Syndicate denied classification in Australia

The Australian Classification Board has refused classification to EA’s forthcoming ‘re-imagining’ of Syndicate as a first-person-shooter, effectively banning it from sale in the country. This is by no means the first time a game has been denied a rating in Australia, as (at present) the highest classification possible is MA15+. Other titles that have fallen foul of this include Mortal Kombat (the most recent one) and Left 4 Dead 2.
Usually, a title is re-submitted with the offending content cut out or toned down, meaning Australians have to put up with a censored version of the game or risk importing an ‘illegal’ version from abroad. At the present time, there’s no indication on the Australian Classification Board website as to why Syndicate was denied a rating.
Campaigners in the country have long been calling for an R18+ rating to be introduced for games, and this may eventually be achieved when parliament votes on proposed new guidelines in February. However, if this passes it will still be too late for Syndicate.
Syndicate is due for release in February 2012, on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. For more in-depth information about the game, have a read John’s interview with EA’s Ben O’Donnell.