Saints Row IV has been banned in Australia.
If there is one thing you can say for Saints Row IV at this point, it’s that the game isn’t holding back on going over the top. You play the President of the United States and it’s your job to fight off aliens because due to your social status, you’re the only one with the powers to do it. This isn’t enough to make the censors go wild, but some of the content involved definitely is.
Australia has been known to ban games for content deemed inappropriate for some audiences, no doubt making it difficult for notorious online video blogger Ben Croshaw (AKA “Yahtzee) to review some games in his show on The Escapist, called Zero Punctuation. “Yahtzee” has earned a reputation for his snarky commentary on any new game that crosses his path, and even “goes there” when the games allowed in Australia can’t.
Saints Row IV has minigames where you run around nude and see how long you can be indecent with the general populace before the police taze you. It also has weapons which are considered just as indecent, such as the dildo bat.
The Australia ratings body states, “In the Board’s opinion, Saints Row IV includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context. 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.”
Australia was a late comer to the Adult level of video game ratings, but as of January 1, 2013, the R 18+ rating has been in effect, covering 17 games thus far. However, the violence and content in these games must be considered justifiable within the context in order to be legally allowed. There is no reason for some of the more racy parts of Saints Row IV to exist within the context of the game.
In response to the ban in Australia, Deep Silver has announced they will be modifying Saints Row IV specifically for Australia:
“Volition, the developer, are reworking some of the code to create a version of the game for this territory by removing the content which could cause offence without reducing the outlandish gameplay that Saints Row fans know and love. Saints Row IV has been awarded PEGI 18 and ESRB M ratings where fans can enjoy their time in Steelport as originally intended.”
Saints Row IV is slated to hit stores by August 23 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
How do you feel about Australia banning Saints Row IV? Would you still play it with the offending content removed?