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Report: Australia Ratings Board Relents On F.E.A.R.

Following an appeal from publisher Warner Bros., Australia's Classification Board revised its decision to refuse classification for horror-themed first-person shooter F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, unanimously deciding that the title falls under the M
Following an appeal from publisher Warner Bros., Australia's Classification Board revised its RC (Refused Classification) classification for horror-themed first-person shooter F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, unanimously deciding that the title falls under the MA 15+ classification for its violence, gore, and language. No changes were made to the game since it was refused classification and prevented from future sale last month, so the content that the board originally deemed inappropriate for Australian audiences remains in the now-approved title. "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 acting classification Review Board convenor Trevor Griffin. The Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), Australia's media ratings board, does not currently employ a rating above MA15+ for video games, which restricts titles to users age 15 and older. Games leaning towards adult content with violence and sexual content are effectively banned from sale. Several attempts have been made to introduce a R18+ rating for games, so far without any success. Just in 2008, the board has refused classification for four titles (not counting F.E.A.R. 2) -- Shellshock 2: Blood Trails, Dark Sector, Fallout 3, and Silent Hill: Homecoming. All of the titles have been adjusted or will be adjusted to fall under the MA15+ rating. Developed by Monolith Productions, F.E.A.R. 2 will release for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in the U.S., Europe, and Australia in February 2009. "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," says a spokesman for Warner Bros, according to a report from Australian game site GamesOnNet. "We always believed in the merits of the game as an MA15+ title, and we went in and argued the game on its merits. We're really really pleased that they came up with the decision that they did."

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