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Australia's R18+ rating two years away

Manager of Classification Branch applications warns of delays

David Emery, manager of applications at the Australian Classification Branch, has warned of a two year delay before the country finally sees the much needed R18+ rating.

"There is legislation that's been put to Parliament about the changes," said David Emery in a Politics of Play debate.

"What happens next is a long process again. It's probably going to take another couple of years before you're actually going to get an R18 that you can apply for, like a conventional classification that you have today."

It was July when the Australian federal government voted to introduce the rating, and federal minister for home affairs Brendan O'Connor stated it "would only take a couple of months."

Emery disagrees, pointing out the obstacles to a a quick introduction.

"It's got to go to Parliament, then there's changes that have to be made subsequent to that - to the Classification Act - to allow for people who have had a game that has gone to the classification board and been refused classification to then be resubmitted in some form," he explained.

"There also needs to changes made to each state and territories classification act, that needs to go through the exact same process that I've just described, except on a state level. All of those things take ages, there are lots of delays."

"The answer is that it'll probably be another couple of years before we'll be able to accept an application for an R18 game."

Australia's strict rating laws, which only allows games to be classified to a MA15+ rating, and anything about that to be refused classification, have seen a number of games heavily censored or denied shelf space at all. Left 4 Dead 2 was heavily edited while Mortal Kombat was banned for its gory action.

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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