Saints Row IV refused classification in Australia, a first for new ratings guidelines

Patrick Carlson at

The upcoming Saints Row IV has been "refused classification" in Australia today, effectively banning it from release, according to a press release from the Classification Board of the Australian government.

Saints Row IV is the first game to be refused classification in Australia since the adoption of new guidelines that have been in place since the beginning of the year. According to the Classification Board, Saints Row IV "includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context." The report also cites "elements of illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards" as a prohibited feature.

The new guidelines established a ratings category for "adult" games for the first time in Australia. Since the start of 2013, 17 games have received the adult rating of 18+, according to the Classification Board.

Saints Row developer Volition is planning to alter the content in the game in order to find release in Australia, according to a report at PCGamesN. “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,” publisher Deep Silver announced.

Deep Silver also pointed out that Saints Row IV had received an equivalent "18" rating in other countries without altering the game content.

Saints Row IV is another irreverent take on the open-world game, now expected to have new modding possibilities on the PC. It appears with today's news it has achieved another, less welcome, first for the series.

Hat tip, Gamasutra