Ubisoft’s highly anticipated video game Watch Dogs has been given an R18+ rating by the Australian Classification Board. This is despite earlier receiving an MA15+ rating back in September when the game was originally scheduled to be released in November as a launch title for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
When asked for a comment from Ubisoft Australia, a spokesperson said, “We can confirm Watch Dogs has just been reclassified.”
According to the board’s decision, the increase was because the board considered the game has high impact violence and “references to sexual violence and sex scenes”. The board previously said that the sexual references were of moderate impact, and violence themes had “strong impact”.
While it is indeed odd that a game would see its classification jump from MA15+ to R18+, it isn’t a big concern. The game will still be available to the public – it is just that the game won’t be able to promote itself in some stores and cannot be demonstrated in public due to restrictions placed by the states.
However, we are still interested in the reasons. We’ve asked the Classification Board for the full decision.
UPDATE: The Classification Board has advised us that they won’t be giving out the full decision before Monday. The reason, they say, was because of “commercial reasons” on Ubisoft’s part. We’ve asked them to give us the full decision once it been lifted.