The Australian Classification Board has refused to give Saints Row IV a rating in its current form, banning it from release in the country. However, publisher Deep Silver has stated that Volition is currently working on changes to the game to ensure it is fit for release.
The game is the first to be denied a rating in the country since the new Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games came into effect on January 1, 2013. “In the Board’s opinion, Saints Row IV includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context,” the Australian Classification Board said in a statement.
“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.”
Deep Silver issued the following statement to CVG in response: “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.
“Saints Row IV has been awarded PEGI 18 and ESRB M ratings where fans can enjoy their time in Steelport as originally intended.”
Saints Row IV is due to release August 20 in North America and August 23 in Europe for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.