Unfortunately, today Acting Director of the Australian Classification Board (ABC) Mr. Donald McDonald (no, that’s his name…) announced that Saints Row IV had been refused classification under the new laws. According to the media release, the primary reason for the refusal was sexual violence
“In the Board’s opinion, Saints Row IV, includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context,” a press release explained. “In addition, the game includes elements of illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards. Such depictions are prohibited by the computer games guidelines.”
It’s interesting to note that Saints Row the Third had the same incentives and themes in the game but was given an MA15+. While that rating was given under a system that didn’t have an R18+ classification, I can’t imagine that Volition have come up with anything more crazy than letting me run around hitting people with a purple dildo the size of a baseball bat.
Volition are yet to comment but I’ll be sure to update this post once they do.
EDIT: (Via OXM)
“Volition, the developer, are reworking some of the code to create a version of the game for this territory by removing the content which could cause offence without reducing the outlandish gameplay that Saints Row fans know and love. Saints Row IV has been awarded PEGI 18 and ESRB M ratings where fans can enjoy their time in Steelport as originally intended.”
We’re back to square one. Volition now have to re-write their code and appeal to the ACB for Saints Row IV to be sold in Australia. While the rest of the western world is playing an uncensored copy of the game, Australia could very well be stuck playing a watered down copy to appease the ratings board. Am I the only one who feels like the R18+ thing hasn’t worked?