Classification Revoked Games

The Classification Board has withdrawn the ratings of four games for containing content not declared in their original submission.

GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS (2004) lost an MA, GOTHIC 2 (2003) an M-rating and DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS (2008) and DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS (2011) their PG.


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Publisher Rockstar Games / 2004 / MobyGames

In October 2004, GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS was passed with an MA (Medium level animated violence, Medium level coarse language) rating.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) - Game Cover 1
With ‘Hot Coffee’

Is it uncut?

Previous titles in the series had censorship issues so this caused speculation about the new game.

Mick reports.
I ordered GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS from New Zealand and also bought a copy from EB games here in Australia. I then wrote to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) and requested a copy of their report.

October 2004
In the majority of the Board’s view, this computer game warrants a consumer advice for coarse language. This game contains ‘fuck’ language, including the phrase ‘mother fucker’. It is mainly used in naturalistic fashion. Aggressive or very strong coarse language is infrequent.

The Board notes that the player is able to pick up a prostitute and although the player’s character and the hooker are seated next to each other, the car will rock back and forth in a suggestion of sexual activity. As the rocking continues the player’s health will increase and the balance of the player’s funds will decrease. After a short time the rocking stops and the hooker gets out of the car. The player is able to chase the hooker on foot or in the vehicle, and can strike the hooker, in much the same way the player can strike any other pedestrian character.

The ability to pick up a hooker in the game relies on a complex combination of attributes such as respect, what type of vehicle, clothing. hairstyle, tattoos, physique, wanted level, what neighbourhood the player is in and at what time, what the weather conditions are like and more. If these conditions are not met then the hookers will behave like any other pedestrian and not get in the car.

In this context, this element of the game can be accommodated within the MA15+ classification.

– Classification Board report

So why did the OFLC allow this gameplay, where it had previously caused GRAND THEFT AUTO III (2001) to be banned and GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY (2002) to be pre-cut? I believe that this time the prostitute element was more in context. In the other games, variables such as the weather did not make any difference.

Also. the OFLC report states that they deemed the action only ‘implied sexual activity’ and it did not contain actual simulated sex. Having played the game I can confirm that the Australian version is 100% uncut and uncensored!

Hidden content revealed

On 9 June 2005, a modification known as ‘Hot Coffee’ became available for download. It unlocked sex mini-games hidden in the code of GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS.

In America, it did not take long for this to come to the notice of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). They had previously awarded it a Mature 17+ (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs) rating.

July 7, 2005
The game’s publisher, Rockstar Games, has yet to even acknowledge the existence of the X-rated minigames, saying only that it has “no comment at this point.”

– Politician wants San Andreas rated Adults Only
article @ gamespot.com

July 8, 2005
Patricia Vance from the ESRB said that they had:

…opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the ‘Hot Coffee’ modification.

The integrity of the ESRB rating system is founded on the trust of consumers who increasingly depend on it to provide complete and accurate information about what’s in a game. If after a thorough and objective investigation of all the relevant facts surrounding this modification, we determine a violation of our rules has occurred, we will take appropriate action.

– ESRB investigating San Andreas sex minigames
article @ gamespot.com

Rockstar on ‘Hot Coffee’

July 2005
We can confirm the ESRB is conducting an investigation and that we will be complying fully with their enquiries.

We thoroughly support the work of the ESRB, and believe that it has an exemplary record of rating games and promoting understanding of video game content.

We also feel confident that the investigation will uphold the original rating of the game, as the work of the mod community is beyond the scope of either publishers or the ESRB.

– Rockstar Games statement

OFLC on the case

The following week, the Australian OFLC had launched their investigation.

July 11, 2005
At the request of the Australian Attorney-General, the Hon Philip Ruddock MP, the Office of Film and Literature Classification is investigating claims that the computer game GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS contains a hidden section featuring sexual content, which can be unlocked using a “mod” downloaded from the internet.

The investigation is in response to United States media reports where the controversy has prompted an investigation by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), which determines the ratings on all video games sold in that country. The US distributor of the game, Rockstar Games, issued a statement last Friday, confirming the investigation.

The OFLC is endeavouring to establish whether any such content is contained in the version of the game that has been classified in Australia.

The Australian distributor of GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS is cooperating with the OFLC in this regard.

When a distributor applies for classification of a computer game in Australia, they are required by law to provide the Classification Board with access to all content within the game as well as particulars of contentious material and the means to gain access to such material.

Under Commonwealth Classification legislation the Classification Board is compelled to revoke a game’s classification if it is found to contain undisclosed contentious material, whether activated through use of a code or otherwise.

“Developments such as this are indicative of the increasingly complex technological world of entertainment in which we live”, said Director of the OFLC, Mr Des Clark. “Our investigations show the National Classification Scheme at work and the Classification Board will take action, if required, when all the facts are established.”

GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS was classified MA15+ with the consumer advice, “Medium level animated violence, medium level coarse language” on 1 October 2004.

The Classification Board is an independent statutory body responsible for the classification of films, videos, computer games and some publications. The Board has representatives drawn from communities across Australia and includes members with children.

– Claims of hidden content in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas being investigated
– Office of Film and Literature Classification

Man behind the mod

July 11, 2005
The mod’s author – Patrick Wildenborg, 36, of Deventer, Netherlands – said his code merely unlocked content that was already included in the code of each off-the-shelf game.

“If Rockstar Games denies that, then they’re lying and I will be able to prove that,” Mr Wildenborg wrote in an email. “My mod does not introduce anything to the game. All the content that is shown was already present on the DVD.”

– Classification office probing video game sexual content
article @ smh.com.au

July 2005
After reading various discussion about this mod around the internet, I would like to make the following statement:

All the contents of this mod was already available on the original disks. Therefore the scriptcode, the models, the animations and the dialogs by the original voice-actors were all created by RockStar. The only thing I had to do to enable the mini-games was toggling a single bit in the main.scm file. (Of course it was not easy to find the correct bit). The Nude models that are used as a bonus in the Quick action version of the mod, were also already present on the original disk.

But all this material is completely inaccesible in an unmodded version of the game. It can therefore not be considered a cheat, easter-egg or hidden feature. But is most probably just leftover material from a gameplay idea that didn’t make the final release. I would really like to stress that this material is only accessible after willfully applying the hot coffee mod (or something similar) to the game.

– Patrick Wildenborg statement
– patrickw.gtagames.nl

OFLC comment

July 21, 2005
Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification’s has also been looking at the game’s classification, because of that content. Paul Hunt is the office’s Deputy Director.

PAUL HUNT: We’ve actually come to the conclusion at the same time. So we’ve just today determined, through advice from the game’s distributor and also our own investigation, that the content is included in the game as retail but not accessible unless you break the user agreement and modify the game to get at it.

IAN TOWNSEND: So what will that mean, are you going to upgrade its classification?

PAUL HUNT: Well that means that the board… there’s a provision in our legislation again. Our scheme unlike the Americans is a legislation and a regulated scheme, so there’s certain procedures under law which need to be taken.

And one of the procedures is that where the applicant hasn’t disclosed what’s called “contentious material” to the board when they’re making their decision, and it becomes apparent that there was material that should have been disclosed, as in this case, then the applicant needs to demonstrate that material to the board so the board can make a fresh decision.

IAN TOWNSEND: So the classification remains the same?

PAUL HUNT: It remains the same until the board’s had another look and made a decision.

Now I don’t want to pre-empt the board’s decision. They may look at it and say, “It’s the same”, or they may look at it and say, “Oh hang, this changes it”.

IAN TOWNSEND: If it does change it, the classification is at its highest rating in Australia. What would that mean if they said that this is too much?

PAUL HUNT: Well look we’re talking hypothetically of course, but if they do make a different decision then the only place to go from MA15+ is to refuse classification. So it’s essentially banned.

– Classification of Grand Theft Auto under review
article @ abc.net.au

‘Hot Coffee’ found in Australia

July 22, 2005
The Office of Film and Literature Classification yesterday confirmed the sexual content was present on the Australian retail version of the game.

“We’ve just concluded our preliminary investigation and our conclusion is that the contentious content is on the retail discs,” deputy director Paul Hunt said.

The Australian distributor of the game, Take-Two Interactive Software Australia, told officials it was unaware of the content.

“They didn’t know the content was on there,” Mr Hunt said. “They were quite firm about that.”

Publishers must disclose all “contentious material” when presenting a computer game, movie or publication for classification.

The company will have to present all the newly discovered material to the classification office.

– Computer game faces ban for sex scenes
article @ smh.com.au

July 23, 2005
Coles Myer – including Myer, Target and Kmart – and David Jones said they would stop selling the game, GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS.

Other retailers have said they will continue selling the game.

“We will pull it if we receive the appropriate advice from the OFLC,” said Harvey Norman’s Rutland Smith.

Big W and Dick Smith will also continue to stock the game.

“We’re going to be abiding by the guidelines of the OFLC,” said Natalie Faber-Castell, a spokeswoman for the stores.

The threat of a ban may fuel sales of the game in the short term. “This week has seen a 50 per cent increase in sales over the week before,” said Games Warehouse’s manager Tiffany McAdam, who will continue to sell the game. She said it was “generally young adult males” who bought the game.

– Hidden-sex game off some shelves
article @ smh.com.au

Classification withdrawn

The OFLC swiftly revoked the rating following conformation that the ‘Hot Coffee’ mod was present in the Australian version.

July 29, 2005
The Classification Board has revoked the classification of the computer game, GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS.

The game is now unclassified in Australia.

The Classification Board made this decision on the basis that it contains contentious material (activated through a code or otherwise) that was not brought to the Board’s attention when it was classified.

“Contentious material” is defined in the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 to mean “… material that would be likely to cause it to be classified … for a computer game – M or a higher classification”.

The Board found that the content unlocked by a third party “Hot coffee” modification contained material that could not be accommodated at the MA15+ classification .

Under section 21A of the Act, the Classification Board must revoke a classification if it is “of the opinion that:

(a) …a classified computer game contains contentious material (whether activated through use of a code or otherwise) that was not brought to the Board’s attention … before the classification was made; and

(b) if the Board had been aware of the material before the classification was made, it would have given the film or game a different classification.” Revocation of a classification means the computer game cannot be legally sold, hired, advertised or exhibited in Australia from the date the decision is made (29 July 2005).

“Businesses that sell or hire computer games should remove existing stocks of this game from their shelves immediately,” said Director of the OFLC, Mr Des Clark.

“Parents are strongly advised to exercise caution in allowing children continued access to the game, particularly if they might have access to the ‘Hot Coffee’ modification.”

The Classification Board originally classified GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS MA15+ with consumer advice “Medium level animated violence, Medium level coarse language” on 1 October 2004.

The Classification Board is an independent statutory body responsible for the classification of films, computer games and some publications. The Board has representatives drawn from communities across Australia.

– Classification of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas revoked
– Office of Film and Literature Classification

Distributor reaction

July 29, 2005
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) said today that Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), the Australian entity responsible for rating films and video games, has revoked the classification of GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS. As a result of this decision, the game is now unclassified in Australia, and cannot be sold, advertised or distributed in that country.

The Company stated that the OFLC decision had been expected and the financial impact will not alter the Company’s recently announced guidance.

In announcing its decision, the OFLC stated that, “the content unlocked by a third party ‘hot coffee’ modification contained material that could not be accommodated at the (prior) MA15+ classification.”

Take-Two added that the European ratings will not be affected by this decision or the recent ESRB re-rating in the U.S. The Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) has stated of the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating, “The application of the so-called ‘hot coffee mod’ to the game GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS does not change the 18+ rating this title has been granted by the PEGI administrator.”

– Take-Two Interactive Software statement

What is ‘Hot Coffee’?

August 1, 2005
The sexually-explicit content can only be unlocked by downloading and installing an unauthorised program called “Hot Coffee”.

The banned segments feature interactive sex scenes between CJ and one of his six girlfriends in the game.

In each of the scenes, which vary between the girlfriends, CJ is invited into the house after the couple have gone on a date.

In one version there is a short animated scene where CJ receives oral sex from his naked girlfriend.

The next segment is interactive. CJ starts off in the missionary position with his still-naked girlfriend. The player can control the “rhythm” and position of the sex. The better the “rhythm”, the more the excitement meter of CJ’s girlfriend rises.

If the player fails to get the right “rhythm”, the game announces that “failure to satisfy a woman is a crime” and CJ is promptly booted out onto the street. If the player gets it right, the girlfriend proposes matrimony.

For its part, the classification office says it is merely reflecting community standards.

“It’s about community standards and community attitudes,” says the office’s deputy director, Paul Hunt. “The community is concerned about drug use and sex being related to incentives and rewards. Our role is to reflect community standards, not create them.”

– Red light for auto erotica
article @ smh.com.au

Footage from the ‘Hot Coffee’ mod can be found in this YouTube clip.

MA15+ minus mod

In September 2005, a modified version, minus ‘Hot Coffee’, was passed with an MA15+ (Strong violence, Strong coarse language) rating.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) - Game Cover 2
Without ‘Hot Coffee’

The MA15+ rating was the same as what was initially awarded in October 2004. However, the consumer advice had been changed from ‘Medium level animated violence, Medium level coarse language’, to ‘Strong violence, Strong coarse language’.

This was a result of the OFLC introducing new consumer warning labels between the two submissions.

Dennis Hood’s censored highlights

A predictable protest came from the Christian Family First Party.

May 11, 2006
The Hon. D.G.E. HOOD: I express a concern about video games, such as DRIVER 2 and GRAND THEFT AUTO, which are played by many young people today. Those games portray exactly the behaviour the government is legislating against. The latter game, for instance, permits the driver to drive on the footpath, run over pedestrians and crash into other vehicles. Indeed, I am told that the strategy of the game is to get out of the vehicle before it explodes, which highlights exactly this sort of behaviour.

I believe there would be great merit in conducting a study to identify any linkage between this particular offending and the playing of such video games. Examples exist in the United States of offenders telling police (or otherwise admitting) that such computer games influenced their behaviour in this regard

– Dennis Hood (Family First), SA Legislative Council

Previously, Dennis Hood had pushed to have Vincent Gallo’s THE BROWN BUNNY (2003) banned and would later speak out against GRAND THEFT AUTO IV (2008).

The 2009 South Australian restrictions on the display of R18+ media were the result of his bill.

Complaints to OFLC

October 6, 2006
The Classification Board revoked the classification of the computer game, GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS because it contained contentious material activated by a ‘hot coffee’ modification11 that was not disclosed during the classification process. This is the first time the Classification Board exercised its power under section 21A to revoke the classification of a film or computer game found to contain contentious material not previously disclosed.

A version of the game with the undisclosed material removed was subsequently classified MA 15+.

The OFLC received 261 complaints about computer games. Of the total, 60 complaints were about the absence of an R 18+ classification for computer games. Another 86 complaints related to the revocation decision for GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS due to the inclusion of ‘hidden’ sexual content that was not disclosed at the time of its original MA 15+ classification. As a result of this decision the game became unclassified (a modified version was later submitted by the distributor and classified MA 15+ by the Classification Board).

There is some overlap between the figures quoted above as some people raised several of these issues in the one item of correspondence.

In terms of classification decisions, the revocation of the classification for the computer game GRAND THEFT: AUTO: SAN ANDREAS elicited the greatest response with 86 complaints received.

– Classification Board, Annual Report 2005-2006

10th anniversary

In November 2014, a tenth-anniversary edition of GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS was classified MA15+ (Strong violence, sexual references, drug references and coarse language).

The extended classification information described:
Strong impact: violence, language, drug use, sex
Moderate impact: themes, nudity

The game was made available for download only.

The September 2005 rating had been MA15+ (Strong violence, Strong coarse language).

Now R-rated

In August 2021, GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS – THE DEFINITIVE EDITION was classified R18+ (Sexual activity related to incentives and rewards).

The extended classification information described:
High impact: sex
Strong impact: themes, violence, language, drug use
Moderate impact: nudity

It is unclear what caused the upgrade from MA15+ to R18+.

Rockstar Games was the applicant.


Gothic 2

Publisher JoWooD Productions Software / 2003 / MobyGames

In July 2003, GOTHIC 2 was passed with an M (Medium level animated violence) rating.

Atari Australia was the applicant.

Gothic 2 (2003) - Game Cover 1
PC Cover

M-rating withdrawn

In September 2009, the Classification Board listed GOTHIC 2 as having its rating revoked. It is unclear why this was done at this particular time. An expansion pack titled GOTHIC 2: NIGHT OF THE RAVEN had been released in 2005 but was never submitted for a rating.

On the same day, Atari Australia also had the classification of DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS (2008) revoked. For more information, see the separate entry on this page.

Both were listed in the National Classification Database as ‘RECSec21’.

1995
21. Declassification of classified films or computer games that are modified

(1) Subject to subsection (2), if a classified film or a classified computer game is modified, it becomes unclassified when the modification is made.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a modification that consists of:

(a) including or removing an advertisement, other than an advertisement to which section 22 applies; or

(b) for an imported film or computer game that was in a form that cannot be modified and has subsequently been converted to a form that can be modified—removing, from the film or game, material that was advertising referred to in paragraph (f) of the definition of advertisement in section 5.

21A Revocation of classification of films or computer games that are found to contain contentious material

If the Board is of the opinion that:

Classification Part 2 Classification of publications, films and computer games Division 2 Section 22 Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 21

(a) a classified interactive film or a classified computer game contains contentious material (whether activated through use of a code or otherwise) that was not brought to the Board’s attention in accordance with subsection 14(4) or 17(2) before the classification was made; and

(b) if the Board had been aware of the material before the classification was made, it would have given the film or game a different classification; the Board must revoke the classification,

and must also revoke approval of any approved advertisement for the film or game.

-Section 21
– Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995

Dragon Ball: Origins

Publisher Atari / 2008 / MobyGames

In September 2008, DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS was passed with a PG (Mild violence) rating.

Atari Australia was the applicant.

Dragon Ball: Origins (2008) - Game Cover 1
PG-rated version

Australian recall

In January 2009, Atari was forced to recall all copies of the game in Australia due to it being incorrectly rated.

The original PG-rating of DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS was awarded under the Authorised Assessor Computer Games (AACG) scheme. This allowed an authorised person to make a classification recommendation for a game that would likely be rated G, PG, or M. The assessor’s report would then be taken into account when the Classification Board made their decision.

What was the problem?

The report from the American Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) describes a scene where a girl flashed an older man, followed by some arguing about her panties.

They go on to describe a cutscene involving a bath that has some brief, non-explicit nudity.

Rating increased from PG to M

In March 2009, DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS was rerated as M (Sexual references).

Again, Atari Australia was the applicant.

Dragon Ball: Origins (2008) - Game Cover 2
M-rated version

September 21, 2009
The Classification Board found that the Nintendo DS version of the computer game DRAGON BALL: ORIGINS, originally classified PG, contained contentious material that was not brought to the Classification Board’s attention by the applicant.

The Classification Board revoked the classification in accordance with section 21A of the Classification Act. The computer game was resubmitted for classification and classified M with consumer advice for ‘Sexual references

– Classification Board, Annual Report 2008-2009

Classification revoked

In September 2009, the Classification Board listed DRAGON BALL ORIGINS as having its rating revoked. It is unclear why this was done, although at the time Atari’s website was still advertising it as being PG-rated.

On the same day, Atari Australia also had the rating of GOTHIC 2 (2003) revoked. For more information, see the separate entry on this page.

Both were listed in the National Classification Database as ‘RECSec21’.


Dead or Alive: Dimensions

Developed by Tecmo Koei / 2011 / MobyGames

In February 2011, DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS was passed with a PG (Mild violence and Sexualised gameplay) rating.

THQ was the applicant.

Dead or Alive: Dimensions (2011) - Game Cover 1
PG-rated version

Media scare campaign

May 31, 2011
Nintendo, which began selling DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS in Australia on May 26, disputed claims that the scenes in the game constituted child porn and pointed to the Classification Board decision to give the game a PG rating.

“The game contains a wide variety of fictional characters which depict Japanese style cartoon images some of which are female fighters. This is not classified as child porn,” a Nintendo Australia spokeswoman said.

Ron Curry, chief executive of the games industry body Interactive Games & Entertainment Association, said “cultural and social factors” formed key considerations when classifying video games with “content appropriate in one country not always translating in another country”.

– Nintendo ‘child porn’ game PG in Australia
smh.com.au

Review requested

June 1, 2011
Following inquiries by The Courier-Mail, a spokesman for Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor said the Minister was concerned about the content of the game.

“The Minister has been advised that the Classification Board has asked for further information from Nintendo about the game,” the spokesman said.

In response to criticisms the game contains images akin to child porn, a Nintendo spokeswoman said: “The game contains a wide variety of fictional characters which depict Japanese style cartoon images, some of which are female fighters.”

“There is a function in the game where you can use the circle pad to move your figurines of your characters around, and take photos of them in a variety of fighting poses,” she said via email.

The spokeswoman said versions of the game in which characters were described as under 18 were not sold in Australia.

“Nowhere in the Australian version of the game are the characters listed as underage,” she said.

“Two characters’ ages are listed as N/A or ‘not known’ in their profiles.”

“Nintendo does not decide the rating for any games, the rating is determined by the Classifications Operation Branch, and for this particular game, the (Branch) has rated it PG.”

– Child porn concerns over Nintendo game, Dead or Alive: Dimensions
couriermail.com.au

June 2, 2011
A spokesman for the Australian Classification Board told The Courier-Mail the authority had given Nintendo seven days to prove why DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS shouldn’t have its rating revoked after media reports exposed the raunchy aspects of the game.

“After concerns were raised in the media, the Classification Board requested preliminary information from (Nintendo) about whether the content described in media reports was contained in the Australian version of the game,” said a spokesman for the Classification Board.

“The content in question was not specifically identified in the application considered by the Board.”

Nintendo responded to the Board’s initial inquiry but was today given seven days to argue why the rating should not be revoked.

“The Board will give due consideration to any further information provided by (Nintendo) before proceeding with any decision to revoke the PG classification,” the spokesman said.

Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor on Wednesday expressed concerns over DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS and asked the Board to investigate.

In response to criticisms the game contained inappropriate content, a Nintendo spokeswoman said: ” The game contains a wide variety of fictional characters which depict Japanese style cartoon images, some of which are female fighters.”

“Nowhere in the Australian version of the game are the characters listed as underage,” she said.

“There is a function in the game where you can use the circle pad to move your figurines of your characters around, and take photos of them in a variety of fighting poses.”

– Nintendo game Dead or Alive: Dimensions may lose PG rating
couriermail.com.au

PG withdrawn

On June 6, the Classification Board revoked the PG (Mild violence, Sexualised gameplay) rating.

June 10, 2011
The Minister for Home Affairs and Justice Brendan O’Connor welcomed the Classification Board’s decision today to revoke the classification of the computer game DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS.

This game was classified PG (Parental Guidance) on 8 February 2011 with consumer advice ‘mild violence and sexualized gameplay’.

Subsequent media reports indicated that the game might have contained content that would not be appropriate at the PG level which had not been drawn to the Board’s attention.

Last week, the Board requested preliminary information about the game from the Australian distributor, Nintendo. It disclosed that there was material in the game of a sexualised nature that would have caused the game to be given a higher classification than PG.

As a consequence, a show cause notice was issued giving the applicant seven days to advise the Board why the classification should not be revoked.

Having considered the response received, the Board today decided to revoke the classification

“The material in this game is clearly not appropriate to be played by children,” Mr O’Connor said.

“I am pleased the Classification Board took swift action to address community concerns.”

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games Act) 1995 provides for a classification decision to be revoked if the game contains contentious material that was not bought to the Board’s attention before it was classified.

This game is now unclassified and cannot be sold in Australia unless it is re-submitted for classification.

– Dead or Alive: Dimensions classification revoked
– Brendan O’Connor (Labor), Minister for Home Affairs

June 10, 2010
“This game was classified PG on 8 February 2011 with consumer advice ‘mild violence and sexualized gameplay’,” claimed a spokesperson from the Classification Board. “Information provided to the Board last week suggested that the game contained content not drawn to the Board’s attention in the original classification application.

“After considering the response to a show cause notice issued last Thursday, the Board made the revocation decision.

“DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS is now unclassified and cannot be sold in Australia unless it is re-submitted for classification.”

We also spoke to Nintendo regarding the situation. According to Nintendo the fault lies with THQ, who were initially set to distribute the game in Australia. According to a Nintendo rep, THQ did not provide “adequate information” for the initial classification.

“In relation to why DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS has had its classification revoked,” began the Nintendo rep, “THQ had already submitted the game for classification by the time we decided to take over distribution, and they hadn’t provided adequate information for the classification.

“Nintendo has now submitted a new classification. The game has not been banned, it will receive a new classification as soon as the Classification Board process the new classification.

– Nintendo blame THQ for Dead Or Alive’s classification issues
article @ kotaku.com.au

PG increased to M

Nintendo resubmitted the game, and on June 21 were awarded an M (Content may change online; Violence and sexualised gameplay) rating.

This proved that the ‘child porn’ allegations were nothing more than a media beat-up.

Dead or Alive: Dimensions (2011) - Game Cover 2
M-rated version

Why was the rating increased?

September 1, 2011
DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS is an arcade style martial arts fighting game for the Nintendo 3DS console. The game allows the player to choose from 25 different playable characters and engage in unarmed one-on-one fights in a variety of arenas.

On 8 February 2011, the Board classified DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS PG with consumer advice of ‘Mild violence and sexualised gameplay’. In late May 2011, concerns were raised by the media about certain content in the game. The content in question was not identified in the classification application considered by the Board. The Classification Act requires that the course of action that the Board must take if a game contains contentious material that was not brought to its attention at the time of classification and which would have caused the Board to make a different decision, is to revoke the classification of the game.

After consideration of a response from the applicant to a request from the Board that it show cause as to why this course of action should not be taken, the Board made the decision to revoke the PG classification of DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS on 10 June 2011. On the same date, a new application was received for the classification of the game which resulted in its subsequent M classification with consumer advice of ‘Violence and sexualised gameplay. Content may change online’.

The Classification Board received 674 complaints in 2010–11. The Board had received 1,090 complaints in 2009–10.

The computer game DEAD OR ALIVE: DIMENSIONS was the subject of five complaints. The complaints were that the PG classification for the game was too low. The PG classification of this game was subsequently revoked.

– Classification Board, Annual Report 2010-2011

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