Australia’s R18+ debate rages on, bolstered by Aliens vs. Predator’s successful appeal

In the wake of the Australian government’s decision to let the public weigh in on an R18+ rating for videogames, Sega has won their appeal to overturn the OFLC’s ruling on Aliens vs. Predator, which was recently refused classification due to its graphic, gory and absolutely glorious zero gravity violence.

Developer Rebellion said they would not tone down violence “for territories where adults are not considered by their governments to be able to make their own entertainment choices.” And in keeping with their bold promise, they’ve announced that their spine-ripping, tail-impaling, jaw-shattering blood bath will be classified MA15+, released without any revisions or removal of content. Not only is it a big win for Sega, but for Australian gamers, who will finally get to play the same non-neutered version of a videogame as the rest of the free world.

Though this settles the Aliens vs. Predator debate, the country’s antiquated ratings system is still in question. Australia currently lacks the equivalent of an M rating for videogames, with classification capping at MA15+, meaning any titles containing graphic content not deemed suitable for the pre-Sweet Sixteen crowd are denied a rating, effectively banning them from release in the region. Despite Attorney General Michael Atkinson’s assertion that “only a vocal minority of gamers want the rating,” the R18+ rating is being widely and vocally supported by the gaming community.

A decision won’t be reached until sometime after February 28, 2010, when the government stops accepting submissions from the public, but we’ve got a good feeling that the approval process for Aliens vs. Predator 2 will go a lot smoother.