Ubisoft's free-to-play fighting game based on Starz's original television series gets new Australian adult rating for "high-impact bloody violence". [UPDATE: Microsoft responds.]
Based on Starz Entertainment's original Spartacus television show, Spartacus Legends is a free-to-play title for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. Its R18+ classification marks the first time a digital-only title has been given an adult rating in Australia, raising questions about the methodologies in place for policing distribution of age-appropriate digital content on home consoles.
Replying to a request for comment, a spokesperson for Sony Computer Entertainment Australia (SCEA) said that both digital and disc-based games can be restricted by parental controls on the PlayStation 3.
"There are a number of parental controls in place," the spokesperson told GameSpot. "In terms of purchasing or playing online content on the PlayStation Network (PSN), at the time of account creation, you have to be over 18 to set up a PSN account. If a person is under 18, the requirement is that the parent sets up a Master Account for the PSN, and can then create a sub-account for the child. When setting up the sub-account, the sub-account holder will not be able to play any games online rated above their age."
Microsoft did not return a request for comment at the time of publication. However, the Xbox 360 does also feature parental controls.
According to Ubisoft, Spartacus Legends will let players experience the life of a gladiator, from practicing on training grounds to participating in battles in the arena. Players will be tasked with dismembering their foes, and will have thousands of weapon combinations and skill systems to use along the way.
Players will be able to fight as Spartacus, Crixus, or a user-created gladiator, and take part in fights with friends locally or via online multiplayer.
The Classification Board of Australia rated the game R18+ for "high-impact bloody violence". According to the classification listing, the game contains high-impact violence, moderate-impact themes, nudity, and language.
Spartacus Legends does not yet have a release date for Australia, but is due to be released in Q1 this year in the US.
UPDATE: Microsoft has responded to GameSpot's request for comment.
"Xbox Live can restrict content based on the user’s account details," the publisher said. "Microsoft will do this for R18+ content."
...Surprising that games like this still show up with all the talk of strapping violent-game-players with mental health treatment...I guess they think Australia is an island from ALL global influences...
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Isn't Gamespot a US based site?
I'm aware they have an AU version site, so it boggles my mind as to why this is posted on the main site.
@DAOWAce So, if something doesn't directly affect people in America, or isn't based there, then it shouldn't be shown to US users? Gamespot is a video game review and news website. This is gaming news. I don't live in Australia and I think it is great that they are finally receiving R18+ games.
Hmmm, sounds to me like they never thought of the idea that back when i was about 13, i already knew little tricks to get around such a system by lying about my date of birth, age and what not when setting up accounts like those so that i could still be granted access to adult material, lol!
Jupiter's C@ck, I hope I get to play this 18+ rated game before it gets gimped due to platform or publisher bias against 18+ rated content on PSN or XBL
I haven't seen much of the gameplay, but as a fan of both the Spartacus series and "customize/career" modes, I'm really hoping this proves to be worth the name as opposed to some cheap fighter where you roll through a couple fight stages and the game's done. I want at least SOME semblance of a storyline or choices to make.
@Stealth_Knight_ pay2win games will fail. free2play on its own is no reason for a game to flop
@chaosmonkeysI don't see how it's getting old if this is only the 2nd game to get the rating.
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Played this one on iPad half a year ago. Pretty fun while it lasts and can be finished without paying anything.
@mokalid The Walking Dead, imo, is a good TV-Show-Game..
@mokalid its the Spartacus TV show you tool
Good luck with having F2P-games on Xbox 360 with long certification times for updates, expensive updates and a point-system which forces you to pay for more than you want.
Don't get me wrong, I'm hoping it'll be great, but the above makes me think it won't be that profitable on the system.
@DarckArchon Get wider audience, get money from those that enjoy the product, get your name out to more than would have originally bought the game if it wasn't F2P, discourage piracy because F2P means everyone can access the "demo" effectively, but you lock off the complete game or the rate of unlock of the game, or purely cosmetic shit from people not willing to pay anything for your product.
@DarckArchon 80% of games are made purely to make money, not because it is what they love and pour all they have into making something people will love and enjoy.
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