The continued lack of an R18+ rating for video games will cost the local industry dearly in both its legitimacy and on the balance sheet, according to a local developer.
Nnooo is a small, Sydney-based developer that specialises in digitally-distributed games and software for Nintendo consoles and the iPhone.
In an open letter to the Attorney-General of South Australia, Michael Atkinson, who continually opposed the introduction of an R18+ rating, Nnooo creative director, Nic Watt, said he was disappointed there was not yet an adult’s only rating.
“It appears, to me, to be somewhat contradictory to allow both television and film to be rated against a wider range of ratings than video games are,” Watt said in the letter.
The lack of such a rating was taking a heavy toll on the industry, Watt argues in the letter. He cited losses from shipping costs, retail income, GST and marketing.
Australia’s increasing isolation in the global community - most other developed nations allow R18+ or equivalent games - could mean Australian games developers are eventually marginalised by international publishers who consider Australia a backwater with 1970s attitudes, Watt said.
He encouraged the public to take advantage of The Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Brendan O’Connor’s efforts to get public opinion with the discussion paper, titled Should the Australian National Classification Scheme Include An 18+ Classification Category For Computer Games?.
All of Australia's attorney-generals need to consent to a new rating.