• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Australian Saint's Row IV players can't co-op with rest of the world

jambo

Member
Sep 23, 2009
18,786
1
0
https://www.facebook.com/SaintsRow/posts/594067290644449

To our fans in Australia:

After Saints Row IV was refused a classification in Australia, we appealed this decision. Despite our appeal, that decision was eventually upheld at the start of this week. The Australian Classification Board has now finally approved our slightly edited version with an MA 15+ rating.

For this version, we had to cut one optional Loyalty Mission from the game. Loyalty Missions are optional side missions that you can do with your homies. This mission in particular involves alien narcotics in the simulation, which eventually have a positive effect in terms of gameplay. As you cannnot depict any positive effect for using narcotics in video games in Australia, this was the reason the game was refused a classification.

While we are very proud of all our different missions, we do feel that Saints Row IV on the whole remains largely the same without this single optional mission, and we also feel that you deserve to know what you are getting in Australia. Due to the changes we were forced to make, this version is different than the version rated by rating boards like the ESRB, USK, and PEGI, which is why it will be incompatible with those versions in co-op.

As for the "Rectifier" weapon that was mentioned as an "alien anal probe" weapon recently -- it launches enemies into the sky -- this is and always has been a bonus weapon for the Season Pass. At this point in time we are still awaiting details on whether we can include it in the Season Pass in Australia or not.

Of course we would have very much preferred to have been able to offer our Australian community everything as planned, but we also still want to offer the option to get Saints Row IV in their home country; alas without the single side mission.
I've played a tonne of consoles games in co-op with people from the US and Europe, so this sucks.
 

Skyzard

Banned
Jun 3, 2012
20,772
0
0
Due to cutting a single side mission, the whole game is incompatible with the rest.

Get mad at the boards please.
 

Dennis

Banned
Jul 7, 2009
46,556
1
0
This is so offensive. Its like they are treating Australia as a prison colony or something.

#freeaussie
 

Lirrik

Member
Jan 28, 2013
457
0
0
Sydney, Australia
That sucks big time.

I didn't care about small optional mission that was cut, but restricting co-op is a bad idea. So bad that I think about cancelling my preorder and not even gonna import - I'll just pass.

I am sure it's entirely possible to make Australian version compatible with uncut version in co-op, but that would require some additional work, so Volition decided to go easy way.

They went for reclassification to release it in Australia because games are so expensive here and they want those money, but they don't care enough to make it a good experience for those who play with friends overseas. I am disappointed.
 

Shandy

Member
May 17, 2013
362
0
0
So, I heard that the UK economy could use some stimulation. I might assist them with that.
 

Valnen

Member
Aug 4, 2009
20,974
0
0
34
Citrus Heights
That sucks big time.

I didn't care about small optional mission that was cut, but restricting co-op is a bad idea. So bad that I think about cancelling my preorder and not even gonna import - I'll just pass.

I am sure it's entirely possible to make Australian version compatible with uncut version in co-op, but that would require some additional work, so Volition decided to go easy way.

They went for reclassification to release it in Australia because games are so expensive here and they want those money, but they don't care enough to make it a good experience for those who play with friends overseas. I am disappointed.
It's your government's fault for treating you like a baby. Be mad at them.
 
Jun 6, 2004
68,817
0
1,570
That sucks big time.

I didn't care about small optional mission that was cut, but restricting co-op is a bad idea. So bad that I think about cancelling my preorder and not even gonna import - I'll just pass.

I am sure it's entirely possible to make Australian version compatible with uncut version in co-op, but that would require some additional work, so Volition decided to go easy way.

They went for reclassification to release it in Australia because games are so expensive here and they want those money, but they don't care enough to make it a good experience for those who play with friends overseas. I am disappointed.
you should be disappointed in your ratings board. they are the cause of this problem.
 

derFeef

Member
Jan 21, 2010
37,914
3
0
Was the same with SR3 and the German censored version - since it's content was different, I could not coop with a German buddy.
 

Lowlander2

Banned
Dec 10, 2012
771
0
0
Australia
www.savecontinue.com
Left 4 Dead 2 syndrome strikes again.

There's been so much "will they or won't they" on whether it will pass classification that I got tired and just ordered an import copy of the damn game. There's going to be some collection disparity (I'm getting it on PS3 while the rest of my collection is on the 360), but fuck it.
 

bootski

Member
Apr 8, 2013
790
0
335
That sucks big time.

I didn't care about small optional mission that was cut, but restricting co-op is a bad idea. So bad that I think about cancelling my preorder and not even gonna import - I'll just pass.

I am sure it's entirely possible to make Australian version compatible with uncut version in co-op, but that would require some additional work, so Volition decided to go easy way.

They went for reclassification to release it in Australia because games are so expensive here and they want those money, but they don't care enough to make it a good experience for those who play with friends overseas. I am disappointed.
entirely possible, of course. just like it's entirely possible for me to keep warm on cold canadian nights by burning money. both would be a stupid waste of cash. if you want coop you can get it by importing the game. your government has decided that the original game is not suitable for you. take it up with them.
 
Jul 27, 2009
3,205
1
890
That sucks big time.

I didn't care about small optional mission that was cut, but restricting co-op is a bad idea. So bad that I think about cancelling my preorder and not even gonna import - I'll just pass.

I am sure it's entirely possible to make Australian version compatible with uncut version in co-op, but that would require some additional work, so Volition decided to go easy way.

They went for reclassification to release it in Australia because games are so expensive here and they want those money, but they don't care enough to make it a good experience for those who play with friends overseas. I am disappointed.
Oh ya sure. Let me see you code that.


Sure this sucks for my aussie friends but just import it if it bothers you and/or go complain to the board. Don't blame the devs.
 

Aaron

Member
Apr 12, 2006
25,471
0
0
www.the-nextlevel.com
Yeah, that was Australian government who told Volition "and don't even think about compatible co-op!"
They already went through the effort and expense of multiple classification attempts, including repeatedly altering their game to fit the Aus ratings board's narrow view of acceptable. Other devs would have just chopped everything objectionable, and handed over a half assed product. Now you want them to even more work on top of that? Which by the way, it's extremely difficult to sync up different versions of a game. They would have to put in serious work for the tiny number of people who are going to co-op across international lines, and won't just buy an import version.
 

Dang0

Member
Oct 1, 2012
962
0
430
Does anyone know if the changes affect the NZ Version? If not, then you could even import the xbox version since its the same region. It will be more expensive though.
 

Monocle

Member
Jan 16, 2008
36,258
10
940
Yeah, that was Australian government who told Volition "and don't even think about compatible co-op!"
So people should ignore the fact that the board's ridiculous standards are the source of the incompatibility, just because it's an unintended effect of their meddling? What are you talking about? The board is directly responsible for forcing Volition to release a neutered version of their product.
 

DiscoJer

Member
Sep 26, 2009
12,297
769
920
St. Louis
As you cannot depict any positive effect for using narcotics in video games in Australia, this was the reason the game was refused a classification.
So is Pac-Man legal in Australia?

He eats those power pills which have a positive effect
 

jambo

Member
Sep 23, 2009
18,786
1
0
So is Pac-Man legal in Australia?

He eats those power pills which have a positive effect
Come on now, if Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.
 

jediyoshi

Member
Oct 10, 2009
30,023
6
895
I am sure it's entirely possible to make Australian version compatible with uncut version in co-op, but that would require some additional work, so Volition decided to go easy way.

They went for reclassification to release it in Australia because games are so expensive here and they want those money, but they don't care enough to make it a good experience for those who play with friends overseas.
I'm with you. Volition should have saved their money, skipped Australia, and put it towards making it better for the rest of the world.
 

Skyzard

Banned
Jun 3, 2012
20,772
0
0
They already went through the effort and expense of multiple classification attempts, including repeatedly altering their game to fit the Aus ratings board's narrow view of acceptable. Other devs would have just chopped everything objectionable, and handed over a half assed product. Now you want them to even more work on top of that? Which by the way, it's extremely difficult to sync up different versions of a game. They would have to put in serious work for the tiny number of people who are going to co-op across international lines, and won't just buy an import version.
"are they trying to do X mission"
"is one of them from Australia?"
"deny"
 
Jun 2, 2013
17,361
0
440
Well they are different versions so it kinda makes sense. But maybe it could be done, I don't know.

As for AUS restrictions, that sucks but please don't try to press for your country's values (which are totally legit and fine for you to support or live with) on everyone else. In my country freedom of speech is attacked what feels like every year, especially in new media, and is diligently fought off each time. Things like Saints Row are, imo, jewels resulting from the freedom of expression.
 

Chev

Member
May 4, 2010
1,869
0
0
the magical land of chocolate
I am sure it's entirely possible to make Australian version compatible with uncut version in co-op
The only way to make it compatible is to leave the cut content in the game data (a la extra characters in street x tekken), just inaccessible to aussie players. Hot Coffee has established a precedent as that being ground for refusing classifications just as if the content were accessible because it'll be trivial to unlock for a hacker. So, it's not that simple.
 

Sojgat

Member
Jan 29, 2012
16,376
1
0
Yet another negative for buying censored games. They should be labled as such on the front cover. Volition are not at fault here, they went out of their way to get the game classified. Just import, its cheaper anyway.
 

Skyzard

Banned
Jun 3, 2012
20,772
0
0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Australia#Video_games

The "R18+" rating is restricted to those 18 and over, meaning those under 18 cannot legally view/play the game. Themes, violence and coarse language are virtually unrestricted however sexual violence is not allowed to be depicted but implied only if justified by context and drugs related to incentive or rewards must be kept at a bare minimum.
Seems pretty obvious to me, unless that was just added in but...

Originally there was no R18+ rating for video games, meaning that any game that exceeds the MA15+ classification would be automatically Refused Classification and banned, but on 22 July 2011, a meeting of attorneys-generals produced an in-principle agreement to introduce the R18+ classification for videogames, however, NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith abstained from the vote. The Home Affairs Minister, Brendan O'Connor, has said the federal government would over-ride NSW and implement the R18+ rating regardless of its decision.[21] Leglisation introducing the rating was passed by the Senate in June 2012, with a start of 1 January 2013.[22]
Seems like they just didn't check the law of the place they were doing business.

There's some discrepancy between the ratings saying 'kept at a minimum' and SR guys saying 'any portrayal'.
 

Darmik

Member
May 24, 2013
575
0
390
How do Steam Keys and regional activation work? Does the game version you download depend on the key or your region? I was thinking about buying it digitally from Amazon US but I want to make sure the key I get from there would get me the uncensored version or if I'd need to use a proxy on top of this.
 
Nov 5, 2010
24,733
1
520
Australia
The only way to make it compatible is to leave the cut content in the game data (a la extra characters in street x tekken), just inaccessible to aussie players. Hot Coffee has established a precedent as that being ground for refusing classifications just as if the content were accessible because it'll be trivial to unlock for a hacker. So, it's not that simple.
Yeah, this isn't an easy thing.
 

Dead Man

Member
Aug 24, 2007
54,245
0
0
Fucking wankers aren't even consistent, plenty of narcotics in FO that have positive effects, I thought it was only real world illegal drugs you couldn't have with positive effects. Banned for alien drugs? Fucking wankers. Fuck.

To be clear, I am not upset with the devs at all, not their fault they got fucked.
 

shink

Member
Dec 7, 2011
3,283
0
0
Melbourne
How do Steam Keys and regional activation work? Does the game version you download depend on the key or your region? I was thinking about buying it digitally from Amazon US but I want to make sure the key I get from there would get me the uncensored version or if I'd need to use a proxy on top of this.
I think it's key. With L4D Aussie steam sold the censored version but if it was gifted to you from elsewhere you could play the uncut version.
 

Aaron

Member
Apr 12, 2006
25,471
0
0
www.the-nextlevel.com
"are they trying to do X mission"
"is one of them from Australia?"
"deny"
If only programming could be that magical, everyone would be programmers.

Could they fix it? Sure, but it's a lot of work when you consider they already have to maintain three skus in all the regions the game comes out in, handling updates and checking who has and who doesn't have the dlc. To add checking for possible Australian this late in the process, especially when the cut mission might have various small impacts on the game overall, would be weeks of programming, testing, and probably re-certifying at this point. All for something that an infinitesimal section of the userbase would have any inclination to use.
 

Skyzard

Banned
Jun 3, 2012
20,772
0
0
If only programming could be that magical, everyone would be programmers.

Could they fix it? Sure, but it's a lot of work when you consider they already have to maintain three skus in all the regions the game comes out in, handling updates and checking who has and who doesn't have the dlc. To add checking for possible Australian this late in the process, especially when the cut mission might have various small impacts on the game overall, would be weeks of programming, testing, and probably re-certifying at this point. All for something that an infinitesimal section of the userbase would have any inclination to use.
They already cut it...a single marker to say this dood is australian for co-op purposes is going to break the game and take weeks of programming?

Hire some guys from China.

This announcement is purely to try and give the ratings board a headache. A ratings board who only recently just introduced an 18+ system and is well known for being strict.
 

Aaron

Member
Apr 12, 2006
25,471
0
0
www.the-nextlevel.com
They already cut it...a single marker to say this dood is australian for co-op purposes is going to break the game and take weeks of programming?

Hire some guys from China.

This announcement is purely to try and give the ratings board a headache. A ratings board who only recently just introduced an 18+ system and is well known for being strict.
That's some bullshit. If it was this easy, they would just do it. They gain nothing by blocking out Australia except lost sales. The weighed these loss sales against the cost of implementing cross-region co-op, and realized it wasn't worth it. That simple.
 

pa22word

Member
Oct 24, 2010
11,062
0
0
Fucking wankers aren't even consistent, plenty of narcotics in FO that have positive effects, I thought it was only real world illegal drugs you couldn't have with positive effects. Banned for alien drugs? Fucking wankers. Fuck.

To be clear, I am not upset with the devs at all, not their fault they got fucked.
I thought Bethesda had to rename all the drug like items in both NV and F3 in order to get classified in Australia?
 

Abylim

Member
Dec 29, 2007
2,533
1
780
35
Australia
So, I am literally paying more for my game, and getting less.

How is this right? I'm importing, fuck DLC. I'll grab it from Canada, I'll pay less anyways, even including shipping and I'll get the full game.

For the record, I'm directing my anger at the government. Its a complete joke
 
Nov 5, 2010
24,733
1
520
Australia
Import 360/PS3 version from UK for $60.

I thought Bethesda had to rename all the drug like items in both NV and F3 in order to get classified in Australia?
Yes. They just changed the name to Med-X.

The drug in question in SR4 is an alien narcotic. Which isn't real. Like Med-X.

So there should be no issue.

The board are inconsistent as fuck.
 

Sojgat

Member
Jan 29, 2012
16,376
1
0
They already cut it...a single marker to say this dood is australian for co-op purposes is going to break the game and take weeks of programming?

Hire some guys from China.

This announcement is purely to try and give the ratings board a headache. A ratings board who only recently just introduced an 18+ system and is well known for being strict.
No, its a clear statement of what consumers are actually getting when they buy the product. Volition should be commended for their openess.
 

Dead Man

Member
Aug 24, 2007
54,245
0
0
I thought Bethesda had to rename all the drug like items in both NV and F3 in order to get classified in Australia?
Yeah, as Rep said, they changed the name to be fictional names and the effects were unchanged, granted an M rating. Now with the R regime in place they ban alien drugs? Nope, doesn't make a bit of sense.