Saints Row IV has become the first game to be refused classification in Australia since the introduction of the R18+ adult rating on January 1 this year.
According to a statement issued today by the Australian Classification Board’s acting director, Donald McDonald, the game was refused the maximum R18+ rating for games due to its implied sexual violence and drug use related to player incentive.
"In the Board's opinion, Saints Row IV, includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context," the statement said. "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."
To date, 17 games have successfully been granted the R18+ rating, including Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition, and Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel. The refused classification status of Saints Row IV now effectively bans it from sale nationally.
GameSpot contacted the game's Australian distributor, but a spokesperson was unable to comment on the announcement, or whether the company plans to appeal the decision.
Saints Row IV was slated for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on August 22 this year.