Despite Australia's newly created R18+ rating, Saints Row IV has been refused classification by the Classification Board as a result of "interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence". The iGEA has responded to the news stating that it "must accept that there will be some video games which will fall outside the scope of the R18+ guidelines".
The statement reads as follows:
We can’t specifically comment on the Classification Board’s decision to issue Saints Row IV with a Refused Classification as we aren’t privy to the specific content of the game. Broadly speaking though, one of the key reasons an R18+ was introduced was to ensure that we strike a balance between giving adult Australians access to adult games while protecting children from inappropriate content. Under the new guidelines, we celebrate the fact that adults can now access age-appropriate games which may have otherwise been refused classification, but as we have argued, we also must accept that there will be some video games which will fall outside the scope of the R18+ guidelines. Whether we agree or not with this specific classification, it highlights that the classification system is functioning as it should and that R18+ was never meant to open the 'floodgates' for all types of content.
Overall, we remain confident that the Classification Board is applying the new guidelines as they see appropriate, but we also recognise that with any change to a system as subjective and complex as applying classification guidelines, there will always be a ‘settling in‘ period where all stakeholders strive to find an appropriate middle ground. Currently, we’re at the ‘high water’ mark where there’s a natural inclination to err on the side of caution.
We have yet to learn if the game will be resubmitted, we'll update when we any new information comes to light.