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.