For the past week or so I’ve had this running debate in the back of my mind: what am I going to do about Saints Row IV?
After a month of classification woes ending with Australia seeing an edited version of the game that removes a specific mission that housed the offending content, we thought it was all over. But not long after, we found out that the Australian version of the game will be incompatible with other versions – meaning we’d never be able to play online with friends or randoms in other countries if we didn’t import.
So the question became whether to import or not to import. It was something that we had to communicate to our friends who were also getting the game, because if one person got the Australian version against everyone else importing, or vice versa, that person would be excluded from any good multiplayer shenanigans. It’s a question that’s still lingering in my head, but by the end of last week I was leaning towards the lazier option of just picking it up locally, if that’s what everyone else was going to do as well. I’m not particularly troubled by the absence of that content – I don’t think I’ll really miss it – and with another big game like Grand Theft Auto releasing in the next month, waiting a week or two for an imported copy to show up just seemed like I’d be piling two particularly large games together in the one month.
For whatever reason, I had a look on JB Hi-fi’s website to clarify the exact date the game was releasing, which I assumed was sometime this week. My memory’s a bit crummy of late. And I was surprised to find that the listed date was the vague ‘August 2013’. But it was Friday and I had other things on my mind. ‘Whatever,’ I thought, ‘they probably haven’t updated their listing in a while or something.’ And then I moved on to other stuff.
The next morning I woke up and learned that, yes, the game had been delayed in Australia. The new release date was the 30th of August, over a week after it released elsewhere and a little too close for my liking to GTA V’s release. Perhaps far more horrifically, the PC version of the game is currently listed on Steam as having a September 20th release date. What do?
It’s something that you just look at and sigh about. Here in Australia we’re used to game delays, even if we wouldn’t like to be, but it felt like the past year had been just a little better and simultaneous, worldwide releases were becoming more common – even with Nintendo of all companies and their plans for Pokemon X & Y’s worldwide release in October. A day or two isn’t a big deal, but a week is fairly significant. It’s like being told Christmas has been delayed, I guess? I really like Christmas.
At the time of writing we don’t yet know the reasons for this delay, though a wager that it’s because of last minute changes as a result of the classification issues probably isn’t going to be a bad one. Whatever the reason, it’s tiring. It sounds like whining (and maybe it is) but it’s just frustrating that even now, there can be such delays between countries. It puts us in an unfortunate predicament – Saints Row isn’t exactly a plot-heavy kind of game but what’s considered to be a spoiler is different for everyone, and we live in a world where that one week of delay can become a frustrating exercise in trying, and often failing, to avoid spoilers.
So the question in the back of my mind lingers still, only now there’s more to think about. And in the middle of it all is the occasional thought, a passing sigh as I lament that any of this even needs to be an issue at all.
Oh Saints Row IV, why must it be this way?