Following the original report from February 24th; Mortal Kombat has again been officially refused classification in Australia. An unaltered version of the game was resubmitted by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment in an effort to subvert a new decision, but the appeal proved unsuccessful, rejected under the original assessment concerning the games realistic violence and gore.

The decision reached by the Australian Classification Board comes amidst on-going pressures to resolve the nation's lack of an adult R18+ rating for video games, which forces the refusal and effective ban of games deemed unsuitable for an MA15+ audience. The flaw, unique to video games, has seen the controversial ban of many popular titles before Mortal Kombat, including widely publicized bans of Grand Theft Auto III, Left 4 Dead 2, and Alien vs Predator, the latter being an example of a successful appeals process, ultimately released with an MA15+ warning of "strong science-fiction violence."

Unlike the United States' self-regulating Electronic Software Rating Board (ESRB); the ACB is a statutory classification body with government powers. GameSpot AU reports Australian gamers intending to circumvent the ban with international imports can expect tough penalties, with fines ranging from $300 to over $100,000. When asked by the site, a representative of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service [website] confirmed they would be on alert for illegally imported games.

Customs and Border Protection works closely with Attorney General’s Department to identify imported games that are banned in Australia. This includes games purchased over the Internet from foreign websites. Attorney General’s Department regularly updates Customs and Border Protection about classification decisions on publications, films, and computer games, including the reclassification of material, and about different versions of computer games (some of which may be refused classification), and how to identify those versions at the border. This information is then used to assist in identifying and seizing banned versions of games.

Any copies of the games detected at the border, including via international mail, will be seized.

Austraila's harsh penalties are a contrast to German law, which prohibits the sale of banned items, but allows private possession of said goods. In the nineties, Germany banned Mortal Kombat as well as it's two sequels [MKII (1993), MK3 (1995)], with rumors now circulating the 2011 release will be added to the list. No confirmation of a ban has been reported yet by reputable sources, but Mortal Kombat Online is following the story.

Update: ABC News are reporting quotes from Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor, who laments the necessity to resolve Australia's video game ratings situation. His comments suggest a pressure situation building between lagging State Attorney-Generals and the Federal Government, who will intervene in the reevaluation of the ratings system if needed. Minister O'Connor stresses a hope to see a consensus reached by July, but appears to be anticipating an increased involvement in the issue.

We're becoming the laughing stock of the developed world, where we're the only country that doesn't have an R18 classification level for video games.

I foreshadow that if there is not a consensus around this issue, the Commonwealth will certainly be considering other options because we cannot continue to have an outdated classification system that's actually, in my view, causing harm to young people.

I'm not going to let this matter end because it's too important to allow one or two jurisdictions to stop the majority of jurisdictions in this country moving on an important reform. But can I say my very strong preference is to have consensus around the table in July.

Overdue action will come too late to see Mortal Kombat receive it's intended release in the country, but will be a welcome change for gamers who have seen the issue becoming increasingly prevelant over recent years.

For a complete account of the original Australian ban with images of leaked documents, follow the story on MKO. For the United States, Mortal Kombat is released April 19 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with an April 21 date for Europe. To articulate your disappointment intelligently, you can contact the ACB using feedback features on their website.