Breaking: Saints Row IV Has Been Refused Classification

Count this as a headline I never thought I'd have to write again, but Saints Row IV has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board.

"The Acting Director of the Classification Board, Mr Donald McDonald announced today that Saints Row IV was the first computer game in Australia to be Refused Classification under the Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games that commenced on 1 January 2013," read a statement posted on the Classification Board's website.

According to the board, the rating was a result of 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."

To be perfectly honest, I didn't think we would ever be in this position again. Despite Australia being in possession of a full R18+ rating a game that will be available in other territories will not be available in Australia.

We've gotten in contact with the local Australian representatives for Saints Row IV and will update when we learn more.

UPDATE: Head here for the iGEA's response.

UPDATE 2: Deep Silver is planning to resubmit a modified version of Saints Row IV.

Via AusVGClassifications


Comments

    I'm just unnerved that the Australian Classification website still refers to everything as a 'computer game' and not just 'video game' like everyone else has for ages.

    Fuck you Australian Classification Board, fuck you and your bullshit lies. We should start some NODRM style movements over this bullshit. I don't play the Saints Row games, but the idea of the R18+ rating was so that this never happens again.

      I don't play the Saints Row games, but the idea of the R18+ rating was so that this never happens again.
      Uh, no it wasn't. Maybe it was YOUR idea.

        Yet still why he supported it and why he's angry now.

          Maybe he should have done a little more reading?

    *sigh* welp, guess I'm going to be pirating yet another game. Thanks ACB, you are really helping me save my money and hurting the game industry.

      The fact you go straight to pirating rather than considering other, legitimate ways to obtain the game shows just how entitled you are.

    So the new Saint's Row is banned. Perfect.

    First they tell us they'll introduce a rating system for games with an R18 rating and things will change for the better with it. Then when the system comes in, and other than the color of the label, it's no different to the old system. Adult gamers continue to be treated like children.

    Sigh. Back to torrenting and importing we go. This whole screwed up situation can only be fixed with generational change, like I've always said.

    At least this happened before the election, and this close to the election. Now they'll have to face the music for giving gamers an ice cream, then snatching it back after they say "Oh cool, you're forgiven, I'll vote for you!" Rather sitting smugly for another term after stabbing more people in the back, safe in the knowledge that the public will likely forget about it before the next one, they're going to cop a hiding from us and others we can get on board. Vote LDP people, they will fix our horridly flawed "classification" system.

    Didn't we introduce 18+ for a reason? So that people over that age could access the game no matter the content. It kind of defeats the purpose of having an 18+ in the first place. Countries that also have 18+ will be getting the full game but our classification board F**ks us over. God damn it, give us full games please! We've waited long enough!

      it's not "no matter the content" there are caveats to this in the legislation, and the ACB still has has discretion to RC something if they feel it doesn't comply. if *they* feel...there in lies the issue.

    Damn, there goes my pre-order of 'Human Centipede the Game'

    "interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence "
    'interactive'
    'implied'
    wat

    I'm also starting to dread Metal Gear Solid V's fate now.

    Last edited 26/06/13 7:47 am

      That's got all kinds of intricate, convoluted context to justify some messed up things. But will the ACB be willing and/or able to understand this context?

    When I was younger, this sounded like a valid argument to me. Now that I am older, I realise how silly it is. You make it sound like it's a simple formality to just choose where you want to live in the world, and then just go and live there. Not the case at all.

    It also encourages people into apathy. When the laws suck, don't challenge them... just leave?

    No-one should be surprised by this. If anyone actually bothered to pay attention when the R18 rating was implemented, it was implemented to increase the tolerance for violence. The rules on drugs and sex in video games never changed.

    I'm not defending the censorship, I'm simply stating the system is still working as it's designed... It's just unfortunate no-one actually payed attention to what the R18 guidelines were and they seem to think it's broken.

      The funny thing is that you can walk down to the seedier side of town, and for the price of a video game, you can get your IRL sex and drug kicks without the interference from you local neighbourhood censor.

        True, but at the same time you open yourself up to the risk of an STI and an OD, as well as potentially a problem with law enforcement because the hooker crack dealer was part of a sting.

        Your justification makes no sense, if you want to play real life like a video game go right ahead, let's see how far you get before you try to respawn.

        Last edited 26/06/13 8:46 am

          So the drugs are a bad example (being illegal and all), but the sex industry is legal, and people will pay for some really dodgy stuff. This kind of thing is also featured in movies and novels etc, but you don't see those censored like games. The rating means dick, games are still for kids in the censors eyes.

            Yes, the rating does mean dick... And that was my original point.

            People saw "R18" as a "we won, we get adult games"... No, that was never the case. The gamers got their win and actually failed to care about the specifics. The specifics stated there would be no change to use of drugs and sex in video games. The R18 rating has a clearly defined set of guidelines that only accomodate for the use of high impact violence.

            A link from this very site in September last year: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/09/read-the-new-r18-guidelines-and-prepare-for-disappointment/
            And it looks as though some games that were banned previously in Australia, without an R18+ rating, would most likely be banned under the new R18+ rating. Particularly with relation to in-game drug use.

            Computer games will be Refused Classification if they contain:
            (i) illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards;
            (ii) interactive drug use which is detailed and realistic.

            Hence my point... No-one should be surprised by this.

              Very true. I lost the point mid-rant there somewhere. I need more coffee. :D

              Ultimately the classification system needs to be consistent across all mediums, but the chances of that happening are slim.

                I've sent an email to Mark, he needs to do an article reminding people of this. Everyone thinks the R18 rating has failed them, it has not... it has still worked exactly as it was designed... If people want drugs and sex in video games, they need to fight for that too.

    By doing this they've just increased sales for this game 10 fold.

    It remind me of when Manhunt was banned. I had no interest in that game before it was banned but had to have it once it was banned from sale.

    Saint's Row 4 will be coming to my house.

    Australia can't do anything right. What a fucking disgrace. I'll import.

    "visual depictions of implied sexual violence" I bet its one of two things. Ether its a over sized "novelty massage wand" used as a weapon, or, and more likely, it involves the aliens, probes, and the buttocks.

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