For years, Australia gamers have been plagued by their countries lack of an equivalent to the United States’s “M” rating for violent titles. Aussie games were capped off at a 15+ limit, leaving any especially violent games banned for sale. Often, publishers would make sure games were altered for Australian release to make them less graphic. Torrents of blood became green slime, human enemies were turned into lifeless robots, and racy clothing was altered to show less skin. Unfortunately for some titles like the recent reboot of the Mortal Kombat series were too fundamentally graphic to be altered and were considered illegal for retailers to stock. The days of frustrated Oceanic gamers might be coming to an end, however.
The Australian Federal Government will allow video games to be classified (and subsequently purchased) as 18+, starting in 2013. Hopefully this change will mean Australian gamers won’t need to import mainstream titles with too much blood and guts. It is worth noting that particularly graphic violence or sexual situations may still be refused classification under the new system.