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Saints Row 4 refused classification in Australia; Volition will remove offending content for local version


Saints Row 4 is out now; here’s our Saints Row 4 review.

Deep Silver have confirmed early reports that Saints Row IV has been effectively banned from Australian shelves. Developers Volition have set to work creating a new version of the game: still flush with “outlandish gameplay”, but devoid of the particulars that have seen it deemed unsellable in its current form.

The Australian Classification Board has become somewhat notorious internationally for its conservative take on popular games – remember Left 4 Dead, notable subject of an oddly bloodless new edition in its journey south.

But it’s not gibs or gore that have seen Saints Row: Now You Can Fly knocked back this time. The board instead condemned the game for “visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context”, as well as the use of drugs as in-game incentive – two big no-nos under the country’s computer games guidelines.

“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,” Deep Silver told us.

“Saints Row IV has been awarded PEGI 18 and ESRB M ratings where fans can enjoy their time in Steelport as originally intended,” the publisher added.

The temptation is to condemn the Classification Board in turn for censoring a game which neither the UK or US authorities appear to have a problem with – but I do think sexual violence is a subject deserving of a little more nuance and sensitivity than the Saints series has historically demonstrated itself capable of.

I guess we won’t know precisely what the problem is until the game’s American release on August 20, will we?

Thanks, Kotaku.