Following yesterday's news that upcoming open world action game Saints Row IV had become the first game to be refused classification under Australia's new classification guidelines, the Classification Board has now handed down their official report on the specific reasons for the decision (thanks Kotaku
The game includes a weapon referred to by the Applicant as an “Alien Anal Probe”. The Applicant states that this weapon can be “shoved into enemy’s backsides”. The lower half of the weapon resembles a sword hilt and the upper part contains prong-like appendages which circle around what appears to be a large dildo which runs down the centre of the weapon. When using this weapon the player approaches a (clothed) victim from behind and thrusts the weapon between the victim’s legs and then lifts them off the ground before pulling a trigger which launches the victim into the air.
After the probe has been implicitly inserted into the victim’s anus the area around their buttocks becomes pixelated highlighting that the aim of the weapon is to penetrate the victim’s anus. The weapon can be used during gameplay on enemy characters or civilians. In the Board’s opinion, a weapon designed to penetrate the anus of enemy characters and civilians constitutes a visual depiction of implied sexual violence that is interactive and not justified by context and as such the game should be Refused Classification.
Performance enhancing drug use also played a role in the RC decision:
The game contains an optional mission which involves the player obtaining and smoking drugs referred to as “alien narcotics”. Smoking the “alien narcotics” equips the player with “superpowers” which increase their in-game abilities allowing them to progress through the mission more easily.
Pubisher Deep Silver has already indicated that developer Volition will be "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 was due for release in Australia on August 22 2013 on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. It is not yet known whether this matter will affect that target, or the game's planned appearance at the PAX Aus 2013 expo in Melbourne next month.