The lights are on
On January 1, 2013, Australian gamers celebrated the new year and a new era in gaming down under. On that day, the country's Federal Parliament added a new rating (R18+) that would pave the way for titles like Grand Theft Auto and other mature, adult-targeted games. Imagine our surprise when we found out that Saints Row IV was refused classification today.
We've played Saints Row IV. It's absurd. There is nudity. I punched someone "down under" (not to be confused with the nickname for Australia). The very first title approved under this rating was the blood-soaked Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge. Since then, God of War: Ascension (of Bros before Hos fame), Metro: Last Light, Dead Island Riptide, and Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition have all squeaked by with the R18+ mark.
There seems to be little rhyme or reason to prohibiting Saints Row IV (maybe it's all the glorious f-bombs?) .According to a release issued by the Classification Board, the reasoning is related to " visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context" and rewards tied to drug use.
That said, it probably isn't the worst thing for Deep Silver. What happens when you dangle something out of reach? People want it that much more.
And the good news is that, they're going to get it. Deep Silver shared this statement with Game Informer.
Deep Silver can confirm that Saints Row IV was denied an age classification in Australia. 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.
Will this tone down the absurdity? No. Will this remove the dubstep gun? Only if the Australian government hates hilarious things. Will this maybe snip out a bit of foul language and some superfluous nudity that doesn't really add much? Perhaps.
The important thing is that Australian gamers will get a chance to play Saints Row IV. Based on my hands on time and Dan Ryckert's previews from PAX East and E3 2013, that's the important part.
You'll be able to find out for yourself on August 20, when the President of the United Saints arrives in stores for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
Another government or industry department knee-jerks its way through a decision about video games and/or violence. Way to have perspective there, Classification Board.
I can see it now
"So bad ass it's banned in Australia, where everything wants to kill you"
Hopefully this wont affect the New Zealand version of the game.... IF the Aussies ruin this game for me I'll be pissed... First they try and claim the Pavlova, then this! If this happens I'll just pirate the American version xD
Sucks to be in Australia
Nudity, eh? I just may have to create a female toon. Yes, I'm a horndog. I have no shame (obviously :P).
No offense to any Australian people, but the rating board (or whatever) out there is far too restrictive. I have honestly heard so many stories about games getting banned and "reworked" to Australia's strict behaviors that it's almost unbearable. Left 4 Dead 2 comes to mind. And obviously this. I'm glad I live in the Free World. But don't get me wrong, I have no idea how Australia is as a continent.
Jesus F'n Christ. We should just stop shipping videogames to Australia. Just a waste of time and money for the developer to even do so if all that's going to happen is it getting banned. What? The kangaroo jockey's are afraid of a little fictitious violence? It's aggravating to always hear about games getting banned before they're even experienced by the populace, even then, games getting banned before they're even out still doesn't do sh*t for the image of gamers.
First DLC "Save Australia" as Aliens have taken over the Australian government and has started to ban all the fun bloody gory games. Yet will you save a poor third world country? For all in the fine country of Australia. I am joking. I in fact love to visit your fine country and see all the sights and such. Yet really...to live there. Makes you wonder if your country ever stopped being a Colony Prison for the British.
Glad to see a solution is within reach
Volition shouldn't have to make a different version in the first place. The Australian ratings board are way to strict to not let this game even get the highest rating in their country and just be banned from the country.