The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association has heavily criticised the classification review brought about by South Australian Attorney-General John Rau.
Rau has called for the MA15+ classification of 12 games, all released in 2013, to be reviewed because all 12 titles received higher classification ratings overseas.
In a statement, iGEA CEO Ron Curry said, “Most people don’t realise that before a video game lands on a store shelf, it has already been rigorously examined against a set of guidelines set out by our Government. In fact, Australia is one of the few developed nations to have classification guidelines determined by Government.
“Not only have these games already been examined against stringent guidelines, we also haven’t heard of any formal complaints made by parents or adults who think the video games are wrongly classified. The review is an unwarranted and costly exercise to satisfy a vocal yet unrepresentative minority.”
Curry suggests that Rau’s move was made “under the guidance” of the conservative lobby group Australian Council on Children and the Media.
“The video games were singled out as they received different ratings in Australia compared to the ratings received in the US and Europe, but we need to realise each classification scheme is structured differently and takes into account cultural differences. When compared to New Zealand, most of these titles received comparable classifications,” Curry said.
“In addition, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in the US does not have an equivalent to Australia’s MA15+ rating. Any game that is considered to be for a mature teen will automatically receive a ‘Mature 17+ rating. For all titles requiring review, none have received the highest classification in the US, their AO (18+ only) determination.”
The iGEA estimated the cost of the review would be approximately $336,000 based on the average review cost of $28,000 per title.