Saints Row 4 denied Australian classification in re-review

The Australian Classification Board reaffirmed the ban on Saints Row 4, a three-person panel unanimously refusing the game classification in its re-review of the original decision. Drugs were again the cause of consternation for the ACB, who said Volition's over-the-top sandbox game couldn't attain the recently introduced R18+ rating and as such be sold in the country because "drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted."

Saints Row 4 is expected to launch in Australia on August 23, the Steam page listing a "Low Violence" version; publisher Deep Silver told us in June it had plans to submit a reworked version of the game for the territory. The decision passed today, the ACB clarified, is on the "unedited" version of the game. We've reached out to Deep Silver for comment.

On January 1, Australia passed the much-lobbied-for law permitting games for audiences over the age of 15 to be bought in the country, these games carrying a R18+ rating. Many games have since earned the rating, including Ninja Gaiden 3 and Dead Island: Riptide, but in June Saints Row 4 became the first game to be refused classification since the law's introduction. It was soon followed by XBLA hit State of Decay, although unlike Saints Row 4 that game has since been rated R18+.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.