The Classification Board of the Commonwealth of Australia has just given upcoming title Saints Row IV a "Refused Classification" rating. Acting Director Donald McDonald explained that this decision was made based on the criteria of new laws on media regulation, including the recently passed "Guidelines for the Classification of Computer Games," which came into effect January 1 of this year.
The law is the first in the country that gives games mature ratings, thereby allowing adult games to be distributed in the country. Earlier in the year, the Board gave Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge for the Wii U an R 18 rating, making it the first game to receive that rating and the first such adult game to receive that distinction.
The iGEA (Interactive Games and Entertainment Association), which acts as the Australian equivalent of the ESA came out with a response. They explain that although they could not comment on the rating given to Saints Row IV in particular, they are happy that the new guidelines now allow Australians to purchase adult games. They also argue that Australians have to accept that some games will receive ratings beyond R+18.
Deep Silver has also released a statement to Joystiq, explaining that developer Volition is now reworking the game to create a version that will pass Australia's guidelines.
Neither Deep Silver and Volition have yet to comment if this will affect Saints Row IV's Australian release date on August 22 or its US release date on August 20.
You can check out Saints Row IV's official box art and the first of its Hail To The Chief video series here.