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Altered Version of Saints Row IV Receives MA15+ Rating in Australia

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I just received a very interesting press release in my email inbox, pertaining to Saints Row IV and Australia. If you’ve been following the saga, you’ll know that Saints Row IV was refused classification by the Australian Classification Board. The reasons given for the RC rating were due to the “interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence” and “elements of illicit or prescribed drug use related to incentives or rewards”. This effectively meant that the game was banned for sale in Australia, because of alien narcotics and an anal probe weapon.

Turns out the biggest stumbling block was the drugs thing, though. Deep Silver decided to submit a cut version of the game to the ACB, eliminating a side mission that focused on alien drugs. The following press release, which I’m blatantly copy/pasting below, states that the removal of the side mission has allowed the game to slip by with a mere MA15+ rating.

“Saints Row IV has been classified by the Australian Classification Board as MA15+. The version classified by the ACB is slightly modified and differs from the worldwide release only insofar as a single short optional mission has been removed in order to comply with Australian legislation. This mission has been the subject of much discussion recently for featuring the use of virtual alien narcotics by the player character, which could potentially improve certain superpowers temporarily within the game. The Rectifier Probe weapon, which has also been part of the discussion, is still due to be released as part of the Season Pass DLC package, as has always been intended both for Australia and the rest of the world.

Publisher Deep Silver has provided the following statement:

“Deep Silver and AIE are pleased to report that the Australian Classification Board has now approved Saints Row IV for sale. They have granted the game an 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 stands by this decision and thanks the Australian Classification Board for their assistance with this matter.”

The alien anal probe Rectifier weapon will still be coming to Australia as DLC, as previously planned.

A point to note – Grand Theft Auto 5 has recently been rated R18+ in Australia. Make of that what you will.

Former Editor in Chief of OnlySP. A guy who writes things about stuff, apparently. Recovering linguist, blue pencil surgeon, and professional bishie sparkler. In between finding the latest news, reviewing PC games, and generally being a grumpy bossyboots, he likes to watch way too much Judge Judy. He perhaps has too much spare time on his hands. Based in Sydney, Australia. Follow him on twitter @lawksland.

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Ubisoft Discusses How Uplay Plus Will Improve Communication With Players

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Ubisoft Uplay+

Ubisoft believes that its new subscription service Uplay Plus will help the publisher improve communication with players.

Alain Corre, the executive director of EMEA at Ubisoft, spoke to GamesIndustry.biz where he outlined the vision and strategy for the company’s new subscription service. He explained that Uplay Plus will help boost communication with players, and the feedback it receives will help improve Ubisoft’s games.

“The reason behind our subscription service… it gives more possibilities for our fans to play our games and we can talk to them. We can keep them in our worlds, we can discuss with them and—thanks to what they say and the way they behave—we can feed that back into our games development. When we are in control of that within our ecosystem, we feel it’s beneficial for our fans. That’s ultimately what we want to do; we want to have more contact with them, more interaction, listening more to what they want and improve based on what they say.”

Corre highlighted that Ubisoft will not solely focus its efforts on Uplay Plus; players will still be able to pick up any of the publishers games either physically or as digital downloads. He explained that the company’s strategy moving into a subscription service is to adapt with modern consumer tends of gamers.

“We are still keeping the traditional model whether they buy our games in a store or download them. It’s really a case of offering the possibilities. Consumers are evolving really fast, and we want to adapt to what they want and propose new things to them, as well as keep the other means of distribution.”

Furthermore Ubisoft revealed that Uplay Plus and all past and future games will be available on the Google Stadia. Ubisoft was an early vocal supporter of Google’s new console, especially as the upcoming console focuses solely on streaming games.

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