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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eiji1

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Wow. I have my share of issues with my government, but at least we wouldn't make an adult rating, then promptly ignore its existence.

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triadwarfare

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Edited By triadwarfare

@Nicholas Gibson They probably forgot that they had an R rating.

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robybaggio

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Edited By robybaggio

SO the R rating has actually meant more edited and banned games, So why did we lobby for this again?

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robybaggio

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@Nicholas Gibson It's actually worse now. :(

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mike9876543210

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@John Ace why would they move to the us, europe is where its at, us has a terrible economy

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mike9876543210

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so they take out the anal probe gun only to put it back in a dlc, wtf

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ddoggbritt16

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i still think number 1 is the best,you feel the most like a gangster in number 1 then any other 1

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ejay_kain

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there should be a rating where everything is aloud except childporn

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hadlee73

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At least New Zealand wasn't effected this time. Our censors are more forgiving, so we're getting the uncut version of the game.

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matt01234

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WHO CARE

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mike9876543210

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@matt01234 anyone who wants saints row 4 who lives in Australia that cant be arsed importing the game, just because you don't fall into this category of people doesn't mean everyone doesn't care

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Kurushio

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I get protecting kids from games they shouldn't really be playing, but it should be up to the parents to do research on buying games like this, not the government. Gamers in Australia should boycott games that do this or import them if they can.

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Thanatos2k

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The censors win again.

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Catz_03

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I don't understand. Those 2 things were bad enough to cause it to be over R18+ yet without those 2 things it gets a MA15+. That doesn't even make sense.

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Thanatos2k

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@Catz_03 I know right? It's almost like the rating board has no idea what its doing.

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Lord_Python1049

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@Thanatos2k @Catz_03 Because those two things alone were considered objectionable. Imagine a kids game that suddenly had one scene of rape in it for which it was banned, once removed, was a G rated game. It's not like content added gradually pushes it to a ban. All it takes is one objectionable content.

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Thanatos2k

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@Lord_Python1049 @Thanatos2k @Catz_03 Yeah because after removing drug use you're left with a game where you run around murdering people for fun and profit.


You know - a kids game!

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Daian

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So all the crazy stuff in it makes it ok for anybody 15 or older to play but some fictional drugs and a probe weapon makes it a horrible demonic monstrosity that no one can play?

Great logic by the Australian censors as always.

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shuwar

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As usual, sexual themes, drugs and so on are considered more disturbing than ultra-realistic depicting of a human skull exploding after a headshot from a sniper rifle, x-ray vision on breaking bones with a crowbar, or chopping limbs off with a fork.
Violence and gore - natural, proper, acceptable
Sex and nudity - unnatural, wicked, unwelcome
Do those guys even know where do the babies come from...?

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wildkeny

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@shuwar From China I guess?

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BrainFart01

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@wildkeny @shuwar jaja

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Heshertonfist

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Edited By Heshertonfist

Am I the only one who thinks SR has gotten too outlandish?

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Tribesmaster

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@Heshertonfist I think that's pretty much the point of Saints Row games now days.

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rigbybot127

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@Heshertonfist No, but I love the hell out of it.

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DesertLynx83

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Edited By DesertLynx83

Geez, who runs the Australian ratings board? 80 year old grannies?

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darthturkey

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here is the r rated games guild lines here in australia, you will see that sexual violence and drug use that give effect isnt allowed

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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Latiran

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Edited By Latiran

As stupid as this at least they won't be missing out.

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HartPuncher

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Edited By HartPuncher

Can't import the game because they speak Australian. Apparently the language is heavily influenced by Fosters beer. Drunks are less detrimental to society than cartoon violence.

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CrouchingWeasel

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@HartPuncher

No one drinks Fosters here genius. It's so shitty it's only sold in foreign countries stupid enough to drink such shitty fucking beer.

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HartPuncher

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Edited By HartPuncher

@CrouchingWeasel @HartPuncher Yeah right. You love it! It's on your country's flag for crap's sake.

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Apastron

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@HartPuncher Fosters isn't big at all in Australia. In some areas people may not even have heard of it.

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RE4WiiGirl

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ummm lol, just import the game?


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rbereczki

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Did I understand that correctly? They remove some stuff to get a rating in Australia, then promise to give it back in a DLC? Clever. They should do the same with the mission. **** you Australian Classification Board!

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darthturkey

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@rbereczki this so called alien gun is only in the dlc not just australia but world wide now, and whoopy do its only one mission that they removed, and its a optional mission not a main mission, dont like what the classifiedcation done, dude buy it off e bay, or if you got a powerful computer download the pc version of torrents, do you know that the classifiedcation department are run bye wussy christians who like dont like drugs or sexual violence, get them out things might change, atleast we not getting the german version which are normally heavily cut due to violence

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rbereczki

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Edited By rbereczki

@darthturkey I'm not in Australia so this doesn't really affect me, but I would like to see a world not dominated and oppressed by "wussy christians" or any other group of misguided fools -- of whatever religion or philosophy.

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CrouchingWeasel

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Edited By CrouchingWeasel

@darthturkey @rbereczki

The classification board in this country has nothing to do with fucking christians. The classification board is a government department & like the US we have separation of church & state.

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darthturkey

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@CrouchingWeasel @darthturkey @rbereczki ok christians arent in charge, but the is a group called Australian Christian Lobby, who are in the goverment, and are agaisnt violent games and dont wont a R rating for games.

go here to see what im on about

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Christian_Lobby#Censorship

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rbereczki

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@CrouchingWeasel Although if you pay attention to US politics, most politicians, including the presidents, make a great show of having religion. And what do you think they mean when they say "American values?" Cuz I think they mean christian values.

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wasakawaka

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I love the line " run by wussy christians who like dont like drugs or sexual violence". Lol those darn Christians don't know what they're missing ;)

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tkdmmc

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@wasakawaka The way sexual violence is handled in this game I mean. Actual, sexual violence is horrible.

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tkdmmc

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Edited By tkdmmc

@wasakawaka I'm a Christian and yeah I think drug use is bad and so is sexual violence, but I wouldn't ban it. I wouldn't play it, but I wouldn't ban it. I don't like the bad name Christians are getting. I don't mean to be rude, but Christians can be great people.

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rbereczki

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@wasakawaka Can't say I like sexual violence either -- real or virtual -- but drugs can be nice. :-)

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immortality20

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Hopefully after all their work to get the game classified there lots will buy it. I personally can't wait to dive into the deep, obscure and crazy world of Saints Row. People need to understand it's just a crazy video game meant for nothing more than a good time, not every game has to be gritty and mature like Last of Us to be playable. Least to me.

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snugglebear

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This whole thing still seems pointless to me. AU enacted a strict game classification system so that only adults could get "mature" games. Why don't they actually use the damn thing in lieu of making publishers jump through hoops?

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dribblesbarbax

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Hahaa MA15+. That legally means 15,16,17yr olds have to be accompanied by an adult in order to be able to play the game. Tsk tsk.

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Nemesis4747

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@dribblesbarbax no it dosnt....

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dribblesbarbax

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Edited By dribblesbarbax

@Nemesis4747My bad. Youre completely correct. Its under 15's must be accompanied by adults. I have no idea what I was thinking. Now wheres my dunce hat?

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dribblesbarbax

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@darthturkey I think the word "game" misleads parents altogether. The word "game" implies something playful and friendly. So parents see it that way as something innocent. Even if the rating says otherwise. I'm not saying that excuses parents here...they are still at fault for ignoring the warnings.

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darthturkey

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@dribblesbarbax under 15's must be accompanied by adults, this is for the movies, people under 15 cant get into an MA movie or buy, with games most parents dont give to hoots what they let there kids play, i been in EB games heaps of times and see parents buying MA games for kids who look like at least 9, i know parents who dont sit in front of the tv and let their kids play and MA movies bye them selfs, im talkng about kids as young as 4, so to some parents MA is just a rating and movies and games are just a movie and a game, i wouldnt be surprise if parents let their kids play the R rated games, as to some parents its only a game, same with movies, i know people who let there kids watch R movies bye them selves, so to some people a rating in a game doesnt mean a thing.

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burgo81

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do they understand that r18 means only adults should play these games

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