Australian classification body bans Saints Row IV

Becomes the first game to fail to meet new ratings guidelines

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Saints Row IV has been refused classification in Australia, barring it from release in its current form. However, publisher Deep Silver has told us that developer Volition is making alterations to offending content in a bid to secure a release in the country.

Australia's ratings body said in a statement: "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."

The game is the first to be denied a rating under Australia’s Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games, which came into effect on January 1 2013. Prior to that, the country didn’t have an adult category for computer games. Donald McDonald, acting director of the Classification Board, said: "Apart from today's decision, since the beginning of the year, the Board has classified 17 games R 18+ under the new guidelines."

Deep Silver said in a statement today: "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 4 is set for release on August 20 in North America and August 23 in Europe. Get our most recent impressions of the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC game in this preview from E3 earlier this month.

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