Valve has formally appealed the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) decision to refuse a rating on zombie shooter sequel Left 4 Dead 2. Without a rating the game will effectively be banned from sale in the country.
Left 4 Dead 2 is currently being considered by the New Zealand OFLC for classification, with an R16 or R18 rating likely. Australia however does not have a rating higher than MA 15+, which has repeatedly caused problems for mature games being released in the territory.
If the game remains banned in Australia it should not affect its release in New Zealand, however if Valve is forced to censor the game to get it on sale in Oz, then kiwis buying the game at retail may get stuck with a censored version as well.
In the Australian OFLC's decision on 17 September, it stated that the game was unsuitable for an MA 15+ rating due to "frequent and intense depictions of violence" and "graphic depictions of blood and gore." The OFLC did note in its report that a minority of the board believed the game "warrants an MA 15+ classification with the customer advice of strong violence," the same classification given to the original Left 4 Dead - which may provide Valve with a foothold for its appeal.
Left 4 Dead 2 is due for release on November 18 on PC and Xbox 360. Valve provided the following list of ratings for the game so far:
PEGI (continental Europe) - 18+
ESRB (North America) - M
CERO (Japan) - Z (corresponds to Mature in US)
IFCO (Ireland) - Approved the title for classification.
USK (Germany) - 18+
Singapore - Mature 18
FPB (South Africa) - 18+
KGRB (Korea) -18+
OFLC New Zealand - In progress.
BBFC (UK) - In progress.
OFLC Australia - Refused to rate on September 17. Appealed September 23.