Thu, Aug 01, 2013 | 00:34 BST
Grand Theft Auto 5 rated R18+ in Australia
Hush your worries, Australian fans; Grand Theft Auto 5 has been rated R18+ in Australia, ensuring it is eligible for local release.
The Australian Classification Board awarded the highest rating to Rockstar’s open-world adventure, noting high impact drug use.
The game also exhibited strong impact themes, violence, language, nudity and sex.
GTA 5 is due on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September.
The GTA series has been controversial in the past and was retroactively refused classification in Australia over the San Andreas Hot Coffee scandal. As a result, fans had been holding their breath over the game’s classification.
Australia introduced an R18+ ratings category for video games on January 1 2013, but did not significantly slacken its content guidelines; the category was intended to divide adult material from that suitable for minors, not necessarily allow more extreme content. The Classification Board is particularly harsh on incentivised drug use and sexual violence; as a result, both State of Decay and Saints Row 4 were refused classification for content falling outside guidelines.
State of Decay developed Undead Labs resubmitted a modified version where drugs were replaced by vitamins; Saints Row 4 publisher Deep Silver appealed the board’s ruling, but was unsuccessful. It has submitted a modified version, too, so there’s a good chance local release will follow.