On January 1, 2013, the new R18+ video game classification came into effect in Australia. The R18+ classification fills a gap in the Australian video game maturity classification, that previously maxed out at the MA15+ rating. When Left4Dead 2 was released in 2009, it received the MA15+ rating for its level of violence and as a result, had to be censored. In-game decapitation, injuries and corpses of zombies in the game were removed in the Australian version of Left4Dead 2 (as well as the German version) across all gaming platforms.
There was an outcry by Australian gamers at the time and more than 3 years later, players are still unhappy that zombies ‘fade away’ instantly after being killed and claim that this detracts from the game experience. In one of the many threads bugging Valve if there were any plans for the game after the new R18+ rating was put into effect, Valve’s game writer Chet Faliszek replied and hinted at the possibility of an uncensored Left4Dead 2 for PC being introduced in Australia (which just about the rest of the world has had since 2009).
In his post, he wrote:
“No need to flood us with emails. We have been exploring the options here and what we can legally do. We will have more information on this when we understand the issues fully and how we are moving forward but don’t worry any cost associated with it doesn’t worry us, this is something we want to do.”
This is huge news in the gaming industry, with an ongoing huge controversy on the other side of the world, in the USA, regarding the violent content of video games and whether action should be taken to either curb or tax violent video games.