Australian Classification Board Slaps R18+ Rating on Watch Dogs
Watch Dogs has received one of the most restricted rating from the Australian Classification Board, allowing only adults the ability to buy Ubisoft’s upcoming open-world hacking title.
The classification appeared on March 11 on the board’s website, which reviews media content and makes judgments about restricting its sale to children. Watch Dogs was given an R18+ rating, which restricts sales of the game to people over the age of 18. According to the board’s website, R+18 games are “high in impact,” and “may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are high in impact.”
“Some material classified R18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community,” the description goes on. “A person may be asked for proof of their age before purchasing, hiring or viewing R18+ films and computer games at a retail store or cinema.” The only other rating that restricts material to adults is the X18+ rating, which is a special classification “material which shows actual sexual intercourse and other sexual activity between consenting adults.”
In the case of Watch Dogs, which is set to launch on May 27, the classification warns users of “References to sexual violence and sex scenes.”
What’s interesting is that Watch Dogs previously received a M15+ rating on Sept. 13, 2013, from the Australian Classification Board, which is a classification that restricts sales to people 15 years old or older. That rating was issued before Watch Dogs was delayed into 2014. Images created by the board that explain the rating show Watch Dogs has been rated more harshly in three of five categories since it was delayed.
Meanwhile, according to a report from GameSpot, the Watch Dogs rating for the U.S.-based Electronic Software Ratings Board — also issued last year before the delay — has disappeared. The report says an ESRB representative told GameSpot the organization was looking into the issue.
We’ve reached out to Ubisoft to find out what, if any, content has been changed in Watch Dogs since it was rated last year.