Rockstar’s upcoming open-world game Grand Theft Auto 5 is the latest video game in Australia to receive an R18+ rating, according to a listing on the Australian Classification Board.
GTA 5 received its R18+ rating for “High Impact Drug Use” while its themes, language, sex, violence and nudity were marked as having strong impact. The game is the first in the series to receive an R18+ rating in Australia following the introduction of new classification guidelines for video games on Jan. 1, 2013.
When first released, both GTA 4 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City were censored to allow the game to meet the requirements of the classification system and were awarded MA 15+ ratings. Uncensored versions of games are currently now for sale in Australia, retaining their MA15+ rating. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas had its MA15+ rating revoked and banned for sale in the country for a period of time after the Hot Coffee sex mini game came to light.
Last week, an amended version of Undead Labs’ open-world zombie survival title State of Decay launched on Xbox Live Arcade for Australian players. The original game submitted by Undead Labs was refused classification by the Board late last month because the title features use of “illicit or proscribed drug use” as incentives in the game, which is prohibited by the guidelines.
A censored version of Saints Row 4 is currently under review by the Board after the game was refused classification, specifically because of an alien narcotic that gives players super powers when smoked and a weapon called an Alien Anal Probe. The weapon was flagged by the board due to “interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context.”
GTA 5 will launch on Sept. 17 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.