Australia set to introduce R18+ rating in 2013

Legislation now with Australian lower parliament, expected to come into effect in January 2013

The Australian government could introduce an adults-only rating for games into law on January 1, 2013.

According to a report on Player Attack, the legislation for an R18+ category has been prepared by the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice Jason Clare.

At present, the highest age-rating available in Australia is MA15+, for games deemed suitable for nobody under the age of 15.

However, this has resulted in a number of violent games being effectively banned by being refused classification. The R18+ rating will bring games into line with the country's policy on films.

"The R 18+ category will inform consumers, parents and retailers about which games are not suitable for minors to play, and will prevent minors from purchasing unsuitable material" said Clare in a statement.

The bill has been introduced to the Lower House of the Australian parliament, which will then discuss the measures suggested. However, the amendments are so simple, and public support is so strong, that the bill is expected to pass with little resistance.

Australia's individual territories will be free to implement their own legislation.

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Latest comments (7)

Edward Buffery Head of LQA (UK), Testronic6 years ago
Minor typo: "being reused classification". 'reused' should be 'refused'.
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Matthew Handrahan European Deputy Editor, GamesIndustry.biz6 years ago
Noted. Fixed. Many thanks.
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Tony Johns6 years ago
please....just make sure there is not another Michael Atkinson in the house that might want to pull a Keith Vaz sort of speech about Rapelay being open to the market. Because for that to happen we would need an X18+ rating for games in Australia and to be honest, the gaming retailers only sell what is being retailed in USA and Europe, so games like Rapelay from Japan don't really have any relevance to this legislation.

But then again, it is so sad that the politicians will try to come up with new ways of banning games after this passes.

That impact test that is in the Australian Classification Board is perhaps the most inconsistant hurdle for most game developers who want to make a mature 17+ rated game. (Remember, Mature 17+ I am talking about ESRB standards here)

until the ESRB in America allows an AO18+ rating to be marketable, it will be hard to push for any other rating higher than R18+ in Australia.

Of course with the internet we can still download REAL adult games from any country like from Japan.
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Show all comments (7)
Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises6 years ago
It is my lifelong dream to one day make a game that gets banned in Australia.
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Reilly Davis6 years ago
parliament takes forever another year thats such bs
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Joel Burns Studying games industry level 3, Henley College Coventry6 years ago
It doesn't matter what the age rating is, Because underaged people will always obtain it in the end.
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Matthew Pinnegar Studying games development L3, Henley College Coventry6 years ago
I agree, whatever rating it is parents are still going to buy it for there children anyway.
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