For a nation founded by prisoners with a reputation as the home of gnarly tough guys like Crocodile Dundee, Australia sure is girly about video games. The nation/continent will refuse ratings classification for upcoming violent fighting game Mortal Kombat.
The game's publisher Warner Brothers issued the following statement:
"The highly anticipated video game Mortal Kombat, published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) in Australia, has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board and will not release in Australia. We are extremely disappointed that Mortal Kombat, one of the world’s oldest and most successful video games franchises, will not be available to mature Australian gamers. WBIE would not market mature content where it is not appropriate for the audience. 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 iGEA, WBIE is reviewing all options available at this time."
I'll bet you could guess why the ratings board put the kibosh on MK: It's the fatalities. Here's what the board said about the finishing moves in the game:
"The game includes over 60 fatalities... which contain explicit depictions of dismemberment, decapitation, disembowelment and other brutal forms of slaughter. Despite the exaggerated conceptual nature of the fatalities and their context within a fighting game set in a fantasy realm, impact is heightened by the use of graphics which are realistically rendered and very detailed. In the opinion of the Board, the game contains violence that exceeds strong in impact and is unsuitable for a minor to see or play. The game should therefore be Refused Classification pursuant to item 1(d) of the computer games table of the National Classification Board."
Australia currently doesn't have an "adult" classification in its vid game rating system. Sorry, Aussie gamers. Looks like you'll have to import your copy of Mortal Kombat.
Source: Kotaku Australia