Left 4 Dead 2 Ban Surprised, Saddened Valve

| 18 Sep 2009 21:09
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Valve wasn't expecting Australia to ban Left 4 Dead 2, and the news surprised and "bummed" everyone on staff.

If you haven't heard yet, Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification decided not to classify Left 4 Dead 2, a move which will basically ban the game from sale down under. It's definitely bad news for Australians who'd like to buy and play the game, and hasn't gone over so well over at Valve HQ either.

"We were surprised to hear of this news yesterday," Valve's Doug Lombardi said. "Obviously, everyone at Valve is pretty bummed. It would be a shame if folks in Australia, or anywhere else, are unable to purchase Left 4 Dead 2 because of a ratings issue."

Lombardi says that it "would be a shame," but it's pretty much certain that Australians won't be able to legally purchase Left 4 Dead 2 based on the Office of Film and Literature Classification's rationale for denying the game classification. No, it wasn't because they think Valve are abandoning Left 4 Dead 1 for an easy cash-in sequel.

"The game contains violence that is high in impact and is there unsuitable for people under 18 years to play," the Office wrote, pointing out the "high impact" nature of the melee weapons and the ensuing gore as major reasons for refusing the game classification.

So if Valve wants to make this game legal to sell in Australia, they'll have to well, basically remove the melee weapons and anything and everything violent in the game. And while the idea of a pacifist zombie survival game certainly is intriguing, I doubt it's going to happen.

[Via Shacknews]

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Katana314:
ON THE ONE HAND
Games are not yay-yay funtime for baby. They're an emerging medium, and we need to work over the common misconception that they're just for kids. There are going to be some cases where gore is needed to convey the artist's desires maturely. Just make sure there's solid restriction on them for younger audiences, and that it isn't just used as a freebie mechanic to sell copies with the tagline "WALLS MADE OF INTESTINES!"

ON THE OTHER HAND
Does excessive gore really fit with TF2? My brother is not a seasoned gamer but even he thinks the game is awesome. However, the one thing that doesn't fit to him is the amount of gore. It just sort of feels out of place. I can say the same thing about Left 4 Dead 2; the amount of dismemberment and blood just feels immature. This isn't what's needed to convey the theme and direction of the game. The theme and direction is four survivors helping each other out to get to safety against immense odds. I can't see any gameplay difference in the ability to dismember a zombie's limbs before he dies. Heck, if L4D1 is any indication, most zombies are only onscreen for a moment before being shot, kinda rendering the artistic value and excessive technology moot.

Good sir, have you perchance heard of the term "Atmosphere"? L4D and L4D2 are gritty games that take place after some kind of cannibalistic zombie apocalypse, and I can only suspect that there will be a metric shit tone of blood and gore in the wake of it. If you're under 18, and you don't like the gore, too bad --> the rating on the box warned you.

The gore in TF2 is more humorous than anything else. I've always interpreted it as a morbid reminder that although you're in a pastel-colored and silhouette-based world, you're still horribly and mercilessly killing people with shotguns, flame throwers, pipe bombs, etc. It's black humor. Toughen up.

As for Australia: Can't you guys elect or remove the useless sacks who regulate this stuff? I love Australia and everything, but I would never imagine emigrating there because of your UK-level of fascism in which your government censors your media.

Fuck decency and fuck everyone else trying to make a new 'city on a hill'.

Keane Ng:

So if Valve wants to make this game legal to sell in Australia, they'll have to well, basically remove the melee weapons and anything and everything violent in the game. And while the idea of a pacifist zombie survival game certainly is intriguing, I doubt it's going to happen.

Design amendments for Left 4 Dead 2: Australia Edition.
(Or: how to change a bunch of censors into a national embarrassment on the world stage)

Replace all zombies with ugly Christmas jumper wearing AMINICULT* employees.
Replace all zombie noise sound effects with kittens meowing.
Replace all gunfire sound effects with snippets of the Australian national anthem.
Replace all explosion noises with the words "Waltzing Mathilda."
Remove all blood. Not so much as one nose bleed in the game.
Include publicly available contact data for public representatives and details of the responsibilities of Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification.

Sell it worldwide via Steam as a 1 map multiplayer game for $0.49 AUS. Perhaps try and get in touch with the producers of "Team America: World Police" for cross marketing opportunities.

(*Australia Ministry of Culture)

MEOW MEOW. They're in for it now.

Radeonx:
How about, instead of zombies and guns, we use unicorns and pillows. Won't that be fun?

ALWAYS
I WANT TO BE WITH YOU
MAKE BELIEVE WITH YOU
AND LIVE IN HARMONY, HARMONY
OH, LOVE!

sucks to be australian, glad i moved to england now :D

Marq:
It's ok Valve. Steam lets us sidestep the bureaucratic morons. You'll still be getting my money.

Uhm, I actually think Steam wont let you buy anything that is banned in the country you reside in. I tried to buy a game that was only for USA, I could find it in the store, but I couldn't check out and pay for it.

First of all this is pretty stupid. In Denmark they banned the use of knives in CS because it was so violent and also because of the blood splashing all over when you use it. What I don't understand is why is a melee weapon more violent than a rifle or a shotgun? In most of the games I've played I've seen the shotgun blast off heads and in Borderlands I have seen a flying torso, arms and a set of legs flying towards me. Is that better than a knife? One possibility is that they're thinking a bit too hard about this though. Killing someone with a baseball bat in a game and killing someone with an assault rifle. Which is easier in the game? The rifle, but the baseball bat did work pretty well when you were out of ammo and close to your enemy, right? If you're a kid and you don't have a rifle and wants to kill someone that should be the same as in the game, shouldn't it? So they pull the conclusion that it's easier to ban L4D2 than bats, chairs and knives.

What they should have been thinking of in the process is the publicity this gets. A game that gets banned in Australia which conveniently is released in Europe which also uses PAL and the same language in the game as there. One short visit to one of the ebay sites in Europe and that game will cross the borders to Australia. I think this might cause more Australians to buy it rather than no-one. Sadly that's how the world works...

$5 says that in 365 days, crime in Australia skyrockets due to a lack of victemless outlet for people to relieve their stress with.

Funny how, if an under 18 were to walk in front of a bus, they would be splattered.(onto their friends) And don't forget drunk drivers.
An untreated splinter gives gangrene and leads to amputation(it oozes too).
STDs are killing millions of people(18 and under).
Smoking causes cancer and so does meat.(that hasn't stopped smoking or made vegetarianism popular)
The economy nearly collapsed worldwide.(dads killed their wife and kids too)

And Australia is doing the whole, see-hear-say-no evil routine for visceral games meant for adults...visceral games that are not responsible for this madness and careless danger everyone is already in. Including their precious children.

How many parents have ever videotaped a day in their kids lives? They would be shocked how many drugs, lies, and depraved violence a public school contains. So ban schools? Or rate them 18+?

DayDark:

lvl9000_woot:

DayDark:
wow, I would so pissed, this is no longer about the game, this is about a guy, disrespecting every Australian parent, because he doesn't trust them to be able to teach their kids morals, not only that, but he's FORCING his will onto the people. Australia might as well be a dictatorship.

THANK YOU! You got that right... not the "Australia might as well be a dictatorship" part but the "disrespecting every Australian parent" part. Let the parenting be up to the individuals parents! Sheesh! And if they don't trust the parents with making good decisions for their kids, they might as well ban having them in the first damn place.

yeah I was a little out of line with the dictatorship part, I just feel like he's misusing his power to go against the majority.

Agreed :)

Since we're talking about Australians, anybody notice the "Modern Warfare 2 Opening Is Real, Aussies Flip Out" article?

Destal:
I fail to understand why all games must be suitable for under 18, I thought that was the reason for the rating system.

Pacifist Zombie invasion? I'll keep mine the old fashoned way.

Because Australia isn't a democracy and the insane old farts and crappy parents are put in charge?

lvl9000_woot:

DayDark:
wow, I would so pissed, this is no longer about the game, this is about a guy, disrespecting every Australian parent, because he doesn't trust them to be able to teach their kids morals, not only that, but he's FORCING his will onto the people. Australia might as well be a dictatorship.

THANK YOU! You got that right... not the "Australia might as well be a dictatorship" part but the "disrespecting every Australian parent" part. Let the parenting be up to the individuals parents! Sheesh! And if they don't trust the parents with making good decisions for their kids, they might as well ban having them in the first damn place.

yeah I was a little out of line with the dictatorship part, I just feel like he's misusing his power to go against the majority.

DayDark:
wow, I would so pissed, this is no longer about the game, this is about a guy, disrespecting every Australian parent, because he doesn't trust them to be able to teach their kids morals, not only that, but he's FORCING his will onto the people. Australia might as well be a dictatorship.

THANK YOU! You got that right... not the "Australia might as well be a dictatorship" part but the "disrespecting every Australian parent" part. Let the parenting be up to the individuals parents! Sheesh! And if they don't trust the parents with making good decisions for their kids, they might as well ban having them in the first damn place.

I swear, that is just Emperor Twatticus

Rutawitz:

owyndevaldeck:

Rutawitz:
Australia is fucking retarded

no, just one Australian who is needed as part of the decision.

EDIT: also, buying on steam aint an option for me, my computer is only worth it's internet connection. i play all my games on my xbox :( i want my zombies....:'(

god, everyone is literal larry today

my names not larry though....

wow, I would so pissed, this is no longer about the game, this is about a guy, disrespecting every Australian parent, because he doesn't trust them to be able to teach their kids morals, not only that, but he's FORCING his will onto the people. Australia might as well be a dictatorship.

owyndevaldeck:

Rutawitz:
Australia is fucking retarded

no, just one Australian who is needed as part of the decision.

EDIT: also, buying on steam aint an option for me, my computer is only worth it's internet connection. i play all my games on my xbox :( i want my zombies....:'(

god, everyone is literal larry today

Rutawitz:
Australia is fucking retarded

no, just one Australian who is needed as part of the decision.

EDIT: also, buying on steam aint an option for me, my computer is only worth it's internet connection. i play all my games on my xbox :( i want my zombies....:'(

Marq:

Katana314:
ON THE ONE HAND
Games are not yay-yay funtime for baby. They're an emerging medium, and we need to work over the common misconception that they're just for kids. There are going to be some cases where gore is needed to convey the artist's desires maturely. Just make sure there's solid restriction on them for younger audiences, and that it isn't just used as a freebie mechanic to sell copies with the tagline "WALLS MADE OF INTESTINES!"

ON THE OTHER HAND
Does excessive gore really fit with TF2? My brother is not a seasoned gamer but even he thinks the game is awesome. However, the one thing that doesn't fit to him is the amount of gore. It just sort of feels out of place. I can say the same thing about Left 4 Dead 2; the amount of dismemberment and blood just feels immature. This isn't what's needed to convey the theme and direction of the game. The theme and direction is four survivors helping each other out to get to safety against immense odds. I can't see any gameplay difference in the ability to dismember a zombie's limbs before he dies. Heck, if L4D1 is any indication, most zombies are only onscreen for a moment before being shot, kinda rendering the artistic value and excessive technology moot.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Gore in TF2? Dismemberment and blood immature?

There is actually a pretty sizeable amount of gore in TF2, if you consider cartoon gore, real gore.

I feel really bad for you Aussies. Hopefully this Atkinson guy keels over soon, or is booted out of office for his video game-themed hate mongering.

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