The Australian Government Classification Board has refused classification of the latest instalment of the popular “Mortal Kombat” game series, effectively banning it from sale within Australia reports The ABC.
The RC rating has been said to be due to the “graphic realistic depictions of mutilations and gore performed by fatalities”. This entry, effectively a reboot of the series, contains more than sixty death scenes, with graphic images of decapitations, dismemberment and spraying blood.
Warner Brothers are said to be currently addressing all options including an appeal which they previously had success with on titles such as “Aliens vs. Predator” and “F.E.A.R. 2”. In the meantime, it’s expected many Australian gamers will simply import the game from overseas online retailers.
Funnily enough, it was controversy over the original first game (along with “Night Trap”) back in the early 90’s that lead to the introduction of the video game classification scheme in 1994.
While movies in Australia have had an effective adult R18+ rating for decades, one that works considerably more than the NC-17 U.S. equivalent for example, the highest rating that’s still currently available for games is MA15+.
Since then, the tide of angry gamers upset over the lack of an effective adult R18+ rating in Australia for games has considerably grown. A petition last year lead to over 89,000 signatures in support of installing said rating, the single biggest “wet signature” petition ever collected in the country.
Over the years attempts to install one were continually vetoed by former South Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson whose approval was required for such a measure. His resignation last year has led to renewed hope that the R18+ rating would be installed, but a state attorneys-general meeting in December stalled the decision which now might not happen until next year.