Playboy:The Mansion game clears censors

Playboy:The Mansion game clears censors
By Sarah Stokely

From The Beer Files, 15 November 2004

In a surprise ruling, Ubisoft’s latest computer game, Playboy: The Mansion has avoided the recent spate of bans by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, making it through the classification body with the highest rating possible in Australia, MA (15+).

The game had been expected to follow in the footsteps of Manhunt and Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, which have both been refused classification in the past two months, and are now unavailable for sale in Australia.

The banning of two adult-themed computer games within a week of each other cast a spotlight on the Australian games classification system which, unlike film, has no adult-only rating.

The strict classification regime in Australia is coming to grips with a maturing computer game market which has become a multi-million dollar global industry. Microsoft last week claimed its latest Xbox game release, Halo 2, would generate more revenue on its first day of release than the opening day of any Hollywood movie, inluding recent blockbuster Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

While games publishers have the option of editing games which have been refused classification, in some cases the overarching adult themes make it impractical to do so. In the case of the new Leisure Suit Larry game, refused classification on 9 September, publisher Vivendi Universal Games has said it will not seek a local release for
the game.

Ubisoft’s Playboy: The Mansion will be released on 25 November with the consumer guideline “strong sexual content, nudity and adult themes.”

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