R18+ fail: Qld bans God of War: Ascension



blog Thought the R18+ video game classification row in Australia was over, just because Federal Parliament has passed laws allowing games to be classified as R18+ locally? Thought you would be able to buy whatever video games you wanted now, completely legally, now that several R18+ games have already gone on sale? Think again. Or, at least if you live in Queensland. Kotaku brings us news (we recommend you click here for the full article) that the Sunshine State has has banned Kratos’ new blood-soaked romp, God of War: Ascension:

“We’ve just gotten word that God of War: Ascension has been classified R18+ and, given Queensland’s issues with passing the correct legislation, retailers have been advised that they cannot sell the game in that state.”

Frankly, this is nothing but a bad joke. All the Queensland Government had to do was comply with the national agreement which the Standing Council of Attorneys-General agreed to yonks ago, harmonising its local laws in sync with the new national regime. In fact, as late as December last year, it was believed that the laws would pass in Queensland earlier this year, meaning that R18+ games could be sold up north after February 7 this year. Looks like that hasn’t happened; so one of the biggest video game release of this year has been taken off the shelves … in one state only. If this isn’t the definition of imbecilic, I don’t know what is. Federalism: It’s a bitch.

Image credit: Sony Computer Entertainment


  1. And once again, all they are hurting are the local businesses. There are so many online sites where someone can buy the game its not funny, and as plenty of those are based IN Australia, there’s no customs to catch those naughty importations.

    For someone wanting the game, the barriers are non existant. Queensland needs to get their laws passed, and soon, before a big game or two that bricks and mortar stores need to survive hit the shelves and cost thousands to those companies.

    I can see GTA 5 and every COD game being R18+ for example. What gamestore could survive without their profits?

    • Not just the local businesses. The QLD Government will be hurting themselves.

      The usual trend when something isn’t available in QLD (considering the population center is in the Sunshine coast and Brisbane), is to hop across the border and buy it in NSW.
      So where does the GST go to then? NSW.

      • Not quite. GST is split up by a set ratio for each state, not where its collected. Qld might contribute 10% of the overall total, or they might contribute 20%, but they are still going to be given 16%, or whatever their portion is. No more, no less.

        • Damn, I forgot that.
          It’s a per capita calculation now isn’t it?

          But, those that have to buy it online as a result, and order it from overseas distributor instead of local will affect the GST revenue.

          • It isn’t just GST though, but the profitability of small businesses. It is never a good idea to arbitrarily send customers across the border.

          • Yeah, thats the point I was originally making. This does nothing to help Queensland. Hopefully someone will recognise that, and get something in place before it actually becomes a significant issue.

  2. Queensland didnt ban the game.

    The sale of the game remains illegal in Queensland in the absence of legislation. I can still buy the game from Steam/wherever online, my mate Bundy can buy it for me from down south and post it, or i can buy via post from elsewhere.

    Technical difference, and I wouldnt be surprised if this current misanthropic Newman government does go and ban R18 because derp-think-of-the-children-etc, but banning something requires activity, not just an incompetent lazy parliament.

    • Through inaction, they have banned the game. They could waiver the restrictions while the legislation is waiting to be passed, on the presumption they will get through relatively unchanged. A good faith presumption, basically. Its happened before.

      But they havent. Instead, they have stuck to the good old “these are the laws as of today” approach, and the longer it takes to correct, the worse off local Qld businesses will potentially be.

      It will only take a handful of R18 games to be blocked to drive businesses to closure. Most of them are on such a small margin that they NEED those headline games full profits just to cover for the rest of the year.

      As I said above, what happens if GTA 5 and a couple of COD games are blocked because they hadnt gotten around to passing the legislation?

  3. Sure it is moronic if the game has been deemed worthy of an Australian Classification.

    However I have no problem with a game being denied classification on the grounds of content. Those adults who truly wish to buy one of the few games that this would happen to, would still have options available if they truly wished to play it. These options tend to be limited for children and teenagers who generally either don’t have the knowledge of where to get the unclassified games or at very least, limited access to means of payment for online vendors. Of course video game piracy obviously circumvents this.

    • It’s not been denied. It’s simply failed to meet the State’s MA15+ rating. Which would mean the title is unclassified within QLD and cannot be legally sold.

      It’s ridiculous when the rest of the states have already inked R18 legislation; wander over the NSW border and it’s perfectly fine.

      As a side note, is this going to become the game title equivalent of the ‘faded curtains’ argument (lack of daylight savings observance) all over again? I do hope not.


      • No, it’s not like the “faded curtains” strawman argument for daylight savings.

        It’s more like we’ve got a government with a frightening proportion of luddite, 50’s-mindset MPs.

        Sigh… if only we had a credible opposition to vote for at the next election, they’d be a shoe-in. The current state gov’t here haven’t done much to ingratiate themselves with votes, while firing tens of thousands of direct employees and stopping spending on external contractors, effectively firing tens of thousands more. I know of at least three cafes / restuarants down near the gov’t area of Brisbane that have gone under, because they don’t have any customers any more. The ones who didn’t get fired are terrified they will be, and are saving every penny they can.

  4. I wonder if that “Can’t” Campbell is doing just what his idol from the past, Joh, tried to do with Playboy and other “riskque” literary selections, with the support of his other like minded conservatives, who were also unimaginative and closet owners of the writings of du Sade. *faux horreur*
    Protect the fragile and easily confused minds of their supporters, by isolating them only with acceptable LNP vetted material. Didn’t work then. Won’t work now.
    When are the LNP going to get some fresh ideas?

  5. I’m sure the local businesses whom rely on AAA title sales to drive income, will be thrilled the local government has been extraordinarily slack, yet to enact the same legislation as pretty much every other state has managed to do.

  6. Now this story has me musing on what the QLD Government is going to do to compensate the Queenslanders, due to their incompetence to legislate that, which the other States have been able to do with little issue.

    1. Utilise the funds raised by the QLD-LNP to compensate every Business who comes forward with proof they have lost a sale to a Client who has proceeded to get it from other businesses external to QLD. Why should the Taxpayer pay for it, as they and Labor didn’t cause the problem. This is easy to prove by Statuary Declarations from Consumers.

    2. Admit to QLD Electorate they don’t know what they are doing.

    3. Admit Someone else, somewhere else, in some Right Wing Thunk Tank, didn’t realise we have the Internet in QLD and sent an approved (by them) copy of the Legislation to the LNP QLD, via Australia Post, that their friends, the Federal LNP, has been sabotaging for ages, and it has been lost…..somewhere…..somehow….they don’t why!

    4. Tell QLD Electorate they don’t care what they like, or don’t like and just to accept they know what is best for them. Naturally “Why?” would be the questioning response from the QLD people. The LNP response, “Because we were born to rule you, because we know the “right” people!” would probably be predictable response. Naturally given with a huge contingent of Police to surround the LNP, to protect the Public (Uhh?) of course, and much to the disgust of the intelligent people of the State. All the whilst, the QLD Bogan’s will just ignore the whole drama in disinterest, because they have their own game, called Baby Bonus, that is more to their liking because they don’t have enough money for higher end computers that will work for GoW, Internet, computer games, nor afford the Electricity to power it all, since successive Federal Governments keep slashing their welfare. Shhh, we won’t mention the beloved Foxtel that the LNP will also turn a blind eye from.

    5. Get the Spin Meisters at Limited News to send a “Good Cheer! Can Do Campbell is here” message of support and pic on the front page of the Courier Mail. Personally, I think this would be irresponsible during a fire danger season, as Queenslander’s might set fire to images that invoke trauma to them.

    6. The LNP can offer a block busting game in preference to God of War! Now this should be incredibly attractive and desirable to everyone in Australia, as it would give us an rare insight into the LNP’s goals and aspirations via the wining scenario and how to get there, since there is a vacuum of any Policies that would otherwise enlighten us in what they plan to do with the power we might give them in the upcoming Federal Election.

    In all, this situation really does show us all the reality we face, and not just for Queenslanders, with something that is just outright harmless adult entertainment. Well done “CAN’T” Campbell. We appreciate your exposé of your modus operandi! It SUX!


  7. Absolutely moronic. Campbell Newmans government has been a shambles from Day one. Unbelievable.

    • absolutely a shambles. its bad enough in the state but boy i worry how we will look back at now in 2016 and say to ourselves “WTF were we thinking?”

      at least with GOW theres a few ways around it. it wont be so simple after the Fed election methinks.

      another /headdesk

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