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God Of War III Devs Worried About Possible Ban In Australia

After that stellar gameplay presentation at E3, we learned two things about God of War III: 1. it's gonna kick your teeth in with its gritty greatness, and 2. the extreme level of violence and controversial material is obvious.

This won't be a problem for the North American game market, but Australia has always been more strict about video game content, and this has SCEA worried. According to GamePolitics citing Digital Life, we are reminded that Australia doesn't have a R18+ rating for games; the highest rating available is MA15+. If the game is deemed unsuitable for anyone under the age of 15, it won't get rated and subsequently, won't be released to store shelves. GoWIII art director Sean Cunningham talks about the subject:

"There is (concern). We try to push the boundaries a little bit. (But) we’ve had meetings and discussions and internally we all have a good gauge on what’s 'too far'. You throw something past [content rating boards] and they might say 'Absolutely not! You could not do that!' and we’re all like: 'Aww, c’mon, that was a great idea!' There have been a couple of those...

Also visually, everyone’s really excited. The disembowelment of the centaur, ripping Helios’s head off, the reaction from the floor has been amazing. Everybody in the studio is very happy..."

Yeah, well, we're happy too but that doesn't mean it'll fly with the Aussie rating board. However, we're fairly certain that if the worst does happen, SCEA will simply edit the game and offer that version to gamers Down Under. It kinda sucks, but we'd find it surprising if they simply agreed to not release God of War III in Australia. It's just too big of a region to ignore.

Related Game(s): God of War III

7/10/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (56 posts)

BigBoss4ever
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 12:43:32 PM
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i think they will figure sth out, just like Ben said above.

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PS3addict
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 1:03:02 PM
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Just lock down some features in the Aussie version for our over the pond friends 'cause I want more gore!! I want an M rating on it with a big warning (Will cause nghtmares, do not allow children to play or watch).

Our Aussie friends can download DLC to unluck those features from the PSN. Would that work??

Like the blood codes in MK. Not there unless you know how to unlock them. Hot coffee anyone??

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Highlander
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 1:07:53 PM
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They could fuzz out certain on screen elements and lose the entrails falling out of the bisected carcass.....

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Juanalf
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 1:25:06 PM
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I remember TM black had a similar situation with Pal territories so the devs left everything in the disc but locked the violent movies out.I am sure they could do something similar to GOWIII but I still don't get why Australia is stricter than the rest of the world(in terms of video games).

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Dancemachine55
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 11:08:43 PM

We here in Australia have strict video game laws because of one man. South Australia senator Michael Atkinson. As long as one state refuses to grant R18+ rating allowance for video games, the whole nation has to suffer.

Basically, Michael Atkinson is the one person keeping R18+ ratings from being used in Australian video games, and of course it is because of the same stupid argument used by all politicians.

1. The chance of minors getting hold of it or seeing the content, assuming that video games are still in the children's market.

2. The interactive nature of video games will drive some unstable individuals to commit these acts of violence in reality.

Of course, these arguments have been disproven again and again. Some of you may remember the whole Manhunt 2 debacle here in Australia, where the game was banned outright. And we all know the GTA IV problem where certain elements were removed from the Aus edition of the game.

These censoring acts impede on the artist's freedom of expression and the denial of R18+ games means that children have a much easier chance of playing mature games because of the larger amount of leniency in selling MA15+ games as opposed to selling R18+ games.

Therefore, the argument stands that children will be more protected from this mature and at times obscene material if R18+ is allowed. There are so many other nations which prove that this is effective due to the highly restricted advertising and selling of these products.

So please, as a fellow Aussie gamer, I am pleading for help from anyone in the industry who may help sway Australia into accepting R18+ ratings for video games and help in further restricting children of 15 years or younger from viewing or playing these games. I want to see God of War 3 and the next GTA as the designers see fit, not as the censors see fit.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 3:10:59 PM

Your cause is worthy. You should definitely contact someone with some influence in your country about this; perhaps a member of the rating board that's willing to listen to suggestions.

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mustang750r
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 1:28:07 PM
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They could do what the Japanese did for Resistance FoM and remove blood and gore through the console that way the gameplay is the same but some "mature" content is blocked.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 1:44:10 PM
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If I were an aussie I'd just import the sucker.

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fluffer nutter
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 1:52:06 PM

That's exactly what I was thinking.

Someone in marketing should offer the game online at a discounted price to Aussie residents with a special code so that they can get in on the madness. Special Australian Import Tax Break Sale. ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 5:07:34 PM

region free ftw baby.

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chicko1983
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 6:38:32 PM

If it is not allowed in Australia, they will region lock the US version. Same thing happened to Fallout 3.

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twenty8nine
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 7:11:38 PM

That was a selling point in PS3. You could take your games and play them on any PS3 you could find. You could also import games unavailable in your area if you are willing to put up with language differences.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 10:36:42 PM

Asian versions are never locked.

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Highlander
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 12:20:05 AM

@chicko

Do you have a link for that? PS3 games are not supposed to be region locked. The only locking that happens is that imposed on PSN that prevents users in one region playing against users in another, and that is primarily done to prevent users with high latency (lag) hurting game performance.

The only other region based 'locking' comes in the form of the analog video signal. A PAL PS3 can't output NTSC, an NTSC PS3 can't output PAL. Because of the differing TV standards PS3s sold in different markets have different TV modulators and video signal generators according to the analog TV standards in that market. Games made for the US are built to use the NTSC standard, games made for the UK are made for PAL, and so forth. A PAL version of a game will not generate an NTSC signal.

The result is that even though you can buy a UK game from the US, your UK game will not play on a regular NTSC TV using composite video, component video or s-video. The signaling standards are different. If you are using an HDTV and HDMI, there is no problem and games from any region should play on any PS3 using HDMI with an HDTV.

If you have a link to an article verifying actual region locking on a PS3 game I would love to see it.

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chicko1983
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 5:10:11 AM

I looked for but couldnt find a link.
Region locking Fallout 3 was something my mate told me about but come to think it, he is a Xbox360 owner and region locking may be possible on that?
Im not a Fallout fan so I wasnt ever too fussed when that got given RC by the classification board and cant say that I looked at all the options of buying that game when it was released.

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rowdy
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 8:08:32 AM

If their latest great idea gets through you wouldn't be able to import it either.

Some morons want to make a mandatory internet filter which will filter out kiddie porn and terrorist stuff which is fair but some genius figured they'd also block websites that sell unrated games. They're probably very similar in content as well...

That and the fact that it won't actually work, but good on them for trying anyway.

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Bagmup
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 5:46:33 PM

The games aren't locked, i've imported banned games from PlayAsia before

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Riku994
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 1:45:43 PM
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I'm glad I don't live in Australia!

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chicko1983
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 7:02:51 PM

why? I would happily give up not playing GOWIII in its full glory to live in best country in the world. And thats saying a lot as I am a big GOW fan.

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Alienange
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 10:40:54 PM

Buy GoWII THEN move to Australia.

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englishgolfer
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 1:51:05 PM
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i don't get it. they have one of the most brutal games on planet earth (australian rules football), they're the home of kylie minogue, XXXX beer, the worst soap actors in the world (just watch "neighbours" or "home and away"), their unoffical national anthem (waltzing matilda) is about a guy committing suicide and yet they ban violent games???? strange land. no wonder, england sent all their criminals there, so i guess we're to blame as a nation.

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Effi
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 2:28:50 PM

my god. thats so long ago give it a break man.

aussies are fine. they just hired the wrong people to the censor board.

sometimes in my company all it takes is a few guys with extreme views in a department and u get a pack of drones nodding in agreement.

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englishgolfer
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 4:41:34 PM

i guess i forgot to write *sarcasm* at the end....

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chicko1983
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 6:59:42 PM

haha, funny thing is that Aussie Rules is softer than Rugby, Kylie Minogue calls herself English, XXXX beer and Fosters sell better in the UK, all the soap actors and bigger in the UK (hence they launch their "singing" careers there), and Waltzing Matilda is a great song and even used in the British army.
And most people who call themselves Australian now dont have Australian ancestery and are only second or third generation Australian, i.e. less closely related to a convict than you are.
Go the Aussies in the Ashes! Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!!!

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Gone
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 3:51:44 PM
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They better not change GoW:III just because of the Aussies.

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Scarecrow
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 4:11:09 PM
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They better not dumb down the US version/storyline just because of the Australians

If anything just dumb down the Australian version. But not OUR version!

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chicko1983
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 7:12:10 PM

they wont dumb down the version for Aussies sake, too big a game and Aussie market isnt that big comparatively.

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Mornelithe
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 4:33:02 PM
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Just make the game non-region locked to allow our Aussie brethren the ability to import! Problem solved!!!!

Oh and, GIMME GT5!!!

That is all.

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newchef
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 4:35:37 PM
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i couldnt imagine them changing the game for every1 they have their ideas and i believe they'll stick with them, they if anything would change the aussie version, and release an dlc upgrade to allow bood and gore so they can play GoW:III in all of its glory

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RadioHeader
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 4:50:49 PM
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Wish the old farts would just go away...

This game will be played by kids of around 8 and over, regardless of its rating, and I'll bet none of them are later found guilty of disemboweling a centaur or ripping Helios’s head off.

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Karosso
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 6:55:13 PM
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Funny how some countries can be too liberal, like my home country Brazil and some like Australia are so uptight.
God bless America! At least here they will make lots of noise but in the end, the Bill of Rights rein supreme and freedom of speech is uphold.

Last edited by Karosso on 7/10/2009 6:55:44 PM

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chicko1983
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 7:09:02 PM

yeah its funny, Ive been to Brasil a couple of times (even going again at the end of this year) and the people's outlook on life is very similar - very positive and liberal.
The difference is that there are a few conservative people who are in power and are ruining it for the gamers of Australia.
In fact, it is only one person who is holding back changing the law to allow R18+ games in Australia even though a lot of people are for it.
Ive written to him but its his personal opinion that games shouldnt be above an M rating. He thinks only children play games these days!

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Karosso
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 7:20:26 PM

Dude I hope you guys have some kind of government shake up soon, so this old fart can get replaced or something.
The gov. in Brazil believes that parents should do the parenting not laws. My sister wont let my 9 years old nephew even play Tomb Raider because you get to shoot people and animals, she a though mom but at least she is the one making the decision. Of course he plays anything I have when he comes over to NYC hahaha What are cool uncles for?
Where do you go in Brazil?

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chicko1983
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 8:12:38 PM

Ive been to Rio, the Pantanal, Foz de Iguazi and Sao Paulo a couple of times (have some friends from there).
Will be going to Rio and Florianopolis this year to party. Cant wait!

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Karosso
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 8:24:40 PM

Have you ever been to the Carnaval? Craziest party in the world!
The Pantanal? Dude that's awesome!
Give Bahia a try when you get a chance, its north Brazil and the beaches are awesome and the girls are of the hook ;)

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Dancemachine55
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @ 8:34:06 AM

FYI - It is South Australian Senator Michael Atkinson who is preventing an R18+ rating from getting through. As long as one state is opposed to the introduction of this rating, it remains banned for the entire nation.

See my above statement for more info on this. The cause must be taken up!!!!

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King James
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 7:05:51 PM
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That sucks. Wasn't Australia started by criminals?...Irony

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Dancemachine55
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @ 8:37:14 AM

Sigh...

That was over 200 years ago. Aren't you going to give that up? Australia is the most multicultural country in the world now. In fact, over 20% of the nation is Asian. So, to be Australian is about giving everyone and everything a fair go, not beinga beer drinking caucasian who loves cricket and BBQs in the summertime.

And yes, we are very proud of our convict history. Many respectable Aussies came from those convicts.

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tlpn99
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 9:32:02 PM
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As World said first import anyone ?

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kokoro
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 9:33:04 PM
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The australian censorship board is retarted. They forced rockstar to edit the PS3 and 360 version of GTA4, and yet my friend's PC copy has all the sex and gore in it.

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tlpn99
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 9:39:21 PM
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My mate aint gonna be happy he is a Brit emigrated over there and is a huge fan of God Of War 1 and 2 and I know for a fact he will want 3 in all it's un cut glory.

If he wants me too I will gladly buy it for him and send him as a gift lol :)

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kokoro
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 9:48:44 PM
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The person responsible for this mess is Michael Atkinson. His main argument is that he is trying to "protect the children". Apparently, todays children are completely oblivious to violence and gore.

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Milonakis
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 9:50:55 PM
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Postal 3 is gonna go over great in Australia. ;)

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Banky A
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 9:52:24 PM
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@ffrulez

Yeah it's stupid.

Not to sound lame but I hope they might as well just ban it so we in NZ get the full game.
So whenever they do get the game I hope it'll be 100% God of War. Instead of something missing.

(That was 2/5th of a joke LOL)

^_^ *smiley face to hint small sarcasm and keep everyone happy*

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Alienange
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ 10:42:33 PM
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Excuse my ignorance, but are the sales numbers in Australia really something to worry about? Wish there was a way to know...

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Banky A
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 1:15:08 AM

We'll never know..
But supposedly:

http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,28348,25516038-5014239,00.html

and

http://www.slashslashdawt.com/2009/01/27/the-state-of-video-games-in-australia/

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slackernz
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 1:01:18 AM
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This is a concern... I hope NZ doesn't get gimped becoz of the bloody Aussies..

If not, Amazon here I come! :D

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Banky A
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 1:17:33 AM

Yerp, our GTA IV got gimped because of em'.
Not by much though, just some prostitute stuff lol.

:(

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BikerSaint
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 1:17:23 AM
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Don't gimp up the game!

But if theres no other way around the games board, then just offer the gamers there a free D/L to turn the original mayham back on.

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___________
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 2:24:45 AM
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do not leave out ideas just because your scared it will get banned here.
because 1 the US people will be pissed and i cant blame them.
2 theres allways ebay.
if this game gets banned the OFLC office will dissapear of the face of the earth.
i remember 3 years ago there was a leb gang member who was arrested so hes gang blew up bankstown police station.
i wouldent be suprised if the same thing happens to the OFLC office.
but seriously put everything in their let your mind run wild thats what we expect from GOW if it gets banned here well the OFLC is f***ing stupid because thats revenue their loosing.
were in a recession so the way to help the country get back on its feet is to stop people from spending money and tell them to send it to the US
wheres the logic in that?
and the internet sensor i sware to god were turning into communist china.
as soon as im old enough im getting out of this s*** hole.
we pay s*** loads more for phones games consoles computers.
were years behind internet speeds of the us.
were treated like ****ing convicts when it comes to choice of entertainment.
god i cant wait till ive finished tafe so i can blow this s*** hole off.

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___________
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 2:32:10 AM
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hopefuly we will get a R18 by the time this comes out but i aint holding my breath.
meh hes like 80 years old god if your up their its time to get to work. :D
they should line up all the catholics and ship them out to a isolated island im sick of them destroying everything.
first game ratings michael is a strict chatholic and so is his district he knows if he passes a R18 he will loose alot of votes and be out of a job.
than the **** with dantes inferno "hell is not a game" o please get over yourself jesus christ.
than on the news the other day their was a priest on tv protesting that ladies should not be allowed to wear bikinis because its to revealing.
OMFG whats wrong with bikinis.
i sware to god soon were going to be forced to wear uniforms and told when we can do anything.
sir im busting to go toilet.
sorry toilets are not permited till 10 AM.
no no your not allowed to wear those shoes there to bright.

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kokoro
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 8:42:40 PM

Your are an idiot.

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chicko1983
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 5:13:05 AM
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Personally I am not that worried at the moment.
I dont think it would be in the best interest of the developers to make it an R18+ game, they would want to be able to release the game to the biggest possible audience and R18+ would put off some people who rely on their parents buying their games for them.

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Robochic
Saturday, July 11, 2009 @ 2:07:35 PM
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The aussie censorship board needs to remove the sticks that are up their bums...
I hope for all the aussies that this comes to u're region if not do what world says import baby!

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Branko2166
Sunday, July 12, 2009 @ 7:02:30 AM
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If it gets banned or is censored I will definitely import the game. Without the gore and violence it just wouldn't feel like a GOW game.

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OriginalSin
Monday, July 13, 2009 @ 4:58:46 AM
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I must say that's one good thing about our country.... the government is so busy being corrupt that they couldn't care less about game ratings.... So we won't be affected by anything like this. I know that's really wrong to say but sadly it's the truth...

I feel for you guys down under thou, cause I would be P**** if I couldn't play the game I wanted the way I wanted. I mean I'm 30 years old I make my own choices and don't need to be limited to playing Rated 15+ games.

I mean I do have games that are rated less, but at least I have the choice. I remember the whole fiasco with Manhunt 2 being banned all over the place but over here there weren't even a whisper about that.

Mmmmmm..... Maybe that's why people are so freakin violent here... But then again I can bet you $1 000 000 that those "violent" individuals don't play games at all...

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