Ubisoft Australia today released an official statement on the reclassification of Watch Dogs from MA15+ to R18+.
“The entire development team has been working hard to polish and fine tune Watch Dogs in order to deliver a truly memorable open world game,” an Ubisoft representative said. “In parallel, the extra time also allowed the team to include a bit of additional content. As per Australian classification guidelines, Ubisoft resubmitted the updated version with the added content to the Australian Classification Board (ACB). The decision to amend the rating of the game from MA15+ to R18+ was made by the ACB.”
We reported last week that Watch Dogs had been reclassified R18+.
Watch Dogs will be available from 27 May on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows PC, PS3 and PS4. A Wii U release is slated to follow afterward.
Update: Kotaku AU is also shedding more light on the reclassification. They’ve uncovered ACB documents which detail the change.
“The game contains references to sexual violence that cannot be accommodated in the MA15+ classification category, which states that “sexual violence, implied or otherwise, is not permitted”,” reads the report.
“The room is set up with video cameras and filming equipment and as the male moves away from the bed several blood spots are visible on the bed sheets,” it says. “On-screen text identifies the woman as a nineteen year old, Romanian immigrant.”
“A version of this computer game has been previously classified MA15+ (with consumer advice of strong themes and violence, gaming experience ay change online) on September 13th 2013,” the report continues. “In the board’s opinion the modifications to this game contain classifiable elements that alter this classification and exceed a strong impact level.”