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EA: Lack of 18 rating in Australia is censorship

Government is out of touch with industry and consumers, says Gibeau

EA Games president Frank Gibeau has said that the lack of an 18+ rating for games in Australia is effectively censoring content for adults.

Writing exclusively for, the the label boss responsible for games such as Army of Two and Dante's Inferno argued that the current system highlights the Australian government's ignorance of the local industry and the consumers who buy games.

"Government policies that don’t allow for the rating of mature content in videogames effectively censor entertainment choices for adults," he said.

"These policies show a poor understanding of today's videogaming audience. Existing legislation in Australia that limits age ratings of games to 16 demonstrates a distance between those policies and the reality of the videogame industry and the people that play interactive games in Australia today."

Mature-themed games are routinely held back from release in the region until cuts to the content are made, simply because the government does not recognise an age rating above 15+.

Australia is behind other regions that have adopted robust ratings systems, said Gibeau, and forcing developers and publishers to cut content from games in order to meet the requirements for a 15+ rating results in inferior content.

"A government policy that keeps our mature games out of stores and forces developers to rewrite code is censorship. It also forces lesser quality games into that marketplace, often stripped of their intended content and features."

There is also a real danger that by not supporting the local development community, Australia will miss out in the growth of the medium and detract investment in the region, argued Gibeau.

"As the Australian government moves to participate in the economy of the global gaming market, policy makers should consider the environment they create for game makers," he offered. "Governments that design policies hostile to game developers and their creative medium will struggle to attract investment from the global industry."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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