Yesterday, the news broke that Syndicate had been refused classification in Australia, and EA has now commented on the situation.
Today, EA has confirmed that they will not be eppealing the decision or releasing the game in Australia, although it still carries an R18 rating in New Zealand and will be released there as planned on 24th February 2012.
A spokesperson for EA said: "It’s regrettable that government policy in Australia is denying adults the right to play Syndicate. The game will be not be available in Australia despite its enthusiastic response from fans."
"We were encouraged by the government’s recent agreement to adopt an 18+ age rating for games. However, delays continue to force an arcane censorship on games – cuts that would never be imposed on books or movies."
"We urge policy makers to take swift action to implement an updated policy that reflects today’s market and gives its millions of adult consumers the right to make their own content choices."
The game had been refused classification due its violence exceeding MA15+ requirements. According to the board report, which was made public shortly afterwards, the violence specifically called into question was the decapitation, dismemberment (and associated blood spurts with both), as well as the continued ability to visit such damage onto bodies post-mortem.
While these actions are doubtlessly violent, the highly sleek and stylised world of Syndicate should have serve as a mitigating factor, and it is a shame that such a formidable franchise won't have the ability to show off its reimagining on Australian shores.
Regardless, it seems as though, while the process of instigating an R18+ rating in Australia continues to languish in bureaucracy, we're still bound by our increasingly behind-the-times classification system, and must occasionally weather storms such as these while new measures lie in wait.
Syndicate was due to be released in Australia on February 24th 2012 for 360, PS3 and PC.
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