IGEA’s response to the Refused Classification (RC) of Saints Row IV

IGEA’s response to the Refused Classification (RC) of Saints Row IV

Jun 25, 2013

We can’t specifically comment on the Classification Board’s decision to issue Saint Row IV with a Refused Classification as we aren’t privy to the specific content of the game. Broadly speaking though, one of the key reasons an R18+ was introduced was to ensure that we strike a balance between giving adult Australians access to adult games while protecting children from inappropriate content.  Under the new guidelines, we celebrate the fact that adults can now access age-appropriate games which may have otherwise been refused classification, but as we have argued, we also must accept that there will be some video games which will fall outside the scope of the R18+ guidelines. Whether we agree or not with this specific classification, it highlights that the classification system is functioning as it should and that R18+ was never meant to open the ‘floodgates’ for all types of content.

Overall, we remain confident that the Classification Board is applying the new guidelines as they see appropriate, but we also recognise that with any change to a system as subjective and complex as applying classification guidelines, there will always be a ‘settling in‘ period where all stakeholders strive to find an appropriate middle ground.  Currently, we’re at the ‘high water’ mark where there’s a natural inclination to err on the side of caution.



  1. Paul /

    The Australian people wanted an R18+ rating for games because as adults, we wanted to be able to view what content we wanted, and play what games we wanted. The R18+ rating has obviously done nothing to change this, this is once again proof that the Classification board treats Australian adults like irresponsible children, and it proves that the R18+ rating is NOT working the way it should at all. The Classification board is headed by a bunch of dinosaurs who cannot grasp modern day themes and how they affect adults. This is a complete and utter outrage.

    • Mike /

      I understand the frustration felt by my fellow gamers, but let’s introduce relevant comparisons to the debate. An R18+ rating is not introduced to let people play “what games they want”. It is introduced to prevent the banning of games that are classifiable under guidelines as appropriate for adults, but not for minors. There are still limits to this classification, the same as there are (and have been for many years) for video, which pushes specific content into an X18+ category which limits sale and distribution. No matter whether the SR4 decision is an “accurate” interpretation of the R18+ guidelines or not, lets eschew the rhetoric claiming an R18+ rating should be unlimited by content. Would you want X18+ videos available for purchase by your kids at the local JB, the sale practically restricted only by the discretion of a 16 year old sales clerk on a Saturday morning?

      • 3noneTwo /

        You’ve failed to consider that retailers who provide R18+/X18+ media to underaged consumers are slapped with -heavy- fines for doing so. Retailers can not legally sell an R18+ game to anyone under the age of 18, thus the argument of the availability of R18+ games to underaged kids lies on irresponsible/uneducated parents.

  2. Thomas /

    “one of the key reasons an R18+ was introduced was to ensure that we strike a balance between giving adult Australians access to adult games while protecting children from inappropriate content.”

    Yet adult Australians are not being allowed to access adult games. As Paul (comment above) said, this is another example of the IGEA treating us like children.

    • iGEA /

      It should be noted that IGEA is not responsible for Classification Decisions for games. That lays with the Australian Government, specifically the Classification Board. We are an industry Association and ensure our members operate within the legal and regulatory framweork that exists for the industry.

  3. While I do not specifically agree with the fact that Saints Row IV was refused classification (and I am expecting that it will more than likely happen with Grand Theft Auto 5 sometime in the next few months prior to its release..) I agree that the R18+ classification for games is working as it is supposed to.
    If the R18+ rating has done absolutely nothing and is not being used in the capacity in which is was designed, please explain why Mortal Kombat 9 is now available for purchase completely uncut in Australia after previously being refused classification.
    There is an R18+ rating for films in this country, and yes, films that are out of the scope of the classification still get banned. Again I do not agree that most of the films and games that are refused classification in Australia should be. I watch/play them myself and believe it is my choice to do so. I do however understand why it happens.
    Let’s hope that after this ‘settling down’ period is passed, the classification board relax a little bit further 🙂

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