course language gets a MA rating

    and then games like the last of us get r 18 rating because of violence like what the fuck

    its rally not fair ps im 17

    wtf, i played this and this should be ma 15. this is so cont

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