• Catch issues early, fix them fast – Free trial


    [ad] With GFI Cloud you can easily manage and secure your remote workforce – wherever they are, from wherever you are! The simple IT management platform includes patch management, antivirus, web protection, monitoring and remote control. Get the benefit of endpoint protection with the ease of central management. Start a free trial now.


  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Featured, News - Written by on Friday, February 25, 2011 15:51 - 43 Comments

    New Mortal Kombat banned in Australia

    update Australia’s content classification regulator has banned the highly anticipate remake of the classic Mortal Kombat video game series from being sold in Australia, deeming the game’s violence outside the boundaries of the highest MA15+ rating which video games can fall under.

    The full text of the Australian Classification Board’s decision is available in PDF format here. It goes into detail about the decision, stating that the game contains violence which “goes beyond strong in impact” is therefore unsuitable for those under the age of 18 to play — particularly noting Mortal Kombat’s famously gruesome ‘fatality’ finishing moves.

    Confirming the board’s decision, a spokesperson for the local branch of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment said the group was “extremely disappointed” that Mortal Kombat — “one of the world’s oldest and most successful video games franchises” wouldn’t be available to adult gamers in Australia.

    The lack of an R18+ classification system for video games in Australia, which Mortal Kombat would likely fall under, has resulted in various popular video games — such as Left 4 Dead 2 — being censored for the Australia market or refused classification so that they are unable to be sold locally. Some game publishers have been forced to modify their games prior to release in Australia, meaning some local releases have been delayed.

    The Warner Bros spokesperson said the organisation would not market mature content where it was not appropriate for the targeted audience — and backed persistent industry calls for an R18+ rating to be introduced into the Australian jurisdiction to cover games like Mortal Kombat.

    “We understand that not all content is for every audience, but there is an audience for mature gaming content and it would make more sense to have the R18+ classification in Australia. As a member of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, WBIE is reviewing all options available at this time,” they said.

    The iGEA represents a number of video game manufactuers and distirbutors in Australia, including heavyweights such as Microsoft, Nintendo, Activision, Sony Computer Entertainment and more. The organisation has for several years been pushing for the introduction of an R18+ rating locally.

    In December, Australia’s Federal and State Attorneys-General — who are required to reach unanimous agreement on the need for an R18+ rating for it to be introduced — further postponed reaching a decision on the matter. The NSW election is expected to postpone any agreement further.

    iGEA chief executive Ron Curry said the fact that another game “clearly designed and targeted at adults” had been refused classification again highlighted the shortcomings of the current classification scheme.

    “As with many other forms of media, there is a demand and place for an adult themed narrative. We trust adults with this material in other media forms, yet deny them similar access simply because it’s a ‘game’. We would not accept the argument that because it’s “unsuitable for a minor to see or play” that it should therefore be banned in any other media form, so why video games?” he said.

    Furthermore, Curry said when a highly anticipated game was refused classification, two things could happen — interest in the game would actually increase, and people would still get the game via importation or piracy.

    “Ironically, the game is then widely available in Australia without any identifiable classification markings. How is this informing parents and protecting children?” he asked.

    “It is the industry position that an adult classification sends a clear message to the public that the content is not suitable for minors and is the most effective means of guiding access to mature content. Refusing classification of titles that meet adult rating criteria in every other Western country in our digital age is ineffective and naïve.”

    Image credit: Screenshot of Mortal Kombat game trailer

    submit to reddit

    43 Comments

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. Dave Goodfellow
      Posted 25/02/2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink |

      This is just adds to the ongoing frustration of being an Australian gamer *sigh*

    2. Jarrod Archer
      Posted 25/02/2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink |

      Well,Guess ill be Importing this from the states,glad ive tee’d it up with some friends already

      • Posted 25/02/2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink |

        I think about 400 other people have just had the same reaction :)

      • gb_in_tx
        Posted 26/02/2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink |

        Yeah, the ordering it from over here in the states is the obvious answer for you. You can beat this obvious idiocy that way. The thing is, over here on this side of the big pond we have our own sets of idiocy to deal with…

    3. Philip Dean
      Posted 25/02/2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink |

      Good ole stupid Australian government trying to save us from Mortal Kombat…hahaha…haven’t they heard of the internet and buying online lol…looks like I’ll be buying it from overseas now and probably buying it cheaper than if i’d bought it here :o)

      • Posted 25/02/2011 at 5:24 pm | Permalink |

        Somebody needs to ask Gerry Harvey for a comment :)

      • Dave
        Posted 01/03/2011 at 10:21 am | Permalink |

        Hey Philip,

        Any ideas on the best way to get my hands on a copy of Mortal Kombat from oversea that would work on the Australian (Asia- Pacific) region coded xbox? Where have you bought banned games in the past?

        • Posted 01/03/2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink |

          I didn’t know the Australian Xbox was region-coded — I thought you could play games from any region that uses PAL? Or am I chronically out of date here?

    4. Damien Baumgart
      Posted 25/02/2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink |

      And this ongoing debacle is another reason why I’m happy that I’m moving to Canada at the end of the year.

      I’m trusted to teach young people in my classroom and yet I’m not trusted to make a decision for myself in regards to mature games.

      Go figure…

      • Posted 25/02/2011 at 5:23 pm | Permalink |

        Apparently Canada has its own problems … bandwidth costs, anyone ;)

      • N Murarka
        Posted 26/02/2011 at 8:44 am | Permalink |

        Canada… seriously?

        I live in this country and I am leaving it for the USA. Why? I am absolutely sick and tired of idiotic governmental agencies telling me what I can and cannot do here. Our CRTC mandates what can be on tv and our tv stations here even hijack some American broadcasts with Canadian content. For example, during the SuperBowl, it is IMPOSSIBLE in Canada to see the US commercials, which is a large part of the SuperBowl experience. If I tune to a US tv channel, I will get the local Canadian station, that has hijacked that channel for the time of the program.

        Canada is a retarded country. Take it from me, a citizen of this place.

    5. Simon Reidy
      Posted 25/02/2011 at 4:46 pm | Permalink |

      Maybe in a strange kind of way big name titles being banned at this point in time is a good thing. With the next SCAG meeting coming up we need as much evidence as possible to demonstrate how ludicrous the current system is. This is one of the biggest examples of the stupidity of our current system yet, and will no doubt put more pressure on the government for a complete overhaul of the classification system and the long overdue introduction of an R18+ rating.

      In the mean time anyone who wants the game will import or download it, so it’s not a massive loss for the gaming community.

      • Dean
        Posted 25/02/2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink |

        It’s not a massive loss for consumers, but the retailers should be stepping up since they’re set to lose a pretty decent chunk of that pie…

        • Posted 25/02/2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink |

          True — there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who won’t buy this game now — won’t go to the effort of importing it etc.

          • Freman
            Posted 25/02/2011 at 10:54 pm | Permalink |

            I was never overly interested in mortal combat – but now I’m going to import it as an act of civil disobedience.

      • Posted 25/02/2011 at 5:22 pm | Permalink |

        True — that is one good way to look at it. However, to be honest, I can’t see attorneys-general watching trailers for Mortal Kombat and wanting to vote for an R18+ classification. The game is just too gory. That’s why it’s awesome :)

        Of course … it’s been that gory for decades now.

    6. Posted 25/02/2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink |

      I have ZERO interest in games of this type, so this does not directly affect me.

      However, it’s just another demonstration of how the simple omission of a single rating category can screw things up for people. A rating category that either exists or has an equivalent category in other forms of media in this country – (eg: the AV rating for television).

      Imagine the uproar if an Australian company developed a massively successful game, acclaimed around the world that fell into this classification abyss.

      A massive Australian success that wouldn’t be available here.

      Douchebags.

    7. Emma
      Posted 25/02/2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink |

      Ergh… this is SO highly frustrating. As a gamer i was really looking forward to this game, and as an employee who works in retail games this really peeves me off…ergh… hopefully the people on the ratings board pull thier finger out and get this rating approved. Australian gamers deserve it!

    8. Nathan
      Posted 25/02/2011 at 9:13 pm | Permalink |

      i just outlayed $130 last night on a preorder for the kollectors edition,now today,that has to be reversed.
      yet dvds like the hills have eyes 1 or 2 which depict rape are allowed in,i remember on the PS2 you could get manhunt,which the aim of the game was to kill someone as best as possible,be it a plastic bag over the head,garrotte,needle etc.
      this is a farce,the retailers will lose unimaginable amounts of money by the bureaucratic wankers,the killjoys,who are in an obviously non important role where certain things are allowed but not others,it’s ludicrous.
      people WILL import it.people WILL set up a new account to get the DLC.people WILL pirate it.
      wake up australian government.this game will be on our shores.
      get an R18+ classification,try to monitor it as best you can.
      the gamers will revolt,there will be an uproar!

    9. Tom
      Posted 25/02/2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink |

      “this is a farce,the retailers will lose unimaginable amounts of money by the bureaucratic wankers,the killjoys,who are in an obviously non important role where certain things are allowed but not others,it’s ludicrous.”

      You get joy from this? No wonder the world is screwed up.

    10. Gaymer
      Posted 25/02/2011 at 11:32 pm | Permalink |

      This kind of news makes me want to rip out somebody’s spine.

    11. Tiago
      Posted 26/02/2011 at 12:16 am | Permalink |

      Well, if the game is not going to be officially released there is alway the bit torrent network.

    12. Fabio Caldas
      Posted 26/02/2011 at 12:17 am | Permalink |

      Or pray to be avaliable at Steam … LOL

    13. ne
      Posted 26/02/2011 at 1:45 am | Permalink |

      Sing it with me…

      “onward christian soldiers….”

      If only we could infect these knobheads with a clue….

    14. Mystery Meat
      Posted 26/02/2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink |

      Are you kidding? This is the best advertisement one could ask for.

    15. Posted 26/02/2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink |

      Note that according to Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Brendan O’Connor , many existing MA15+ games (eg Call of Duty: Black ops) would be moved into the new R18+ category. Those currently refused classification as MA15+ would in general still be refused classification. Mortal Kombat would be given an RC (Refused Classification) or R18+ rating. It is illegal to sell RC material in Australia.

      Material on the Internet that is refused classification (RC) would be blocked by the mandatory ISP filter the government has specified be put in place, but which is continually being delayed.

      Current Labor party policy is that R18+ material on the Internet should be blocked by the mandatory filter, and that there be a universal opt-in filter against MA15+ too, but they’re letting this die a natural death.

    16. Snow Crash
      Posted 27/02/2011 at 12:16 am | Permalink |

      “Material on the Internet that is refused classification (RC) would be blocked by the mandatory ISP filter the government has specified be put in place, but which is continually being delayed. ”

      Thats a lot of smoke and mirrors and a load of croc. You can bet it will be ineffective, as it can be easily and cheaply bypassed – even by a 15 year old.

    17. brainy435
      Posted 27/02/2011 at 1:28 am | Permalink |

      Wow, Australia is to be commended for their actions here. I mean, all western governments nowadays act like there are no adults among their citizens, but at least Australia admits it explicitly.

    18. William M. Dix
      Posted 27/02/2011 at 2:35 am | Permalink |

      Australia. Where government tries to control its citizens morality and has created an idiotic system to do so.

      I’m sure that the irony of who their companions are in trying to control what their citizens can and cannot buy escapes their advocates of moral censorship.

    19. BoBo from Texas
      Posted 27/02/2011 at 4:14 am | Permalink |

      This problem is easily solved. Simply rename it Mortal Kombat – Islamic Edition. Not only will the ban be lifted, the game will be a mandated part of diversity training.

    20. Joel
      Posted 27/02/2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink |

      I wont be importing it, I’d like to but I think customs will be on the lookout for it. I read about a guy getting a $1000 fine for attempting to import Left for dead 2.
      It’s a big release, recently a fair few games have been refused like alien vs predator but after appeal they get released unedited.
      WB is a big company hopefully they can give us a hand to free Australia of this bull crap.

      • Posted 27/02/2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink |

        I don’t know, I didn’t think they could stop the import of RC material for person use? It’s only illegal to sell it or broadcast RC material in the majority of Australia.

        • Joel
          Posted 28/02/2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink |

          I might ring customs to find out… I’d like to import if possible but I’m not very confident.

          • Joel
            Posted 28/02/2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink |

            I called customs and spoke to a guy called Ian, he said that if a game is refused classification in Australia it’s also illegal to import and would be seized.
            So good luck if you get it out here.

            I’m sure we’ll find a way to get a hold of it but f*cking hell what a hassle.

            Elections are coming up soon, I’m going to draw a MK sign on my ballet paper as a crappy protest attempt.
            Either that or I’ll draw a massive dong lol.

            I might spread that around try to get people to do the same.

    21. hairygreenrock
      Posted 27/02/2011 at 9:26 pm | Permalink |

      Average age of a Gamer is something like 30. an R18+ rating make sense. computer games are developed and aimed at mature people. Computer games are no longer “for kids”. The video game industry is as big if not bigger then the movie industry at the moment. Retailers, who are already crying from lost sales going to internet merchants, will loose out drastically. Mortal Kombat Is an icon of this industry, and the reason why the current rating system was applied to video games. Let the new Mortal Kombat be the reason for passing the R18+ classification. I will be sourcing a copy from overseas..

    22. David
      Posted 28/02/2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink |

      Australia Banning Mortal Kombat: Good Publicity for Neither Realms Studios! – I’m SO going to buy this game now…

    23. Atlarge
      Posted 28/02/2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink |

      Judging by the above consensus, I won’t find friends with my comment, but I do find it a complete oxymoron to use the label “mature content”. I don’t believe it should be banned, classification seems the right way to go so people can make informed choice, but really, “mature content”. Let’s call a spade a spade. How about: simulated extreme violence not suitable for mature audiences?

    24. tyler
      Posted 01/03/2011 at 12:07 am | Permalink |

      this is fucking retarded wtf is Australias g thinking thay never banned any other mk before wtf pissed

    25. Nephew
      Posted 02/03/2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink |

      Rofl that comment about the spine rip made me lol.

      Anyway, how can we get a hold of this game
      for ps3?

      I bought the first 3 versions and loved the classic MkII on snes from back in 1992-93. How nostalgic it would be to play this again 19 yrs later!

      Is it as easy as buying from the UK? Or will I need someone to put the disc in an alternative casing.

      I really want this kollectors edition though. Bloody hell what will it take to get this game?

    26. Lance
      Posted 29/08/2011 at 11:13 am | Permalink |

      We have 2 x MK9 Season Passes for XBOX360 EU to give away, head over to http://www.mortalkombat.com.au, LIKE us on Facebook & FOLLOW us on Twitter for your chance to WIN!!!




    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:


  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds — AustralianSuper, CBus, HESTA and more — is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, as was revealed in November, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well, and the Financial Review last week reported that Superpartners is actually close to turfing it altogether and going back to the drawing board.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT


    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications


    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry


    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights