Modified Saints Row IV classified MA15+ in Australia

Publisher Deep Silver submits edited version of Saints Row IV to Australian Classification Board; game granted MA15+ rating.

104 Comments

Following the Refused Classification rating given to Saints Row IV in Australia twice, local distributor All Interactive Entertainment has confirmed that a modified version of the game has now been classified MA15+, enabling it to be sold in the country.

No Caption Provided

The MA15+ version of the game will see an optional drug-themed mission removed to comply with Australian legislation.

The mission in question is described by Deep Silver as representing "approximately 20 minutes of gameplay" and concerns the use of "alien narcotics to obtain certain superpowers." Its removal will allegedly not impact the game's story.

According to the board's report, the original version of the game included an "insufficient delineation between the 'alien narcotic' available in the game and real-world proscribed drugs. The board notes that the label 'narcotics' is commonly assigned to describe a class of real-world drugs that include such proscribed substances as cocaine and heroin…this game therefore contains drug use related to incentives and rewards, and should be refused classification."

The "anal probe weapon," which was listed as part of the reason why the game was initially refused classification in Australia for implied sexual violence, will not be part of the retail release of the game. An AIE representative confirmed to GameSpot that the weapon will be offered as part of a future DLC pack.

Saints Row IV will be released in Australia on August 22.

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SolidIngram

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You know this is just unbelievable, it's a video game. It is not real it is purely for entertainment.It's a sad day when people can't even have the freedom to choose what video game they want to buy and play.

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ArcherRO

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@SolidIngram There are ways to go around it But I agree with you.This is unnecessary.

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darthturkey

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@ArcherRO @SolidIngram , yes there is a way, download the pc version from torrents, then you will have the uncensored version, i do it all the time, i have nearly all the banned games where i live, yes im from australia, i found 3 games in shops which are the uncensored versions here in australia, dark sector, left 4 dead 2, silent hill home coming, all censored here in australia, but i manage to find all 3 of these games in 3 different shops in australia, no not ebay

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Techn1c4l

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Edited By Techn1c4l

This game is nuts.

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Fallout_red

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Edited By Fallout_red

Modified = Censored.

Welldone Australian gov, you used a government body to force an artist into censorship.

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darthturkey

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Edited By darthturkey

@Fallout_red just one mission is missing which due to the drug content which give you super powers, so what im glad its missing as i dont like drugs and shouldnt be allowed in games period, and i agree to the australian classification department on there answer, any way its not the gov who censore games it the classification who does it, also its a team of wussy christian who are in charge of classification, get them out and things might change

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pal_080

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Edited By pal_080

This is beyond silly! They take out a few suggestive scenes involving drugs and suddenly the game goes from pure evil, banned from the entire country... down to being appropriate for anyone who's 15 or older... the logic?!?! Where is it!?

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Monsta1217

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MA15+ ? i guess that means they took out a majority of the game, Australia needs to get their shit straight, wether its importing taxes or messing up a good game for everyone else

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Random_Matt

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@Monsta1217 Heavily modified for teenagers.

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deactivated-584419ec3a052

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Maybe they'll get lucky and get a boomerang weapon as a replacement.

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Mr_Mark_Legion

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aug 20 i need you to come quickly

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bunchanumbers

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Edited By bunchanumbers

so are dildos banned in all of australia or just in its games? You'd figure that the tone of the game itself should tell you its more about comedy than anything else. Maybe australia needs something to relax. maybe....

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Wrathesoul

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@bunchanumbers Just the game they allow nudity etc on free tv but ban these things very irritating.

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liorfigman

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wait, is it removed only in australia or everywhere?

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Wrathesoul

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@liorfigman Australia only

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Wrathesoul

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Ya all know the reality is the government wants to have them anal probe guns all for themselves to remind them how much they are screwing us gamers.

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001011000101101

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Edited By 001011000101101

Good. We wouldn't want children to run around on alien narcotics because of a video game.

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ArcherRO

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Drugs are removed but you can still murder people left and right.Some people have their priorities really mixed up.

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AlexFili

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Alien narcotics! Whoa

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SwiftusMaximus

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Importing.

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bankai_456

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gyaaaaah

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max-hit

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They shouldn't have done this. They shouldn't change the content of their product just because a bunch of people who never played a video game in their entire boring lives say so.

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Wrathesoul

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Edited By Wrathesoul

Still ordering from the UK I refuse even if it was just a gun and name change to pay AUD prices for games more so ones they forced to be edited.

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Random_Matt

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@Wrathesoul Pretty sure ordering from the US would be cheaper.

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R4gn4r0k

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Someone should make a videogame about the extreme lameness of the rating boards and censorship in Australia and Germany.

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Renunciation

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Small victories are not losses.

Perhaps the alien drug mission has been removed, but at least the whole game isn't banned.

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jenovaschilld

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Edited By jenovaschilld

Some of the below comments seem harsh toward Australia and their gaming classification board. I to feel AU legislation looks at content only and less on artistic style and storylines. Okay so Saints Row isn't the high brow gaming content of the century but its 'artistic style' is focused to a niche genre who puts Jackass and Saw movies up on a high pedestal. Still though it is how AU legislation has decided what content in media is exported and sold in THEIR country.

I mean I would not want another country or people from another country to force their ideals or beliefs on us (USA) or decide what game rating system would be appropriate for me or my family. I am sure Iran would want to block a few things from DoA beach volleyball, and Japanese lolita hentai dating sim would not be something for the kids to play. And I am sure Vatican city and Amsterdam would have different ideals when it comes to alcohol, drugs and China censorship rules.

Like I said how Australia decides to rate and distribute their games is their choice and more power to them, of course those in the country who do not like it or do can voice and vote as they see fit as AU is pretty democratic also. I disagree with alot of views they have, from gun control to environment but I am cool with them doing what they see fit for their consumers.

I am just glad that we have a voluntary industry games ratings board that adjusts and takes ques from its customers whom they serve.

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Radnen

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Edited By Radnen

@jenovaschilld It's about individual freedom, and even though I'm an American I find their system deeply flawed when they made an R18+ system for games of this particular reason and then decide to put weird limitations on it and continue to ban games.


It's like watching British news about the world because you don't trust American news: sometimes an outside opinion is better since you get what literally everyone else is thinking rather than the agenda/propaganda of those-who-are-in-charge. ;)

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jenovaschilld

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@Radnen @jenovaschilld I agree with you Radnen, while I do not see their system as deeply flawed, I to would like change and support those gamers in AU who feel likewise.

But genocide in south africa, human trafficking in East Asia, vaginal mutilation in the middle East, and pretty much everything in Canada - now that is what I call deeply flawed- Not banning a game for anal probe /sexual violence in another country.

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pal_080

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Hey... what about Canada...

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RC-Sev

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@jenovaschilld I like Australia for such actions. I hope I don't get flamed.

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RS13

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Edited By RS13

They couldn't just rename them as "alien pharmaceuticals?" Or "alien stimpacks?" "Alien science-magics?" Was removing the mission really necessary?

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kik4444

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ALL of this is very orinic, because an investigation was conducted in Australia and reported finding NO connection between violent games and violence in real-life. What's the AU government so afraid of?

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HonorOfGod

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Hi Zorine <3


My life is complete now *melts*

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jenovaschilld

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Edited By jenovaschilld

@HonorOfGod Yeah honorofgod seems like the kinda creepy stalker in waiting kinda guy just waiting to go through your trash for old underwear.

Still though Zorine is pretty hot and very stalker material, just hope she has good home security.

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midnightworld

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@HonorOfGod R.I.P.

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36Chambers93

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Edited By 36Chambers93

Why in the **** is it now rated MA15+ simply by removing an alien drug for **** sake.

"The board notes that the label 'narcotics' is commonly assigned to describe a class of real-world drugs that include such proscribed substances as cocaine and heroin"

Ummm no, I can tell the difference between a real drug and some made up shit from an alien to give humans superpowers.

Its because I am 35 years old, so the game in reality should have just received the R18 rating in the first place. Its very reason the new rating system was implemented

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darthturkey

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@36Chambers93 read this guildlines from september last year

Interactivity and realistic drug use are still big issues in the rating of video games, even at the R18+ level.

The Australian Classification Board has jsut released the new overall guidelines for games classifiction, including the new R18+ rating, to be introduced early next year.

You can have a look at the entire document here, but the relevant section is pasted below:

R 18+ - RESTRICTED
Impact test
The impact of material classified R 18+ should not exceed high.
Note: Material classified R 18+ is legally restricted to adults. Some material classified R 18+
may be offensive to sections of the adult community.
Classifiable elements


THEMES
There are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes.

VIOLENCE
Violence is permitted. High impact violence that is, in context, frequently gratuitous, exploitative and offensive to a reasonable adult will not be permitted.
Actual sexual violence is not permitted.
Implied sexual violence that is visually depicted, interactive, not justified by context or related to incentives or rewards is not permitted.

SEX
Depictions of actual sexual activity are not permitted.
Depictions of simulated sexual activity may be permitted.
Depictions of simulated sexual activity that are explicit and realistic are not permitted.

LANGUAGE
There are virtually no restrictions on language.

DRUG USE
Drug use is permitted.
Drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted.
Interactive illicit or proscribed drug use that is detailed and realistic is not permitted.

NUDITY
Nudity is permitted.

It could be argued that this isn't that different from the previous MA15 rating, as the issues of, for instance, drug use for reward is still a no-no. So, effectively, random and meaningless drug abuse is A-okay in a game, so long as it's not realistic.

The guidelines on sexual activity or similarly vague, and actually make it sound like games such as Mass Effect 3 (where I'd say the sex is far from 'implied') would now become R-rated. And speaking of sex, where would this leave games such as the new Tomb Raider, or even Hitman: Absolution. There may not be any actual sexual violence in these titles, but it is certainly implied.

And then, of course, the guideline still takes the stance that interactive violence is more impactful. "...as a general rule computer games may have a higher impact than similarly themed depictions of the classifiable elements in film, and therefore greater potential for harm or detriment..."

At the end of the day, though, these are just guidelines, and their interpretation is what's going to have the most impact. We can only hope the people enforcing this new code are as game literate as possible, otherwise we're not really getting anything new at all.

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gamespotgunners

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Edited By gamespotgunners

@36Chambers93 I'm sorry but I just wish to ask did Bioshock launch in AU? Because the plasmids could appear to be 'drugs' as well and used to give 'super powers' just out of curiosity because it sounds like these are the grounds here or have I misunderstood.

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36Chambers93

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@gamespotgunners @36Chambers93

Yeah Bioshock passed with zero issues.

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gamespotgunners

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@36Chambers93 @gamespotgunners I don't know this board seems to have double standards but maybe the mission really pushed the drug use in Saints Row but it seems strange. Plus assuming China Town Wars got through then majorly so.

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Hiddai

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WTF is wrong with this country...

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HonorOfGod

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@Hiddai It sucks : [

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rad8045

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Edited By rad8045

@HonorOfGod @Hiddai f#%k you both

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Hiddai

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@HonorOfGod @Hiddai yup^^

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