Watch Dogs Has Been Reclassified To R18+, But Ubisoft Won't Let Us See The Report

In September 2013 Watch Dogs was classified at MA15+ by the Australian Classification Board but now, after the extended delay, Ubisoft has paid the board to reclassify the game and the classification has been changed to R18+.

Why? At this point in time we only have the information on the Classification Board's website to go on. It seems like Watch Dogs has been changed to R18+ as a result of 'high impact' violence. This might be a result of additional content, or it could be inconsistency on the Board's part. At this point we simply don't know.

We don't know because Ubisoft has asked the Classification Board to withhold releasing the report until 17 March for "commercial reasons".

We also got in contact with Ubisoft locally regarding the change in classification, and we hope to have additional information, in the form of an official statement, overnight.

Commercial reasons could mean that the violent content is related to something new Ubisoft wants to roll out in a more controlled PR driven manner. It could be related to some sort of plot spoiler. Nevertheless, we won't know until Ubisoft tell us, or until 17 March when the report is made available.

Thanks AusVGClassification


    perhaps there's one mission involving incidental drug use...?

      That would bring the banhammer, no snorting alien narcotics from light globes in virtual reality thanks.

        No it wouldn't.

        If it's just got the use of drugs there's nothing wrong with it. As long as you don't get a benifit from them. Drug themes/ usage might earn the game a R rating though.

      "has been changed to R18+ as a result of high impact violence" - drug use (if there is any) still appears to fall beneath the R rating.

        Its not the use that is the problem but ANY benefit what so fucking ever. As if me getting a health boost (feel less pain) or a reaction increase from meth/speed is doing to make us all hit the daelers like school children after fairy floss at a fair.

        It really is the most asinine rule i think I've ever seen, this damn nation has too many dinosaurs with opinions so out dated the first single cel organisms are laughing at them.

          Oh, agreed there - just saying that this change in particular seems to be as a result of violence and implied sexual violence.

    March 17th seems an odd day. The game isn't due for another few months (assuming this release date can be trusted) isn't it?

      You don't want them Russian an un Polish-ed and un Finish-ed product. Erurope-ing it will come out soon thought. But Jamaican me think that Norway will Ubisoft delay it again!

        Bravo. Have this puncil.

          Yay! *munches on puncil*

          *nom* *nom* *nom*

          Last edited 12/03/14 2:59 pm

      That's a very interesting point. Current release is 27 May...

      Perhaps they've got trailers / promo stuff planned by then that this will spoil.

    yeah... only reason a company would withhold the full report is that any description of the R18 content would be considered a story-related spoiler.
    PEGI even say that on their website.

    so yeah... fair enough.

    Last edited 12/03/14 2:26 pm

    It says "modified" on the classification but why do i get the feeling that we are going to get a watered down, pre-censored version.

      Considering the violence impact and sexual impact both increased from the original rating, this seems unlikely.

        Did you take into consideration that this is the AUSTRALIAN classification board we're talking about?

      The "modified" status refers to the classification registration - it was previously MA, has been modified to R. Does not mean we're getting a modified version of the game.

        I understand that but i was saying that i wouldn't be surprised that Ubisoft has resubmitted a censored version as a just in case it doesn't pass.

        But i do doubt that the classification board would have an issue this game.

          It already got classified last year. Are you saying they submitted a 'second' version which didn't get a classification until today?

          "commercial reasons" might be the fact that the product will do shit if they announce its watered down before everyone buys it, hell look at south park.

    I'm ok with this. I am an adult who believes games rated R should only be brought by adults and by that knowledge that I am buying a game not suited to people under the age of 18 means they shouldn't be cutting out content in games because the Australian Classification Board say it's too adult even though I AM an adult. This is pointed at South Park of course. /Rant over/

      FFS - the scene that was cut out was a depiction of a child getting raped - it actually legally constitutes child porn. The South Park game is the wrong moral high horse to be getting on, censorship-wise.

        As Matt Stone said, the content cut from the game could have been shown in the TV show without problems.

        Also, since the scene remains in the US version, are you suggesting that child porn is legal there?

          No, I'm saying that our laws are probably different to theirs.
          As per s 91H of the Crimes Act (NSW - there'd be similar in other jurisdictions) it is an offence to produce, disseminate or possess child abuse material, which is defined in s 91FB as including "material that depicts…in a way that reasonable persons would regard as being, in all the circumstances, offensive…a child as a victim of torture, cruelty or physical abuse, or…a child engaged in…a sexual pose or sexual activity".

        Jim Wallace, pls go.

    Excellent. Not that it matters since I'll buy the PC version online and avoid the Australia tax/version anyway.

    17th march. Game is revealed to have anal probes. Banned an then resubmitted after censorship.

      as some sort of always-connected DRM? Not sure if i want to play it now.

    They could have at least linked to...

    As I understand it if they made a freedom of information request they are mandated to release this.. Cmon guys how about a bit of actual journalism.

      That link has very little relevance that wasn't already summarised in the article.

      Also if I recall, freedom of information requests are expensive and take a fair bit of time to actually work. Seems like a bit of a waste when the report is only being delayed for less than a week.

      Not sure how much more you're expecting here.

        Expensive? They are free.. You just have to fill out a form lol.. I did however miss that they had only asked for it to be withheld (something the board has no obligation to uphold) until the 17th lol. In that timeframe, probably not worthwhile :D

          I might be mistaken, I was sure there was a crowdfunding campaign to get the details of the NBN report and I thought it was through a freedom of information request.

          Completely possible that it was a different way of sourcing the material and in my ignorance I confused the two. Oh wonderful bureaucracy.

          They're not free. You can lodge an application for free, but there are processing charges


            no application fee is payable for an FOI request or application for internal review;
            an applicant who seeks access to their own personal information does not pay any charges;
            for all other applications, the first five hours of decision-making time is free of charge.


              That's only the decision making, there are other costs: retrieving the documents, copying, any transcription, postage, supervised access. Granted, this hypothetical one wouldn't cast very much, but still not free.

    "References to sexual violence and sex scenes" seems like a reasonable justification for an R rating. No complaints here, as long as it doesn't result in censoring in order to reach a wider audience.

    Main character uses mobile phone whilst driving - there hasn't been that level of criminal activity depicted in games since Marc Ecko's 'Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure'... We must ban it!

    They're obviously hiding the report because they've had to cunt something.

      Freudian slip?

        I think its just muscle memory, my brain tells my hands one thing but after the "cu" my hands do what years of online gaming have trained them to do.

    Be careful, if the wish to get it reclassified one more time it will be refused...whether or not anything changes.

    I did an argumentative essay on the classification on entertainment in Australia while i was in school. After comparing our system with the american system, I see the big difference. Take movie classification, copy and paste into the game section. Add one rule: All explicit material is to be displayed in separate from the game as well as in the game and it's context. So therefore all the classification board sees in games like this is drugs, sex, violence twice over...making a game twice as extreme as what it really is.

    I also compared Ninja Gaiden 3: RE to the tv series Underbelly (I'm a fan of both). Underbelly was rated MA15+ and aired at around 7pm on a weeknight whereas NG3RE is rated R18+ and doesn't have nudity (explicit nudity anyway), drug use or real life violence (it does have a ton of fantasy violence though)...if NG3RE was a movie, it would be M/MA15+...and considering the classification rules between game and movie are almost identical in Australia, it should've been MA15+...but theres that little rule making everything seem ten times worse than what it is...thanks Australian Government for banning what should be R18+ games.

    In other words, I'm still pissed i didn't get to anal probe someone with a giant purple dildo in Saints Row!

    God you people are so paranoid! MODIFIED means that any given product has been submitted to the board more than once! It is routine, as movies/games etc get changed and re-submitted all the time. If the rating has gone up then common sense tells you the mature content has been upped.

    Here's a little fact: Unless there is an entry in the CBs data base that says it has been Refused Classification then nothing has been censored. A game also censored before submission is not a relevant factor in the classification description, so it is no indicator.

    Oh and stop worrying about these silly censored versions and "classifications" - hope online, buy a US points card if you have a PS3/4 & buy the uncensored version of any game you like. For Xbox users, just import the EURO version - customs don't give a crap about banned/censored games. Ignore this nations irrelevant old farts who create these laws and start thinking "lolz these laws are irrelevant anywayz".

      Except when companies like UBISOFT self censor the Euro version (South Park) (because of us and Gremany) then resubmit for classification. I get what your saying, but companies are starting to modify games BEFORE submitting to Australias CB. That concerns me greatly.

      Rather than just checking if a game was censored after the CB review it, now I'm going to have to dig a whole lot deeper into (almost) every game to check out how the devs modified it for us.

      Last edited 13/03/14 7:51 am

        Yeah I get that, hence I import or DL the US or Asian version. Plus you save 50% or so with US PSN or free shipping on imports, and 99.9% of games are region free on both last gen & current gen consoles/PC. I downloaded Dark Souls 2 for $63 last night on PS3, I'll be doing the same thing for South Park soon :)

    They're concealing the existence of the DLC where you sacrifice goats to build up your techno-mana.

    Maybe its just the hacking,Swearing,Realisticness of the games violence,for example, beating someone a insane guy to death with a baton, then the realisticness of the swearing,hacking, and also in one part of a cutscene is mentions "Hardcore Pornography"

    I don't know if you know that watchdogs is still ma 15 + on playsation network could that mean we are getting a ma version and r 18 version?

    if we are getting a ma version and r 18 version I'm happy because I'm not old enough to get the r 18
    and we know if there was a ma version that 75% more people will buy the game.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now