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Tuesday, 16 July 2013 21:28

Saints Row IV will be released in Australia


The recent addition of a R18+ rating for video games in Australia was widely celebrated by proponents of the rights of adults to consume all forms of entertainment aimed at them.  And then two games were refused classification, State of Decay and Saints Row IV.  Well State of Decay has been slightly altered and will be released, and all indications are that Saints Row IV will now make its way to Australian retail shelves.

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.

Likewise, a spokesperson for the PAXAus organising team stated, with a smily emoticon, that no “refused classification” games playable at the show.

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.


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.



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