The Australian Classification Board, the organization charged with providing ratings for video games, this week rejected Saints Row IV. The game was expected to get a R 18+ rating, but was refused classification over its content. It is the first video game to be refused classification since the R 18+ rating was implemented earlier this year.
In a statement, the Classification Board said Saints Row IV was rejected for "interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context." Gamers familiar with Saints Row III will know that game featured weapons such as giant dongs and allowed players to adjust the size of their characters' sexual organs. The Classification Board also pointed to illicit drug use "related to incentives or rewards," which it says are prohibited by Australia's computer games guidelines.
“Apart from today’s decision, since the beginning of the year, the Board has classified 17 games R 18+ under the new guidelines,” said Donald McDonald, acting director of the Classification Board.
Deep Silver, the publisher of Saints Row IV also issued a statement this week. It pointed out that the game has received both a PEGI 18 rating and an 'M' rating from the ESRB. The game's developer, Volition, is now in the process of altering the game for the Australian Classification Board, though Deep Silver claims the edits will not reduce "the outlandish gameplay the Saints Row fans know and love."