State of Decay had a minor change to how drugs are referred to in the open world zombie survival game, calling them vitamins was enough for the Australian Classification Board to change the games rating from “refused Classification” to R18+.
Similarly Saints Row IV, the latest in the popular and completely ridiculous (in a good way) series was also hit with the ACB Banhammer due to the inclusion of “… interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context", as well as a flippant attitude to in-game drug use.
All of this is slightly bemusing given the history of Saints Row IV as the game was originally destined for release as a simple expansion to Saints Row III under publisher THQ. When THQ went into financial turmoil earlier in the year the company Deep Silver picked up the rights and saw the opportunity to beef-up and release the expansion as a fully-fledged retail release.
Hence Saints Row IV. But in essence the game is an extension of its predecessor, a game that garnered a MA 15+ rating in Australia at the time.
Well, along with the idea of a ‘lower violence’ game popping up on the Australian Steam store, it seems other indications of an ACB change of heart may be in the works for Saints Row IV.
From this Friday in Melbourne PAXAus will be upon us. A festival of geekdom that, for the first time, has made its way from US shores and welcomed down-under in a sold out event that many (me included) are getting excited to attend.
At this event there are a number of publisher showing off video-game wares. Local distributer AIE is amongst them, and has an entire booth supposedly dedicated to Saints Row IV.
A banned game.
When queried the local contacts for AIE stated that though it is close to the beginning of PAXAus, and yes, Saints Row IV is listed as being at the show, nothing can be announced.
Whilst this is no Holmes like sleuthing, in my book this points to a possible turn-about for Australian Saints Row IV fan’s fortunes in the very near future. Perhaps the colour of dildos might change, or indeed the nature of the games violence of drug use modified slightly, but my expectation is that within a short period the list of banned games post R18+ introduction should be back to zero.