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Saint's Row 4 refused classification in Australia, publisher responds

Saint's Row 4 has been refused classification in Australia, which mans it can not be sold across the country or displayed in retail stores in any capacity. The Australian Classification Board has issued a statement on the matter.

UPDATE: Saint's Row 4 publisher Deep Silver has issued a statement to Joystiq, confirming it is re-working the game for Australia. Volition hopes to remedy some of the Classification Board's concerns so that the title can be sold on Australian shores.

Here's the statement:

"Deep Silver can confirm that Saints Row IV was denied an age classification in Australia. 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."

ORIGINAL STORY: PlayerAttack reports that The Australian Classification Board's acting director, Donald McDonald has said of Volition Inc's sandbox title:

"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."

Under the body's guidelines, Saint's Row 4 is being refused classification as it, manages to, "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified."

The series is known for crossing grey areas of taste, but has largely been spared the ban-hammer in most quarters. The game was set for release in Australia from August 22.

Saint's Row 4 will still release on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 across North America from August 20, and across Europe August 23.

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