Saints Row IV & State of Decay refused in Australia

UPDATE: New Zealand has now confirmed that is will sell Saints Row IV in its original, unedited, form. No further updates to State of Decay.

Both ‘Saints Row IV’ and Xbox Live’s latest big hit ‘State of Decay’ have been refused classification in Australia, meaning they will not be allowed to be sold or imported into the country in their current form.

Australia has always been very strict on ratings and classifications of video games, but many had hoped that the introduction of an 18+ rating in January of this year would change this – as previously the highest rating available was 15+ which many games could be not justify.

These games are the first to be refused classification since the new rating has been in effect, and must either edit the game to remove the offending content or accept that their game cannot be sold within Australia and New Zealand (as both countries use the same XBLA marketplace, they fall under the same umbrella even though New Zealand is not making the rating decision).

According to the Ratings Board Saint’s Row IV contains: “a weapon designed to penetrate the anus of enemy characters and civilians constitutes a visual depiction of implied sexual violence that is interactive and not justified by context,” while stating the reason for State of Decay’s refusal was due to the fact: “the game enables the player’s character to self-administer proscribed drugs which aid in gameplay progression. This game therefore contains drug use related to incentives or rewards.

On paper these come across as valid grievances. However, many Australian gamers are infuriated as they believed the purpose of the 18+ rating was so that adults were given the freedom to make their own informed decisions about the media they consume, rather than having officials decide for them. Many claiming across social networks and forums that these are the same issues that existed before with the 15+ rating being the maximum level.

Both Deep Silver and Undead Labs have confirmed they are working or redesigning certain aspects of their games so they can reapply for classification.







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