[img_big]center,7921,2011-07-22/harbor_sandman.jpg,Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3[/img_big]
Almost exactly two years ago, the Classification Board handed down a decision on a game called Bloodhunt, noting that it contained “strong violence”. At the time, nobody had heard of this new game, and fans around the world crossed their fingers in anticipation of a new, strongly violent IP.
Still, nobody was really disappointed when, a month later, the Board received an application to officially change the title of the game from Bloodhunt to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Now, games are submitted to various classification and censorship boards under false names on an increasingly frequent basis (see: 000A and Stamacsta). Sometimes, this is because the game has not been officially announced yet. But Modern Warfare 2 had been revealed back in February 2009, some seven months before the game was submitted to the Board.
The other reason games are covertly classified – particularly in countries with strict censorship such as Australia – is when the publisher or developer believes they have a reason to be concerned. Perhaps, as in the case of Duke Nukem Forever, the game is packed with adult content. Alternatively, as we saw with Rise of Nightmares, there are prevalent horror elements that might tip the scales.
As Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t contain particularly adult content, and is pretty light when it comes to horror themes, the primary remaining cause for concern is violence.
It’s pretty safe to conclude that Bloodhunt was submitted to the Board under a false name in the hopes that Activision could avoid the inevitable drama if it was considered unsuitable for Australian audiences.
…so why were there no such apparent safeguards in place for this new game? Is the Australian Classification Board perceived to be more relaxed in its censorship, two years down the track? Is Activision prepared to take a greater risk? Or is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 simply less violent than its predecessor?
[img_big]center,7921,2011-07-22/mw3_4.jpg,Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3[/img_big]
Whatever the reason, the game’s been approved for Australian audiences, meaning Aussie gamers can join in the fun when MW3 launches around the world, starting November 8th.
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