Australia Bans Blitz


Australia’s rating committee denies Blitz: The League a classification.

Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) has denied classifying Midway’s Blitz: The League due to in-game drug use, forcing retail stores to ban the title from their shelves. This is in accordance with the Australian Computer Games Table of the National Classification Code, where titles that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults” will be denied a rating.

The OFLC statement reads, “In the course of the game, the player may access what are purported to be both legal and illegal performance-enhancing drugs for the members of the team. Choosing to use these drugs (by selecting from a menu) will have both negative and positive effects on team-members, for example, by improving their speed while making them more susceptible to injury. Each drug has different characteristics. Fake urine samples may also be acquired for avoiding positive drug tests. While the game-player can choose not to use the drugs, in the Board’s majority view there is an incentive to use them. By using them judiciously, the player can improve the performance of the football team (while managing the negative effects) and have a better chance of winning games, thereby winning bets and climbing the league table.”

Ivone Bozzi, marketing manager on Blitz, responded, “At this stage we haven’t decided if we are going to go ahead and appeal it. Quite a shame, as we did get some fantastic feedback from retail. It was unfortunately one of those games that are touch-and-go.”

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