Saints Row 4 banned from Australia over 'sexual violence'

The Australian Government's Classification Board, which determines ratings on video games and decides if they can be sold in the country, lays down the ruling.

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Saints Row 4, the latest console and PC title from developer Volition in the action-adventure open world game, has become the first to be banned from sale in Australia.

The game was sent to the Australian Government's Classification Board, which determines ratings on video games, in May, the organization said in a statement (PDF) on Tuesday. According to that statement, the Board rated the game RC, or Refused Classification, meaning it cannot be sold in Australia. The game's content was deemed too adult-oriented.

"In the Board's opinion, Saints Row 4, includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context," the organization said in the statement. "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 Board's new guidelines went into effect on January 1. The guidelines created a new adult category and pave the way for certain titles to be banned from sale.

Saints Row 4 is slated to hit store shelves in North America on August 20. In the EU, the game will hit store shelves on August 23. The game takes place five years after the end of Saints Row: The Third. The title kicks off with an alien invasion that leaves the Saints kidnapped. The player will have superpowers to help take down the new regime.

The game has so far not been rated in the U.S.

According to gaming site CVG, Deep Silver, the game's publisher, said that Volition, its developer, is currently working on removing some of the content that proved offensive to the Classification Board.