Saints Row 4 was finally deemed acceptable to be sold in Australia today, having previously been denied classification twice by the territory's ratings board. The listing isn't currently on the Australian Classification Board's site, but publisher Deep Silver provided us with a statement confirming a reworked version of the game earned, in a curious twist, the MA15+ rating rather than the adult-only R18+ rating it failed to achieve previously.
Deep Silver said developer Volition removed one 20-minute mission in the reworked version, and noted the 'Rectifier' anal probe weapon, which the ACB also raised concern over, will be available in a DLC pack "as originally intended." Deep Silver's statement reads:
Deep Silver and [local distributor] AIE are pleased to report that the Australian Classification Board has now approved Saints Row IV for sale. They have granted the game a MA15+ rating. To achieve this rating one loyalty mission featuring the character Shaundi has been removed. This mission has been widely reported on and contains the use of alien narcotics to obtain certain superpowers. This mission represents approximately 20 minutes of gameplay out of the hours available to purchasers. The removal of this mission has no negative impact on the story or the superpowers and will not detract from the enjoyment players will get from their Saints Row IV experience. The rectifier weapon will be available as part of a DLC package as originally intended. Deep Silver respects this decision and thanks the Australian Classification Board for their assistance with this matter.Back in June, Volition's over-the-top sandbox adventure became the first game to be refused classification by the ACB following the long-lobbied-for introduction of the R18+ rating. Deep Silver requested the ACB re-review the decision, which the rating board did last week when it once again denied the game classification.
Today's news means the saga is finally at an end, and the game can and will be sold in the Australian territory; Deep Silver confirmed to Joystiq the Australian release date remains August 22. Elsewhere, The Xbox 360, PS3, and PC game comes to North America on August 20, and Europe on August 23.