Australia’s Classification Board has deemed Saints Row IV too inappropriate for its R18+ rating today, and has refused to classify the game. The game will not be available for sale at any Australian retailer unless Deep Silver rights the wrongs.
Originally, the game was slated for an August 22 release in Australia. According to PlayerAttack, the R18+ rating has only arrived in Australia this year, finally allowing games to be rated as “high impact” on a standard Western scale. And yet, even this new rating couldn’t encompass the latest title in the Saints Row series.
In an official statement, the Board says:
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 its conception in January 2013, 17 games have been classified as R18+, a rating that requires a buyer to show proof of age upon purchase. It appears this particular installment in the series is considered too grisly for even mature, adult Australian audiences.
The Board’s statement further accuses Saints Row IV of indecently portraying sex, drugs, crime and violence, saying that the game fails to meet “the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults” and thus should not be classified.
Fortunately, all is not lost for eager fans of the series. If a game is refused classification, that does not entirely mean it is banned. It is simply not sold, nor can it appear anywhere in public. Online orders from overseas retailers have been substituting for this problem for a while now.
Saints Row IV is set to release in North America on August 20, 2013 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.