The Australian Classification Board has refused to certify Syndicate, meaning it is effectively banned from Australia, due to the excessive violence in the game. Electronic Arts will not dispute the ruling, and will release the game as scheduled on the 24th February everywhere else in the world.
EA Australia released a statement regarding the ruling. The statement read, "It's regrettable that government policy in Australia is denying adults the right to play Syndicate. The game will be not be available in Australia, despite its enthusiastic response from fans. We were encouraged by the government's recent agreement to adopt an 18+ age rating for games. However, delays continue to force an arcane censorship on games--cuts that would never be imposed on books or movies. We urge policy makers to take swift action to implement an updated policy that reflects today's market and gives its millions of adult consumers the right to make their own content choices."
The violence that the Board found objectionable included such acts as enemies being "explicitly dismembered, decapitated, or bisected" by gunfire, as well as the graphic exposure of flesh and bone, along with "arterial sprays of blood (that) continue to spurt from wounds at regular intervals."
Syndicate is a first person shooter reboot of the classic 1993 game based in a dystopic future where corporate warfare has become quite literal. The game will be released next year for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.