The absurd monthlong standoff down under has at last been resolved: Saints Row IV has been granted classification and may be sold in Australia, with one change. And, according to publisher Deep Silver, it isn't the alien anal probe weapon.
A 20-minute mission in which Shaundi takes "alien narcotics to obtain superpowers" has been stripped from the game's Australian release, noted publisher Deep Silver and Aussie distributor All Interactive Entertainment in a joint statement.
"This mission represents approximately 20 minutes of gameplay out of the hours available to purchasers," the two said.
Ahem, in case you didn't get the message: "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."
Got that? Two sides can play the Orwellian-speak game here.
As for the "Rectifier," a weapon whose implementation should be apparent by its name, the statement noted that it "will be available as part of a DLC package as originally intended." That means it will be available for use as part of the game's Season Pass, once that content releases later this year.
Australia's Classification Board, which only recently adopted an R18+ rating that would seem to allow for the kind of crude nonsense that typifies the Saints Row franchise, refused the latest game for classification back in June, a decision that effectively banned it from sale. The Board made a hilariously specific description of the Rectifier's purpose and effects in striking down the game; the narcotics episode also was mentioned.
The removal of the alien drugs now gets Saints Row IV an MA15+ rating, so one must wonder if the problem wasn't Australia's total objection to Saints Row IV, but rather Deep Silver trying to avoid the country's most restrictive rating. Grand Theft Auto V is classified R18+, the first game to get that rating.
A modified version of Saints Row IV was resubmitted after the original rejection in June, but just Monday, the Classification Board refused the appeal, which appeared to be a final decision. So who knows what happened in the intervening week. High level diplomacy, maybe? Did Vice President Keith David step in?
The game releases Aug. 20, Aug. 23 in Australia.
Saints Row IV to Probe DLC Loophole [Kotaku Australia]