The Australian Classification Board had effectively placed a ban on the upcoming fighter title Mortal Kombat from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on the 25th of February when it refused to grant the game a certificate rating and thus essentially banned the distribution and sale of the game in Australia. An appeal was immediately launched by the producers Warner Bros., however, it was looking increasingly more unlikely that it would be of any help to them. It has recently been confirmed by the company that the appeal they filed to the Classification Review Board has been unsuccessful and the original decision to refuse classification has been upheld by the court. This has serious implications for all gamers in Australia as well as Warner Bros. as the widely anticipated title will not be available legally in the country.
In a statement to the media today, WBIE said that they were very disappointed by the verdict of the court which upheld the original decision while they thanked the hundreds and thousands of fans of the franchise in Australia and all over the world who supported this appeal and voiced their appeals in favor of the company at the time.
The original ruling of the Classification Board rules that this newer edition of the popular gaming franchise included scenes of explicit violence which included dismemberment of body parts and blood spray during the fatality moves of the characters in the game. These were not deemed appropriate to be accommodated under the MA15+ guidelines of video game content which is the maximum content rating in Australia. The absence of the R18+ ratings in the country means that the games which fall above the previous MA15+ ratings are automatically restricted from being launched into the market which effectively places a countrywide ban on those titles.