After initially receiving an MA15+ rating from the Australian Classification Board last year, Watch Dogs was re-classified as R18+ due to new content featuring implied sexual violence.
"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,'" according to the decision report obtained by Polygon.
The report details a human trafficking scene where a character is shown to feel a woman's breasts and "spreading her legs" before it is implied that she experiences further sexual assault. "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," the report states. "On-screen text identifies the woman as a nineteen year old, Romanian immigrant."
The open-world game received the new rating last week due to the additional scenes. Originally planned for release last year, Ubisoft confirms that the new content was added to the game when it was delayed last October to allow extra time to work on the title.
"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," Ubisoft said in statement issued to Polygon. "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."
Read our recent hands-on with the game and interview with senior producer Dominic Gua and cinematic animation lead Lars Bonde. The developers outline what the extra time allowed them to add to the game, such as a richer database of characters and re-honed non-interactive scenes.
Watch Dogs is set for release May 27 on Windows PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, with a Wii U version scheduled to launch at some time in the near future.
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