GTA IV Gets Edited for Content in Australia
Poor Rockstar, they just can’t seem to get a break in Australia. Back in 2001 thousands of GTA III games were sold before it could get a rating and was refused classification because of the ability to pick up prostitutes, and then later on was edited for content and re-released. Vice City was also edited for content, and San Andreas had its MA15+ rating overturned due to the “hot coffee” fiasco and Rockstar had to again reissue an edited version of the game.
To be honest, I don’t know whether to feel sorry for Rockstar having to go through all of this or for Australian gamers who never get the version of the game that the rest of the world gets to revel in – but either way, it is a pain for all involved.
Now comes word today that GTA IV has been cut in order to be granted a release in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Rockstar has produced an edited version in order to get a MA15+ rating in the region. The Office of Film and Literature Classification in Australia has warned potential buyers that the the game contains “strong violence, strong coarse language, drug and sexual references.” Basically, no different than any other GTA game but the problem with games like this being rated in the land down under is that there is no classification for consumers of 18+; therefore, the highest rating a game can receive in Australia is MA15+.
Sounds like they really need to work on their ratings a bit more so that mature gamers can get in on the same amount of fun as the rest of the globe, and in doing so it would prevent developers and publishers from having to rework their titles constantly just to appease the ratings board.
GTA IV will be released April 29 worldwide, and I bet the majority of hardcore gamers in Australia will be getting their “unedited” version from outside the country.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald