Saints Row IV is the first game to be refused classification in Australia since the R18+ adult rating was introduced on January 1st of this year.
Developed by Volition, Inc, the game is similar to previous titles in the series. The player controls the leader of the Third Street Saints, now the President of the United States.
Donald McDonald, the Acting Director of the Australian Classification Board, issued a statement today saying that the game was refused classification due to its implied sexual violence and drug use:
In the Board’s opinion, Saints Row IV includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context. 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.
Australia’s lack of R18+ rating for games in the past was a sore point for many gamers in the past, and as of now, 17 games have received R18+ ratings since it was introduced. Saints Row IV’s refused classification status means that it is banned from sale in Australia. There is no word yet on whether the company plans to appeal the decision.
Saints Row IV was due to be released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on August 22 this year.