Friday, 14 December 2007

GTA IV toned down to pass censors?

The Australian government is no stranger to banning video games. Plenty of high profile releases have come under the hammer of the authorities in recent months, deemed too violent for public consumption.

With this and the recent issues surrounding Manhunt 2 (which is still banned here in Europe), is it really too far fetched to suggest Rockstar is listening and taking notes of what it can and can't get away with more than ever?

Grand Theft Auto IV, the biggest game of 2008, has been rated Down Under and it came away with a 15+ (similar to the BBFC's '15'), rather than the expected (at least in terms of previous games in the series) 18 or Mature rating.

The certificate comes with the added incentive of a "Strong violence, Strong coarse language, Drug and sexual references" tag, which describes all the reasons exactly why it'll be the biggest game of next year from sales to controversy.

Cries of censorship are already reverberating around forums, because if the game had been rated higher than 18+, it would have received an automatic ban in Australia. Think of it as doing 70mph in a 30mph zone - instant ban.

Many gamers are hoping that this is just "the Australian version of the game", cut to get past the authorities, and that other territories around the world will receive the "full uncut" version.

But would Rockstar really risk its biggest game in years to get banned from going on sale by receiving an Adults Only certificate in the US, which would lead to the same issues as Manhunt 2 got caught up in? Of course not - no company is made of money.

Source: CVG

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