Saints Row IV banned in Australia

Next instalment in irreverent, open-world game denied classification rating in Australia because of implied sexual violence and drug use.

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.

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1234 comments
arcangelgold
arcangelgold

Sorry for them they don't have any freedom of speech or expression. While I don't condone the game's clear cut message that being bad is good. I respect the rights of every person to chose for themselves.  

EnlightendGamer
EnlightendGamer

I pity the Aussies.

Here we don't have a Game Rating Board/Organization.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Its too bad about the Aussies not getting the chance to check out the new Saints game but seriously its not a huge loss for them I bet pennies to dollars a lot of people will be upset when the gov bans the newest GTA when it releases here in a couple of months.

meatz666
meatz666

Funny that you americans comment on stuff.
But now that the whole Latin America followed Chaves.

Are you guys still banter about games?? lol

Orinian
Orinian

And this is why Australian gaming stores lose business thus on why we just import games and when we travel, buy them overseas. Australia has become a "nanny" country the government feels the need to protect us from these type of games.  I am not a 15-21 year old with no brain and the need to copy what's on games. I am a responsible adult and enjoy games like this without copying what's on them. Nothing will stop me from playing them and will keep supporting American businesses who sell them.

gawthy
gawthy

I would write to Steven Conroy but he stood down from his position. Dam you Kevin 07, but ill still vote for you

Joutja
Joutja

Maybe this is a sign that games are becoming too violent and are placing too much emphasis on drug use. I know that Saints Row does this with humour but it is becoming an increasing issue and currently living in an area with many people in drug abuse, I don't blame Australia at all for wanting to limit any possible causes of this. 

Bayonetta2013
Bayonetta2013

Well, fuck Australia, then. Who cares? They don't get to play Saints Row IV. 

Wrathesoul
Wrathesoul

Sad thing is Australia is becoming worst then communist countries in quite a few ways. Controlling what adults can and cant view or play has gone beyond bad. This bloody government is winging about a gun that is shoved up a cartoonish characters arse and well ya all know the rest and drugs....yet they allow that kind of thing on free to air TV and foxtel etc and such...Yet those aren't banned and those have far more kids attractive draws then a single game. This country is arse backwards in this area. I don't care if this game will be great or not I am more worried about the fact this country is slowly taking your rights away more and more and laughing in your face saying you cant do a darn thing about it.

SmartGhost
SmartGhost

this looks fucking lame...and now your the president now fuck and zen aliens come guys this is a shitty game

so_hai
so_hai

If they make changes to the game, it can re-apply to be classified right?

LonelyHippie27
LonelyHippie27

Dude's name is 'Donald McDonald'. No wonder he's pissed

francisismyhero
francisismyhero

I think we can all agree sexual violence is wrong and should be condemned. Australia restricts unjustified depictions of such.  It may be a heavy-handed restriction, but I think it's goal is noteworthy, and should commended in general.  You have to draw a line somewhere, and I think Australia has a decent line.  Do you really need to play a game with anal probe weapons?  No.

PSCMilk-it
PSCMilk-it

The land of criminals bans a "suggestive" game. Ironic

valknight
valknight

The problems with rating systems on games is that there are idiot parents who will purchase for their kids regardless of the rating on the game, same with movies. 

meatz666
meatz666

Australia is asking Anonymous intervention again?
So movies, books and TV Shows which depicts drugs and stuff: Allowed.
Video games: No.
So biased.

ferretshob
ferretshob

R18+ Adult rating. Adult being the operative word here. Get over yourself Donald Mcdonald.

x3lA
x3lA

Australia will ban chocolate, because it has an offensive color (brown-poo)

Evamorgana
Evamorgana

But isn't that what the R18 rating is for?.......

Not that I'd want to play it but surely adults can deal with drugs and tasteless weapons. It's weird that they draw the line there, there are so many morally questionable things in games. Apparently we can't handle drug dealing for incentives.....

mingoschrupa
mingoschrupa

No one in any country should have to play that shit. 

joesguy
joesguy

Further proof that this country has no faith in it's own ratings system. Why not just do away with it and regulate our media? If this is going to be a full blown nanny state, just cut out the middleman already.

announakis
announakis

It is not enough that we have to struggle with the worst lags issue on the whole planet when playing multiplayer, we also have to cope with the most retarted censorship institution on the planet...*sigh*

the problem is indeed that here the video games are still perceived as children games...as for many other things, Australia is 20 years behind the rest of the occidental world and so conservative it hurts.

simtel76
simtel76

ok, i gotta say that i am officially over the ACB and their guidelines...  i don't understand, nor could anyone with any form of intelligence justify to any person why there are differences when classifying a movie or tv show compared to a video game... especially now that there is an R18 rating for video games. how is it that people can walk into a sex shop and purchase all sorts of pornography that actually shows real people performing various sex acts... not simulating these acts, but really doing it... but people cannot buy a video game... how can it be that anyone over the age of 18 can get a copy of such movies such as bad lieutenant, the human centipede or fear and loathing in las vegas or naked lunch for example, but i can't play the proper version of saints row iv or state of decay... how is holding a controller and playing a game that has 'implied sexual violence' or drug taking different from watching such movies that depict so much more deviant and abhorrent scenes... these video games do not even come close to the contents of what's in thousands of R18 movies... i'm sorry, but the gamers of australia, and anyone with reasonable faculties and common sense must realise that this kind of discrimination between these two mediums just doesn't make sense at all... something needs to be done and the ACB and the government need to exercise common sense and just get with the program... the guidelines need to change... this will not be tolerated anymore...

CarlitosWay
CarlitosWay

Honestly, who would put some one in the Australian Classification Board Director's position with the name Donald McDonald? I coudlnt take anything this guy would say seriously.

whitexlotus
whitexlotus

hey did u guys know that kangaroo got a really sharp claws??u know what?they should banned the kangaroo too then im happy :)

trente
trente

It seems to my mind that Australian censors are still labouring under the idea that video games are for children. But age ratings are there for a reason, and the content that has been flagged as justification for banning Saints Row IV is nothing compared to things depicted in movies of a comparable rating. Fail.

DespVand
DespVand

and they can't buy/download it from the internet why?? This kind of banning has no meaning anymore with internet purchases and other internet means...

Rhaego85
Rhaego85

This is bullshit, i thought perhaps the rating system would allow us to get more games locally instead of importing. I hate when they bring up drug use all the time with games. TV shows, movies and celebrities sensationalize drugs all the time. And i believe that they have much more of an impact on people. At least games have a reason for your character taking drugs. For injuries, strength etc. The rating board has to realize that gamers are just as mature as the rest of the world.

DigiRave
DigiRave

weeeell, good job Australia - on contributing to a shit ton of piracy! What did you guys think would happen?

Rohan233
Rohan233

Welcome back Kevin Rudd, you better set this shit straight and replace this fucking dumb ass Director

Skinon
Skinon

stupid fucking aussies!!! This better not stuff it up for NZ release like it normally does.

jnolen
jnolen

People keep assuming the worry is about people's behavior being influenced by videogames. But does it have to be done physically to be wrong? What if it's wrong in itself to pretend to do violent sexual acts and act them out on a screen? I think so; if you do evil things in your heart, then your heart is evil.

zenstrata
zenstrata

sucks to be in australia.  Where your own government doesn't trust adults to be capable of distinguishing fantasy from reality.

c0m4ndo45
c0m4ndo45

It's a good thing they are banning games like that since they induce violence, especially when played by younger audience.

I, for instance, played Counter-Strike when i was 11 and now i've become an assassin/serial killer. Such bans will help reduce the amount of assassins out there, increasing the price i can charge per contract. Thanks!

SynfulBlood
SynfulBlood

Seriously? Wasn't this what the R18 rating was FINALLY introduced for? And games are STILL getting banned over there?


roosteraxe1
roosteraxe1

Of course, once the rest of the world experiences a massive increase in random anal probing, I'm sure we'll all be wishing we had Australia's parental governing to prevent such extreme discomfort.

roosteraxe1
roosteraxe1

Way to guaranty every teen with credit card access and internet is going to import this game Australia. Nothing boosts sales like telling people they can't have something. You just gave Volition massive free advertising. I love when governments try to dictate what people can and cannot do. It's a surefire way to get them to do whatever you're against. Way to treat you citizens like 5-year olds. Instead of letting them make their own decisions. Like grown-ups. Of course our government in the U.S. is constantly trying to do the same thing. That pesky Constitution keeps getting in the way though.

hadlee73
hadlee73

In case no one else has already mentioned this for New Zealand users, this will not affect New Zealand getting the full uncut version of the game on release date. This was just confirmed via retail here.

Agent-M
Agent-M

Why elect government officials who only seem to dictate what you can and can not play?

Their government should trust their citizens to judge for themselves what games they should or shouldn't play not ban it from the country altogether. 

All this video game banning makes Australia seem like a really sad place to live in.


gamer6130
gamer6130

sure glad i don't live over there, freedom just don't cut it in some countries, they need the government to hold their damn hands.

gtandiono
gtandiono

"implied sexual violence and drug use." dude...... Sydney is the source of sexual violence and drug use...... have they not heard of the BRA BOYS from aussie??? 

and yes i live in sydney, so this is BS

killthetraitors
killthetraitors

Aussies are getting bent over all the time because they gave up 99% of their gun rights some years back...until then, they were Little America.