Australia Getting Watered-Down Version of GTA IV

April 4, 2008 -
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Grand Theft Auto IV, due for April 29th release, has been edited to satisfy Australian censors. Jason Hill of the SMH writes:
A Rockstar spokesperson confirmed to Screen Play yesterday that the company had produced a special version of GTA IV to comply with the Australian classification system, which does not currently contain an R18+ rating, but declined to reveal what material had been cut...

The Grand Theft Auto series has a chequered past with the OFLC in Australia. In 2001, thousands of copies of GTA III were sold before the game was rated and refused classification because players could pick-up prostitutes. An edited version was later released. 2002's Gran Theft Auto: Vice City was also edited for Australian audiences.

Via: GamesIndustry.biz

Comments

I wonder what Yahtzee will think of this little fact when he reviews the game. Oh well. I just wish I knew what they'd tossed out from the game to make it rating friendly.

Those poor Aussie gamers :(.

Untouchable Says: "Gay… So very gay."


Care to explain why the use of "gay" is somehow an insult? I'm curious

Well, first things first this does lick the testicals of the symian. Being an Aussie gamer i have been importing since the days of the Megadrive. GTA has always been a game that attracts a lot of attention. And here in Australia has obviously been no different. But this all comes down to the lack of the R18+ certificate for video games. There is debate at the moment to correct this, but like all things involving government it takes time, games aren't children or terrorism.
I would prefer it come out slightly censored than not at all. I personally am importing the sucker from Asia... play-asia.com FTW.
Australia is currently coming out of 12 years of conservative fear, it will take a while to return to the free loving larricans we are known as.

I like how some people bash the OFLC here, when they are not the bad guys. They simply have to check the game against a criteria set for them by the Government. The only thing holding us back now is that idiotic SA Attorney General, who doesn't even represent the views of people in his own state! (As a South Australian, I can say that!)

For now I'm planning to import from NZ, I'll still save $10-20 over buying it from EB. I also have a number of friends who are planning the same thing... Maybe reduced sales in Australia will clue people in!

I love the Ozzies, but this takes the piss.

Fun fact:

This will be released UNCUT in Britain. BBFC approved even.

No Prozzies for the Ozzies!

@DarrelBT

Inconvenient Truth: We know. Dennis told us about a week ago.

Gay... So very gay.

The R18+ rating isn't coming fast enough

They probably just removed all the jokes about Australia being a vast wasteland where birds fly upside down because it's not even worth pissing on.

Guess I'm importing from New Zealand then. Might get dark sector too, just to be a rebel.

So it would appear I'm either going to have to get it from the kiwis or resort to piracy... I'm still so confused what we stand to lose by having an R18+ rating - it's not like we're allergic to money... *kisses a $20 - breaks out in hives* well I'll be.... Honestly, if the footy is over then I think Dangerous Minds is on and I can guarantee you it's uncensored. Heck there was every sort of foul mouthed thing going on at the Melbourne Comedy Festival which was on at 8:30 and that was for bloody charity! We are not a fragile society...

...Wouldn't be the prostitutes, we had those in gta:sa. Hope it isn't something good.

This runs opposite of my general perception of Australia. I would have never imagined that they were more uptight about sex and violence in media than Americans are. I figured it was a pretty much a laid back country. Hollywood has lied to me!

Thats harsh.

Whens Manhunt 2 coming out in the UK????

"Australia Getting Watered-Down Version of GTA IV"

That doesn't suprise me in the least.

@Baggie

It probably is the prostitutes. They now offer three "levels of service" in the game and it sounds like its not just the old bouncing suspension animation.

what's super-odd is how lax Australia is with their language on public tv, yet they get all up in arms over this.

It wasn't just the prostitutes, in was the fact that you could kill them afterwards.

I wish Australia gets that 18 rating soon.

Being a gamer in Australia must suck monkey choad. :( I pity all the GTA fans in the Down Under.

In a recent rumor started by Loudspeaker...

...Take-Two has replaced all prostitutes in GTA IV with kangaroos to meet the Australian censorship board's standards and get the game released. When a Take Two representative was asked, "Why not koalas?" she replied, "Koalas are much too violent and have claws. They'd never pass the censorship board's gaming standards."

A soon to be former attorney had this to say: "It's written down. It must be true!"

...More as the story develops ;)

...So what's to prevent Australian gamers from importing the US or EU version?

Last time I checked the PS3 was region-free for all PS3 games...

@ Loudspeaker

Are you holding a news conferance because I have questions?

Its the drunk driving minigame, for sure. We kinda have a problem with that down here.

Import the game. That´s the best solution at this point.

@ Jake

Might be some of the online games to.

Importing seems like the best option for diehard GTA fans in Australia.

@ Ebonheart

Fire away! Who needs a news conference? :)

Good move there Australia now people will just import the game and Australia will just miss out on any financial benefit it may have brought.

Glad you thought this whole "moral outrage" thing through....

I'm only joking here, but...

The US continues to water down beers.

Australia will water down their games until that stops.

As an Aussie, I import all my games anyway. Cheaper (even
paying US/Japan retail prices, plus postage), and usually WAY
before the game is even released here, if at all (I am one of the
few here to own smash bros, freeloader is handy, and last time
I get a non region free PAL console).

I'll import this just like everything else, skip all of the crap we have to put
up with.

-Twixn-

This is oh so painful. Not only is it censored, but the game costs at least $120. What. The. Hell.

I'm cancelling my pre-order and importing, and I'm not happy about it. Does anybody have good links to a cheap and fast import site?

@ minefield
I use play.com or play-asia.com. They're best for the PS3 as it's region free but for PAL sometimes they're a day or two behind (which baffles me because they mostly sell to PAL countries)...

Heh, for once I'm glad I'm on the other side of the ditch (Tasman Sea). Otherwise I'd be lunging at Loudspeaker's throat simply out of frustration.

Cheers Clever.

I'll be getting it the 360 and I'm unsure which region will be compatible. I know I can order it from New Zealand, but are there any other countries I can get it from, just in case?

This coming from a country that according to The Simpsons, was founded by British convicts. Maybe in the Aussie version, you jack kangaroos and shoot koalas instead of people.

This is a sad part of being an Australian gamer.

Violence is ok but any sign of Prostitutes are considered more offensive.

May I add that there are many Prostitutes in many MA15+ rated movies...

this is just getting ridiculous, we need this R rating more than ever right now. looks like i'll being importing from NZ, i'm not paying for a bullshit censored version.

fuck the OFLC import for the win !!!!!!!!!!!

I called the OFLC for confirmation but all I got was "We don't censor games, we just rate them - call the distributor".

However, T2's website is terrible. Can't find a contact number anywhere and there online registration system is broken. Typical.

*sigh* It looks like again I'll be resorting piracy when really I wish to support the companies that make the products I love but I will NOT consume censored content. I'm an adult dammit and I will decide what content is appropriate for me.

The OPLC is out of control and clearly going against the will of the populace - not just in these matters but in film and literature as well. For a supposedly democratic country Australia has some of the harshest censorship of the western world.

@Kharnivore
Yup, you've pretty much said what I planned to. I'm asking for the 360 version of GTA4 for my birthday and then when the PC version comes out, utorrent might just consume a few gig of my bandwidth...

The OFLC will be getting a stern letter from me which will force them to expend the energy to crunch it up into a ball and toss it into a paper recycle bin. That'll show 'em!

@Are'el. Australians are not uptight about sex. It's the violence that the censers have an issue with. What the story failed to mention was GTA3 was banned because you could pickup prostitutes AND THEN kill them to get your money back.

When it comes to sex, we're quite liberal minded.

Oh and the R18+ classification for Australia is getting close; a lot of Attorney Generals are in favor of it. Unfortunately to change the law nationally, it has to be a unanimous decision by the six State Attorney General's .... and South Australia is the only state holding out.

@Judith Iscariot: "So what’s to prevent Australian gamers from importing the US or EU version?"

Absolutely nothing. The ban is on the sale of the game. Not on ownership. Siply import from NZ. It's faster.

@ Loudspeaker

Tonight the hard hitting news conferance! With Your host GP, you interviewers: anyone who askes a stupid answer specificly for a stupid answer, Tonights Guest Loudspeaker!

Will the Kangaroos be available for pick up then subsiquent murder? Also, is the rumor you can beat the ever loving **** out of Aquaman true?!

It was probably because of the Australian-American war :O

Well this certainly does suck, but I can't say I'm surprised. The worse thing is that I've already preordered the special edition.

I'll probably just import the standard version from NZ, trade the neutered copy and keep the bonus stuff.

It's going to cost fortune, and I guess for GTA it would be worth it, BUT I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO!
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