The Australian Classification Board made Saints Row 4 the first game to be refused classification in the country since the introduction of the R18+ rating at the start of the year. In a statement released this morning, the ACB said it classified the game "RC (Refused Classification)" in accordance with the new guidelines. Publisher Deep Silver told us developer Volition is reworking the game's content for the territory.

"In the Board's opinion, Saints Row IV, includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context," reads the ACB's 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."

Following the news, Deep Silver provided Joystiq with the following 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."
After many years of pressure due to a number of high-profile games being banned, the Australian government finally passed the law last year allowing games intended for those over the age of 15 to be bought in the country, and that law came into effect this year on January 1. In today's statement, the ACB noted it's classified 17 games under the R18+ rating so far, including Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, and Dead Island: Riptide.

Saints Row 4 is set to arrive in North America on August 20, and Europe on August 23.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.