19 Jun

After years of debate, the Australian Federal Parliament has approved legislation that will allow the Australian Ratings Board, the OLFC, to introduce an “R18+” rating for video games. More details are included after the jump.

News.com.au reports that the new rating, which is set to be introduced on January 1st, 2013, will complement the current “M15+” and allow the OLFC to distinguish between content that might be considered Mature or Adults-Only. In the past, this lack of distinction has lead to games being denied a rating, effectively preventing the game from being released in the territory, or inadvertently made certain games available to younger audiences than was intended.

It has been over a year since the ratings agency itself signaled lawmakers that such an “R18+” rating would be needed to provide proper distinction between the types of content, but the Board is now free to set its own criteria for deciding what content will warrant an “R18+” rating.