Just weeks after the Australian Classification Board refused to give F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin a legal age rating, the group has listened to appeals from publisher Warner Bros and has granted the game a 15+MA rating.
The board’s observations of “strong violence, blood and gore, moderate coarse language” was enough to initially deny the game a MA15+ rating; still currently the highest age bracket as Australia continues to be the only major nation lacking an adult certification stamp for games.
F.E.A.R. 2 was the fifth game of 2008 to be refused classification in Australia; as publishers of Dark Sector, Fallout 3, Silent Hill: Homecoming and Shellshock 2: Blood Trails saw their game refuse entry. Fallout 3 and Dark Sector, however, edited content to the point where the Australian board allowed the game the MA15+, the same process Rockstar took for GTA IV to be given a legal rating.
Interestingly, F.E.A.R. 2 was not edited to be granted classification, reports Australia-based website GamesOnNet. Rather, the straightforward appeal process was enough to convince the board:
“After considering extensive submissions and demonstrations of game play across all levels, the Review Board concluded that the level of violence in the computer game, whilst strong, could be accommodated within the MA 15+ classification,” says a spokesperson for the Classification Review Board.
A Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment (which recently upped its shares in Eidos) spokesperson was understandably jubilant with the review board’s decision: “We’re obviously extremely pleased with the result from the Classification Review Board, it’s a great result for Warner Bros and fans of the franchise. We always believed in the merits of the game as an MA15+ title, and we went in and argued the game on its merits.”
Meanwhile, Australia is still editing the discussion paper for the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General on the issue of an 18+ rating. After the paper was initially refused disclosure to the public, the debate is now expected to commence early 2009.