Saints Row IV has now been given a rating by the Australian Classification Board, after initially being rejected. Saints Row publisher Deep Silver and Australian distributor AIE have announced that Saints Row IV has been given an “MA 15+” rating for the country.
The board had initially refused the game a rating over an “Alien Anal Probe” weapon and illicit drug use “related to incentives or rewards.” Saints Row developers have had to modify the Australian version of the game to achieve the new rating. The anal probe has been moved to a future DLC pack, and an entire loyalty mission for the Saints Row character Shaundi has been removed from the game. The mission reportedly saw characters smoking “alien narcotics” to obtain superpowers. Deep Silver claims that the removal represents around 20 minutes missing from the original game. From the statement:
This mission represents approximately 20 minutes of gameplay out of the hours available to purchasers. The removal of this mission has no negative impact on the story or the superpowers and will not detract from the enjoyment players will get from their Saints Row IV experience.
This news comes just after the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V passed the Australian ratings board on its first try, receiving a rating of “R 18+”. The Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row series feature similar games, and the GTA series has a long history of objections from government censors and social conservatives.