Mortal Kombat X Receives An R18+ Rating In Australia

Last time a major Mortal Kombat game was released it wasn't. At least not in Australia, where the game was refused classification. In fact, Mortal Kombat may have been the most high profile RC in video game history. Now Warner Bros. has announced that Mortal Kombat X will be released in Australia under the R18+ classification.

Mortal Kombat received an R18+ classification, as you might expect, as a result of its explicit violence.

Hopefully we can look upon this as proof the R18+ rating is being applied correctly. Many worried that the new guidelines for MA15+ and R18+ meant there would be little difference, that certain games would still be effectively "banned" in Australia. But the classification of Mortal Kombat X at R18+ makes a strong case that the new guidelines are -- for the most part -- fulfilling one of their key roles: allowing adults to consume the media they want within reason. Would Mortal Kombat X have made it through classification before the R18+ was installed? I'd suggest not.

But games are still being refused classification. Hotline Miami 2 is the most high profile recent example: a game that was banned as a result of sexual violence. The system is working as intended, but is that a good thing? That's arguable. It's the Classification Board's job to enforce the standards of the day to media in Australia and it is simply performing that role as instructed by the guidelines provided to them. That's it.


Comments

    It is good and refreshing to see this type of article! Mortal Kombat made it through as R18+

    It made it through unchanged!

    I was unaware that games such as hotline miami 2 was refused classification. That's a touch strange, and shows that maybe its not completely right?

    Let the debate continue :P

      yep, refused for 3 seconds of pixelated "rape", which then turns out to be all in context.

        Still sexualised violence though, which is implicitly stated in the rules. So as much as we want to get riled, it's *very* clearly stated.

        It can all be as 'in context' as it wants, if it's there, it gets banned.

        Now ask yourself THIS more aptly...

        How come DESTROY ALL HUMANS anal probe was allowed but Saints Row 4 wasn't?

          With you here. Arguably SR4 (and DAH) has had the context of alien anal probes dating back to the 1950s. After seeing why SR4 had to be edited (alien narcotics), I am embarassed to be Australian. Would have bought SR4 for a third time on xbone (have it Steam and 360) but the childrens version is stopping me.

          Because in Destroy All humans he shoots a green mist at their butts, and they run around holding their butts and fall to the ground and explode.
          Saints row 4 he jams a giant dildo stick up their ass, in which you can hold them in that position for quite some time.
          It's hilarious, but clearly you can't compare the two. One is much more graphic then the other.
          As you said, it can all be in context as it wants, but if it's there, it gets banned.

          Still whether it's in the rules or not it's incredibly insulting that adults can tell other adults what they can and cannot watch/play, who the hell should have that right?

    Good news! Only a few more months to wait.

    Hmmm, and money to buy a PS4...

    I rekon MKX is too gory for my sensitive stomach.

    ....But knowing Warner Bros some time after the rest of the world or a month after the digital edition.

    What's up Doc?!

    Im pretty sure the "last time" a Mortal Kombat was released in Australia was the Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition on PS3 and X360, complete with an R18 rating

    Anyway, crappy box art - please dont let it be final

      You could argue that "Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition" wasn't a major release: it's merely an update to a major release of the game.

      And given that no one has tried to get the original version reclassified, we're in the position that it's illegal to sell copies of Mortal Kombat 9 in Australia unless those copies also include all the DLC ...

        nope it was a major release because it also came out on the pc

    The first mention or clips of this on Sunrise/Today/ACA/Frontline with Mike Moore/TT *insert other conservative Facebook Mum type show here* and this will get banned.

    I'm sensing the "won't somebody think of the children!?!" social media campaigns now by people that will never ever play it, trying to get it banned so people who will enjoy it cannot do so. Gotta love the outrage over something that won't ever affect you. And a news story/debate is created. Then the question is asked to politicians why this violence is forced upon our clean wholesome kids. And......................banned. Easier to ban it than argue/explain to stupid people why adults in a free society such as Australia should be able to choose an adult game but instead are forced to purchase it from overseas using something called the interwebs.

    And this is how middle class white Australia works kids.

      They had the chance to do that with GTA V too.
      Crying think of the children doesn't always work anymore these days.
      Unless they can prove that it's too excessive to accommodate under an R18 classification, and that it breaches the guidelines, the rating will stick.

      Except, you know, it won't be now it's been legally classified with an R rating. Remember when people shrieked GTA V would be? Didn't happen. Or that Mortal Kombat 9 would be? Didn't happen once it was finally rated...

    hey at least i dont have to IMPORT MORTAL KOMBAT

      IMPORTAL KOMBAT

      EDIT: Literally, the same minute. God damn, great minds do think alike. :/

      Last edited 03/02/15 4:45 pm

    I'm glad that I can rip peoples heads off, throw them into spike pits, melt their skin with acid and watch blood fly over the place, knowing that I'm protected from simulated drugs and overly cartoonish dildo swords!

      Just make sure then when you rip someone's spine out, you don't try re-inserting it in their butt.
      Otherwise, that's fine.

    Proof now that R18+ is not MA15+ with new branding.
    It's not the system that needs updating, it's the guidelines.
    surely now under our new pretenses, any games that show "sex as a reward or incentive/drugs as a reward or incentive could simply be classified R18+. Perhaps that would make some sense in an amended form of the guidelines? Same for instances of sexual violence. In the case of the Hotline Miami 2 controversy, surely 3 seconds (not prolonged or excessive) of pixelated (not detailed or graphic) rape shown within context of the story (filming pornography therefore the female in question in an actor and in no danger) - would fall under the R18+ guidelines.
    -Definitely at least moderate sexual themes, or perhaps even references to sexual violence and strong sex themes (eg: Watch dogs). All of which would fall firmly under the R18+ rules.

    Last edited 03/02/15 4:46 pm

      Sorry this is so long winded but:

      R18+ should, in theory, be the classification for 'restricted' content. The content is classified as restricted right? In that it should be able to exist and is up to the beholder to decide if they want to put THEMSELVES through it. (After all the classification board was always meant to establish a guideline for viewers discrepancy in relation to the content and standards, not weather something is aloud to exist and be sold!)

      Hence the guidelines state:

      Mature Accompanied (MA 15+)

      vs.

      Restricted (R 18+)

      http://www.classification.gov.au/Pages/Home.aspx

      I don't see why Restricted 18+ (R 18+) cannot house content some may view as inappropriate, much like a porno or something like that. It's entertainment aimed at a mature audience that can discern what to view for itself.

      I, for instance, don't particularly find the scene in Hotline Miami to be tasteful. That's not to say I wouldn't play the game or would want to stop others from playing it. After all, everyone has the right to draw their own line in terms of what they find tasteful and acceptable when it comes to media.

      The ratings board were originally there to give a GUIDELINE, or a point of reference, to the content being delivered. After all this is entertainment, not something that can be used as a weapon and hence banned. It's not legal to sell restricted media to a minor, just like alcohol or cigarettes, is that not good enough?!

      In the end it's what you and others find enjoyable. People can frown on what others find enjoyable, sure, but I don't see what gives one person the right to stop the other from enjoying it, that's why these ratings are stated as GUIDELINES (edit: For consumers) and not REQUIREMENTS for publishers to meet.

      On a side note: I would love to see an additional 'badge' or classification added to games which speaks to the quality/ completeness of the game on offer, much like the bronze, silver, gold and platinum rating on power supplies. I'm tired of buying broken games. This rating doesn't have anything to do with the story or game play (or other 'reviewed' content) but the actual integrity of the functionality of the game and reviews often don't mention bugs and brokenness.

      I would love to see finished and unbroken games receiving a 'gold' award for quality, minor issues not effecting game play getting a 'silver' and buggy but playable/ completable games getting 'bronze'. Broken/ unplayable games should not receive a rating at all. Would games like Battlefield 4 or Assassins Creed Unity have launched if they were not given a quality award at all, let alone bronze or silver? It would be real incentive for publishers to stop releasing broken and unfinished products, heck they may even try harder and deliver BETTER games in the hopes of reaching a 'gold' quality award! It would also be a reassurance for consumers that they are buying something that works. But that's a whole different issue lol.

      Last edited 03/02/15 5:19 pm

        Just a note on your last point re: unfinished, shitty games, I think I've certainly changed my purchasing habits as a result of 2014.

        Ass Creed Unity and The Crew were pre-ordered and I got burnt. No more pre-orders for me and will hold purchases pending reading this fine website and information from all of us, the contributors.

        Hopefully that in itself will become an incentive for publishers as I reckon sales will be very slow on the next Ass Creed. Gamers don't forget. Which GoT family said that again? The Lannisters?

          I too research before spending these days, but sometimes that just isn't enough.

          Someday's I feel that the games industry could very easily become exploited by greedy publishers (heck, some may say it already is) because there is no real form of 'quality control' and I feel it would do a world of good on multiple levels to have some form of it.

          Last edited 03/02/15 5:43 pm

            Well if the greedy publishers don't have decent QA, maybe it's up to us dammit!!
            *grabs pitchfork*

            I believe 'Angry Joe Show' and ' Totalbiscuit' on YouTube combined deliver a realistic, unbiased critique on most big budget games during their release.
            For all the people wanting Mortal Kombat banned, I think you have it in your head that only evil, twisted, angry, violent minded men/women and innocent, defenseless children are exposed or want to be exposed to these types of games. I have been playing MK since it was released back in 1992 and don't have a violent bone in my body. I just enjoy a good laugh when I execute a perfect brutality and smash my mate into bones ;)

              "I think you have it in your head that only evil, twisted, angry, violent minded men/women and innocent, defenseless children are exposed or want to be exposed to these types of games."

              I'm sorry but that's not my belief at all and I never said anything like that. In fact this has nothing to do with what I said here (A while ago at that). I think you frankly read what you wanted to read, or replied to the wrong person my friend.

        Why oh why is this not reality? (Ratings system (don't get me wrong, your idea about "badging" games is a great one, but I feel you hit the nail on the head perfectly with your classification theory))

          Lol yeah, I got a little carried away at the end haha.

    Yeah, fair enough... so who ARE we blaming for the bullshit nanny-state guidelines people keep saying isn't the classification board's fault?

      The classification guidelines are decided by the state Attorneys General in coordination with the federal AG's office. This is because even though it looks like we have a consistent national system, it is actually handled by the states who have just happened to agree on the same system.

      So if you want things to change, all you need to do is convince all the different state AGs that things need to change. Or if you want things to be more agile, perhaps convince all the states that censorship should be handled at the federal level.

    I want to see the classification report. The more they can prove they haven't had an altered copy submitted, the better I'm going to feel.

      http://www.classification.gov.au/Pages/View.aspx?sid=TexsMP1O9%252fOAwEcKs5LeKg%253d%253d&ncdctx=fWSeg30wiIVb23MzxgQBAonR56uHRQRYxyGt%252fHcUzCixxRE7tuZ%2blJweCnU%2biOI3

      VERSION: ORIGINAL

      There you go, all is good.

        Note that this only means that the first version submitted for classification was accepted. There have been cases where publishers have modified the game before submission and they also show up in the database as the "original" version.

        You'd really need someone from WB or Netherealm to answer the question.

    Just waiting for Hatred to get the banhammer...

      Explain? It has been passed, people can hate it all they want, not going to change the fact that the classification board has agreed on the R18+ rating

        Has it? I wasn't aware it had passed. I was just indulging my general pessimism about "controversial" games getting past the review board.

          Actually it hasn't been passed, or more accurate hasn't been submitted yet. It was given an AO rating by the ESRB, but it hasn't been submitted here just yet.
          And you can bet your ass it'll be posted here when it does. Here's hoping we get another win. (no ban hammer)

          Last edited 03/02/15 9:13 pm

    It is amazing the impact MK has had on gaming classification in Australia, the original MK was part of the reason for the Commonwealth Classification Act was introduced, the rebooted MK was a major part of getting the R18+ rating introduced, it wasn't until MK (2011) was banned that the wheels really started turning.

      It goes further than just us too. MK was the reason the ESRB was created too.

      Last edited 03/02/15 9:09 pm

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