Kingdom Hearts III rated PG by the Australian Classification Board



The Australian Classification Board, a government body responsible for the classification and censorship of films, video games and publications in Australia, has given Kingdom Hearts III a PG rating for mild themes and fantasy violence.

You can find the full report here.

Last month, Kingdom Hearts III was given an ESRB rating of E10+, which stands for everyone of (and above) the age of 10, with alcohol reference and fantasy violence. ESRB have not published further rating information on this title yet.

Kingdom Hearts III will release in Australia and the West on January 29, 2019.

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5 hours ago, ienzo628 said:

I would have loved to see Sora in a Rated T Kingdom Hearts game.  lol

Yeah I was kinda hoping for it honestly..

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13 minutes ago, Fullmetal Keyblade said:

Yeah I was kinda hoping for it honestly..

It's kind of hard to pull that off with the Disney properties though.  I can see them pulling that with Pirates of the Caribbean or the Black Cauldron though.

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31 minutes ago, ienzo628 said:

It's kind of hard to pull that off with the Disney properties though.  I can see them pulling that with Pirates of the Caribbean or the Black Cauldron though.

Admittedly, I'm none too familiar with the rating criteria in each country but considering that it will likely be rated USK 12 here, that's not so far from T...

Though to be honest, apart from it being difficult as a Disney property, it's also something that might be bad for KH. The franchise will need to reel in new gamers and due to Disney and its general themes, the franchise also targets children as potential players. By making a game inaccessible to them and only for ages 13 and up, they could miss out on some profit to be made. They will need the younger generation because if they want to continue the series, some people might not be interested anymore. After all, it's 16 years old and doesn't need to cater to only the older fans.

I also don't really see a reason to change the rating to T to be honest. Kingdom Hearts is the prime example of a game that can have a compelling story without needing to resort to themes and visuals that fall under the T category and shows that a game can still have some level of profoundness despite being available to a wide audience. 

I mean, Sora stabbed himself in the first game. There's not really much of a need to go further in terms of violence because they will use whatever they can.

I also think it might lose some of its charm with a different rating. Not necessarily of course but if they try to make it too mature and adjust too much to older fans wanting the dark, gloomy and often superficial themes, it might not be what people love about it anymore.

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27 minutes ago, Merilly said:

Admittedly, I'm none too familiar with the rating criteria in each country but considering that it will likely be rated USK 12 here, that's not so far from T...

Though to be honest, apart from it being difficult as a Disney property, it's also something that might be bad for KH. The franchise will need to reel in new gamers and due to Disney and its general themes, the franchise also targets children as potential players. By making a game inaccessible to them and only for ages 13 and up, they could miss out on some profit to be made. They will need the younger generation because if they want to continue the series, some people might not be interested anymore. After all, it's 16 years old and doesn't need to cater to only the older fans.

I also don't really see a reason to change the rating to T to be honest. Kingdom Hearts is the prime example of a game that can have a compelling story without needing to resort to themes and visuals that fall under the T category and shows that a game can still have some level of profoundness despite being available to a wide audience. 

I mean, Sora stabbed himself in the first game. There's not really much of a need to go further in terms of violence because they will use whatever they can.

I also think it might lose some of its charm with a different rating. Not necessarily of course but if they try to make it too mature and adjust too much to older fans wanting the dark, gloomy and often superficial themes, it might not be what people love about it anymore.

Yeah, I guess so.  There might be some censorship issues.  Sora stabbing himself is okay but why did they censor the word that Jiminy called the boys that got turned into donkeys? 

The Black Cauldron was also censored since there were some clips removed like a guy decomposing and another being murdered by the Horn King's Cauldron Born was edited out.  The Black Cauldron has been labeled one of Disney's grimmest movies.  Pirates of the Caribbean has other issues as well.  Maybe, the PG rating is okay since it invites both kids and teens.  I just wonder if Kingdom Hearts has a hard time balancing the ratings.

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46 minutes ago, ienzo628 said:

Yeah, I guess so.  There might be some censorship issues.  Sora stabbing himself is okay but why did they censor the word that Jiminy called the boys that got turned into donkeys? 

The Black Cauldron was also censored since there were some clips removed like a guy decomposing and another being murdered by the Horn King's Cauldron Born was edited out.  The Black Cauldron has been labeled one of Disney's grimmest movies.  Pirates of the Caribbean has other issues as well.  Maybe, the PG rating is okay since it invites both kids and teens.  I just wonder if Kingdom Hearts has a hard time balancing the ratings.

True... Censorship is something that doesn't always make sense as well how things are rated. Sometimes one can't help but wonder why one thing is okay but another, which feels subjectively more harmless, is not. Apart from cultural differences or course. (For example, it's not that problematic apparently to show underwear in JP with certain ratings, like it was done for Kairi in KH2, but here it's censored, especially when minors are concerned. That's something understandable in my opinion and where censorship is necessary.)

They also seem to be much more negligent toward psychological themes than alcohol, drugs, etc. Otherwise I can't imagine why Fatal Frame received the rating it did. 

I also find censoring to be problematic if it's done too excessively. Editing out minor amounts of blood for example is not very educational but an annoyancs at most. But if you have to remove so much that nothing is left of the source material, it might be better to change the rating instead. Good example of that would be that they showed Kingsman at a time where children also watch TV and had to cut so much that you couldn't really understand what was going on anymore. (I knew because I watched the uncut version before.) In this case it might have been better to not show it at all at such a time.

It's hard to tell whether they have a hard time but I'm sure that Disney has an eye on that. Nomura may have said that, at least before KH3, they've given him a lot of freedom but I'm sure they were watching out for the rating. I'd imagine that bigger companies mostly know what they can and can't do, except for those decisions from the rating agencies where you really think "why?". Especially now where KH3 will likely get the same rating as recent FF titles in Germany, I don't believe Square has any issues with balancing it anymore. 

Though I am glad that it was never a game suited for all audiences. I fear that they couldn't have done a lot with that. Especially Nintendo as a publisher is very strict about keeping some of their franchises extremely child-friendly on the surface which unfortunately often hinders any plot at all. Just look at most Pokemon games for example. It's not that they don't have potential but it's all really watered down so everyone can play it.

I don't think KH needs to aim for the T rating but it should neither become less than it's now.

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39 minutes ago, Merilly said:

True... Censorship is something that doesn't always make sense as well how things are rated. Sometimes one can't help but wonder why one thing is okay but another, which feels subjectively more harmless, is not. Apart from cultural differences or course. (For example, it's not that problematic apparently to show underwear in JP with certain ratings, like it was done for Kairi in KH2, but here it's censored, especially when minors are concerned. That's something understandable in my opinion and where censorship is necessary.)

They also seem to be much more negligent toward psychological themes than alcohol, drugs, etc. Otherwise I can't imagine why Fatal Frame received the rating it did. 

I also find censoring to be problematic if it's done too excessively. Editing out minor amounts of blood for example is not very educational but an annoyancs at most. But if you have to remove so much that nothing is left of the source material, it might be better to change the rating instead. Good example of that would be that they showed Kingsman at a time where children also watch TV and had to cut so much that you couldn't really understand what was going on anymore. (I knew because I watched the uncut version before.) In this case it might have been better to not show it at all at such a time.

It's hard to tell whether they have a hard time but I'm sure that Disney has an eye on that. Nomura may have said that, at least before KH3, they've given him a lot of freedom but I'm sure they were watching out for the rating. I'd imagine that bigger companies mostly know what they can and can't do, except for those decisions from the rating agencies where you really think "why?". Especially now where KH3 will likely get the same rating as recent FF titles in Germany, I don't believe Square has any issues with balancing it anymore. 

Though I am glad that it was never a game suited for all audiences. I fear that they couldn't have done a lot with that. Especially Nintendo as a publisher is very strict about keeping some of their franchises extremely child-friendly on the surface which unfortunately often hinders any plot at all. Just look at most Pokemon games for example. It's not that they don't have potential but it's all really watered down so everyone can play it.

I don't think KH needs to aim for the T rating but it should neither become less than it's now.

Yeah, exactly.  We're kind of funny when it comes to censorship as well, especially when it comes to swearing.  Does the Japanese edition of Dream Drop Distance allow swearing like with the example I used for Jiminy Cricket at Prankster's Paradise?

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