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Saints Row IV refused classification in Australia

Ladies and gentlemen, those of you who thought the new R18+ rating for video games meant no more games would be Refused Classification in Australia, think again. The Classification Board has today announced that - even with the new rating - there is one game that is simply inappropriate for local audiences.

Saints Row IV takes home the dubious honour, with the Board referencing sexual violence and drug use as the primary offenses.

A statement from the Board reads:

In the Board’s opinion, Saints Row IV, includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context. 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.

Since the introduction of the new laws in January, the Board has classified 17 games R18+ under the new guidelines, but it seems Saints Row IV is a little too over-the-top for the Aussies.

Officially, Saints Row IV is considered to:

"depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified."

Refused Classification is not quite the same as being banned outright. Saints Row now cannot be sold in Australia, nor displayed publicly (which includes in your loungeroom if you have windows or doors open where people can see it). Buying RC titles is a notable grey area - it is not illegal to own the game, but you do risk having your international purchase confiscated.

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45 Responses to “Saints Row IV refused classification in Australia”

  1. jeremy says:

    This is actual bullshit wtf is wrong with them. They can’t review state of decay because they probably don’t like it, now this i came in thinking they brought in the R18 ratings to australia at the start of the year to actually allow more variety in this backward country but i guess not. really disappointed>:(

  2. […] PlayerAttack reports that The Australian Classification Board has said of Volition Inc’s sandbox title: […]

  3. Rob says:

    So long as i can still play my online porn flash games R18 is winning.

  4. Leon says:

    I’m confused, if they’re complaining about it being over the top? Isn’t that the point of the last two? They’re going to the point of absurdity, complete and utter absurdity.

    The game I think makes the point of being so…. I mean it has a Dubstep or WubWub gun in it. You can’t take it seriously. I think I can see a few old sci fi movies in this, couldn’t they have claimed parody material?

    People just don’t make sense.

  5. theCrazy says:

    thank god for xbox one ditching region locking o3o

  6. AJ says:

    You’d think that it would be up to the adults buying the game whether or not they feel it would be appropriate for themselves … this is ridiculous, I feel like a kid again

  7. Ken says:

    Guys, think about it for a minute. Assume that some films are so extreme in their content that we have a responsibility to restrict their sale and distribution, even to consenting adults. Examples include child pornography, extreme graphic violence (like snuff films) and racist propaganda. Now assume that games depicting the same things should be treated the same way. I don’t want interactive child porn in K-mart, neither do you.

    Read carefully the words “interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context”. That’s saying the review board found interactive depictions of rape or molestation and the game doesn’t make out like that’s a bad thing (that’s the bit about context).

    SRIV isn’t out yet, so no-one here has witnessed the ‘worst’ parts of the game. The review board has, and they made a decision. Perhaps if you play the game, you’d agree with them too. It’s not like they’re refusing classification for everything – this article points out that seventeen games this year were given R classification. That’s what we wanted. The process works. Accept that virtual sexual violence is probably crossing the line, or at least isn’t doing much for advancing games as a medium, move on.

  8. […] Stop me if you’ve heard this one before; the Australian government REALLY doesn’t like video games. The world’s smallest continent has a long-standing adversarial relationship with the video game industry by refusing to classify adult-themed titles, and it looks like the latest chapter is being written as we speak. […]

  9. dar angel says:

    i’m not going to go into any rant or such over this matter because everyone elses opinion or what they think I can agree with all I am going to say is that I HATE THIS FUCKING COUNTRY AND I AM ASHAMED TO BE AUSTRALIAN

  10. dark angel says:

    also I will add just thinking about it because I saw this comment on utube saying that if their banning this game saints row 4 then why has it not been mentioned that they will probably end up banning GTA5 as well because GTA5 pretty much involves the same similar content and aspects

  11. dark angel says:

    think about it also with mobile devices and most of the apps that are constantly coming out on these devices that are unrestricted meaning that any person of any age has access to them. I laugh at the stupidity and ignorance of this twisted contradicting arsehole of country hahahahahahahahahahahahaa

  12. […] we confirmed that Saints Row 4 has been Refused Classification in Australia – today, we can tell you why. Those of you who were expecting it to be something typically […]

  13. […] which are not justified by context,” reads a statement from Donald McDonald, acting director (via PlayerAttack). “In addition, the game includes elements of illicit or proscribed drug use related to […]

  14. Lolzified says:

    So do we need another rating ABOVE R18 now?

  15. […] fürn Arsch trifft es wohl wirklich am besten: Deep Silver, der Entwickler von Saints Row 4, hat offiziell bestätigt, dass Australien die Veröffentlichung der aktuellen Spielfassung nicht […]

  16. […] Row 4 darf in seiner ursprünglichen Fassung nicht in Australien verkauft werden. Wie die Website playerattack.com berichtet, hat die zuständige Prüfbehörde dem abgedrehten Actionspiel die Altersfreigabe […]

  17. […] an attempt to have the game cleared for release Down Under. The controversial sequel was famously Refused Classification last month – effectively banned from sale or display in Australia – due to an alien anal probe and […]

  18. […] a slightly different rationale than was given for the original verdict, with no sexual content referred to at this stage. Instead, the finding was […]

  19. […] news comes after the original game was refused classification not once but twice, with the Board citing in-game drug use and sexual content as being […]

  20. […] declaração enviada ao PlayerAttack, a organização justifica a sua decisão dizendo: “Saint’s Row IV inclui […]

  21. […] the previous release of Saints Row 4 was refused classification not once but twice back in 2013, due to in-game drug use and inappropriate sexual content. Somehow, […]

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