Mortal Kombat "Banned" in Australia – again

Even in a portable form, Mortal Kombat is still inappropriate for Australian gamers, according to the local Classification Board.

Mortal Kombat 9 Game of the Year is the brand new, revamped version of the game from NetherRealm, designed for PlayStation Vita and published locally by Warner Bros. Despite the obvious modifications since the game’s earlier release, this new handheld version is still Refused Classification, meaning it cannot be advertised, displayed or sold within Australia.

Given the 2011 Mortal Kombat was effectively banned not once but twice, it’s not really surprising that this third attempt to get the game approved has failed.

The official statement from Warner Bros explains the rationale behind the resubmission:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment submitted Mortal Kombat Vita for classification to the Australian Classification Board as we believed that the smaller screen of the PlayStation Vita greatly reduced the impact of violence.

This view was not shared by the Australian Classification Board and as such has been Refused Classification in Australia.

That said, some cynics are viewing the whole thing as an innovative advertising experiment. The price WBIE paid to have the game re-submitted to the board – while hefty – is still less than a standard full-page ad in many local gaming media, and the publicity gained by the “BANNED” headline will be far greater.

Given that the 2011 release is quite simple to acquire in Australia, even after the Board‘s decision, and the fact that Vita games aren’t region-locked, enterprising gamers who really want to get their Fatality on will probably still find a way.

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