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Saints Row IV Region Locking Prevents Playing Uncensored Version?

Saints Row IV

If you’re from Australia and were planning of having a friend gift you a copy of Saints Row IV so that you might play without any censorship, you could find that you’ll be disappointed come release day. A rumour is circulating that if you live in a country where your alien-battling super hero adventure has been made a little less violent, that’s the version of the game you’ll play regardless of how it was bought.

This is completely new. Smart PC gamers were able to circumvent censorship in the past by simply grabbing a copy from another country. Left 4 Dead 2, quite famously, was able to be played without any changes simply by giving the money to a foreign friend and having them gift it.

The rumour was started by a user on the Steam forums. User Screaming Angels shared a message they’d gotten from Steam Support.

Thank you for contacting Steam Support.

The version of Saints Row IV that you will be receiving will depend on where you are physically located. If you gift the game to another country that does not have a Low Violence restriction, that user will receive a ROW version of the game.

Of course, this is exactly the opposite. If an Australian gifts their version of Saints Row IV to somebody in another country, they’ll get the full, uncensored version of their title. In the past you’d get the censored version and would need to get Steam support to change versions on your account. Although not confirmed, it’s possible that Steam can now alter the version of your game regardless of where you get it from.

This will no doubt be confirmed over the next week or so, so if you were going to “import” a copy of Saints Row IV, it might be worth holding off for the time being.


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Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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