Rockstar Speaks On Australia GTA IV Edits, R18+ Classification

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Rockstar Speaks On Australia GTA IV Edits, R18+ Classification

Rockstar has released a statement regarding the changes made to the Australian version of GTA IV to get it past the OFLC with an MA15+ rating. Here’s the crux of it: “While there are some minor differences between the Australian and US/EU versions, they are not significant and we do not believe they take away from the level of scope and detail that make GTA IV such an incredible experience. We would not release the game in Australia if we believed these differences compromised the quality of the game in any way.”

So there you have it folks. No specifics, sadly, but Rockstar’s confident the changes won’t affect your playing experience. Whether this is true or not is up to you to decide.

The full statement after the jump, including mention of the publisher’s desire for an R18+ rating for video games.

UPDATE (15/4/2008): New Zealand is getting the same version of GTA IV as Australia.

The Australian version of Grand Theft Auto IV was rated by the OFLC in December 2007 as MA15+. Unlike the US and Europe, Australia still lacks an R18+ rating for video games and as a result many games are edited for release in Australia, including most previous Grand Theft Auto releases.

While there are some minor differences between the Australian and US/EU versions, they are not significant and we do not believe they take away from the level of scope and detail that make GTA IV such an incredible experience. We would not release the game in Australia if we believed these differences compromised the quality of the game in any way.

We strongly support the OLFC and will continue to work within their guidelines; however we believe the government needs to bring games in line with other media by introducing an R18+ rating, or edits to games will continue to be necessary. We encourage consumers to let their politicians know that they support an R18+ rating for games.

Comments

  • It should be noted however, that the version of the game played by Australian journalists, was the Australian version of the game – so while we might not know what ISN’T in the Aussie version, we do at least know what IS.

  • If you told us what the changes are we’d be more inclined to believe you rockstar. As your being all tight lipped about it your not instilling alot of faith.

  • “While there are some minor differences between the Australian and US/EU versions, they are not significant and we do not believe they take away from the level of scope and detail that make GTA IV such an incredible experience. We would not release the game in Australia if we believed these differences compromised the quality of the game in any way.”

    Why not tell us what those differences are, and let the consumer decide whether or not they are significant?

  • There’s still nothing there telling us what they’ve actually cut. It’s all very well for them to tell us that they don’t think it’s significant, but as they’re not Australian they’re not the ones who are going to be buying it. A bit of honesty from them would be nice – we are the ones that need to make the judgment, not the developer.

    At the moment I’m still intending to import a copy from New Zealand, because I don’t want to be playing a compromised version. Certainly the gameplay won’t be affected by any cuts they’ve made, but that doesn’t mean that the overall experience hasn’t been impacted. In fact it should be the exact opposite, since the cuts were made to get it through the OFLC.

  • Hey Rockstar,

    You’re wrong. It’s not your fault that your driven to these extreme’s and this marketing rubbish to try and appease us, but you’re wrong.

    We are not a second class country, and we do not deserve a second class game.

    Your sincerely,
    Australian Gamers Everywhere.

  • To me, Rockstar not telling us what has been cut makes it sound like it is something significant. I wish they would just say what it was so I can decide whether I’ll need to import it.

  • I remember reading you can request different levels of “service” from hookers. I’d bet on it being this. Either way, Play-Asia’s getting yet another order from me. It’s at the point now where if a game’s deemed violent (or has boobies), I’m not taking any more risks, I’m getting the US version. Thank jebus for no PS3 region locking.

  • I’d say it’s safe to assume it will be either:

    a) Tits
    b) Ass
    c) Violence
    d) A mix of the above

    At any rate, all things that you would want from your GTAIV experience. If you’re an Aussie, maybe you could import from NZ – http://www.gpstore.co.nz is the top online store in NZ (I’m a Kiwi).

  • “Either way, Play-Asia’s getting yet another order from me.”

    Same here, I’d rather not risk missing out on a part of the game that others have. The lack of R18+ classification on games here is only hurting Aussie retailers, no one else.

  • If they’re not significant and don’t affect the gameplay at all, then how come I can’t get the GTA series on Steam in Australia?

    Oh right, brick and mortar stores who whinge like little bitches because they get undercut by cheaper games on the internet and don’t get to rape my wallet for an extra fifty bucks if people are given an alternative.

    Carry on, then.

  • Oh for crying out loud. What is wrong with the OFLC in Australia? HURRY UP AND GIVE US THE DAMN ADULT RATING. People were complaining about this back in the Hot Coffee days, what is freaking well taking so long?

    The Australian Government must be the slowest, most bureaucratic and inefficient government in the world. Incompetent public servants. The world is laughing at you OFLC. LAUGHING AT HOW PATHETIC YOU ARE.

  • Why is anyone buying this locally for $120 anyway?

    I understand that they 360 version has yet to be confirmed as region free, but surely PS3 users would be better off importing a much cheaper, uncut US version…

    Save up to $50, get the full game. Sounds like win/win to me.

  • If i owned Rockstar i wouldn’t have edited the game.
    I’d let it remain banned, The Australian gamers would be even more angry and alert the issue if the game wasn’t coming to Australia.
    The Australian market is also quite small the losses would be minimal.

  • Given how much naughty stuff and gore you see in MA games (I like to trot out 300 as a pretty good example of how much an MA rating gets away with), it would have to be something pretty confronting.

    People may whinge about the OFLC but I think they stretch things pretty far with their MA ratings (given that many MA ratings in Australia are R in the UK bears this out). Plus the fact you could pick up ladies of the evening and have that embarrassing car bouncing scene in both previous GTA games in Australia and both games allowed you to murder people with chainsaws spraying considerable amounts of blood its seems unlikely its anything in your standard sex and violence categories.

    The rumor I have read in a few forums round ta intertubes is that the only noticeable difference is an edited cut scene in which a character has a baseball bat shoved right up where the sun don’t shine and the scene is framed in a pretty uncomfortably confronting way. Its does sound like the sort of thing the OFLC would take umbrage with, portrayals of aggravated sexual assaults like that are always restricted to an R and for good reason, and as we don’t have an R for games, we lose the scene.

  • Not happy about the lack of information. That being said, I agree with the statement.

    This game in it’s entirety has been rated not suitable for people under the age of 18 all around the world. However, because Australian AG wants to protect the kids, he is allowing 15 year olds to play the game. Implied sex or not, the game should not be sold to minors.

    In trying to protected the kiddies, the Attorney General’s refusal of an R18+ rating is allowing content decidedly not suitable for minors to be experienced by minors.

    Also, those in NZ, we tend to share content, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you get the same cut-down edition.

  • If you don’t tell us what is gone then it is significant enough. Already preordered from NZ for under $100 AUD, gamesman.co.nz

  • @ Phend:

    The only reason i’m getting the aussie version is because i wan’t it at release. I’ve taken time of work to smash it in the first week it’s released. Sadly depending on the severity of the cuts i may sell my aus version and buy the un-cut one. That is once i find out whats cut….

  • Why don’t we just pertition or something along the lines of last weeks EA pertition.. The thing is i think we should get some young gamers to take the OFLC jobs until WE own the OFLC. What better way to get what we want by holding a complete manaopoly…..!!!!!OMG!!!!!!

  • Nice to see they’ve come out and said something (nothing) about the cuts and what they are.

    They still haven’t explained why the same game* costs 40% more here than in the US.

    *Oh wait – it’s cut right? so we’re paying more for less!

    Regards,
    Shane.

  • Guns still there, Blood still there, I presume drug use is still there (it was in the last one),
    all i see is the prostitutes gone or dulled down. pfft, who cares, they seem like an afterthought ever since gtaIII anyway

  • Considering the price I wouldn’t buy it here anyway. But this is a better reason, really. Screw the people who want to tell me what to think. If I want it, I’ll get it no matter what I want. Thank Sony for their region free console.

    Screw them for not telling us what they edited. That being said, at least they bothered. Some games *cough* Rock Band *cough* Final Fantasy *cough* don’t have to be changed *at all* but take months and months to get here – at least they’re trying to get copies here… if at horribly inflated prices.

  • More like http://www.playasia.com

    The game costs $90 shipped with insurance. About $76-78 if you are willing to ship without insurance and best of all it is uncensored.

    Thats cheaper then here either way and because the ps3 is region free I will probably start doing it with a lot more games…

  • Yet another example of developers self censoring.

    San Andreas was released completely uncut (prior to the “scandal”), and the version rated by the OFLC, was not ‘revised’. It was original.

    Which means R* chose what to omit, rather than being told what to take out.

    ie. They didn’t even try.

  • Is NZ a PAL region? PAL xb360 games should work on any other PAL system regardless of country right? NZ is definately getting an un-cut version?

    Just wanted to make sure as I dont want to play an uncut version. 😉

  • Wow, lets tell them nothing, make them pay more because ‘they dont wanna wait’, and laugh our butts off! – Rockstar

    My answer – the EB 7 day refund policy. SUCK ON THAT while I wait for imports I play game as a free rental.

    Me 1
    Rockstar 0

  • People, people – please remember it’s not the OFLC that are to blame for no R18+ games. The OFLC have been pushing for an R rating – blame the Attorney Generals. If they don’t unanimously vote YES, we don’t get R rated games. The OFLC are just doing their job.

  • @ Georgio

    Yup, NZ is PAL, so it’ll work on your 360. For the record, the UK is PAL too, just in case the Kiwis run out of copies from exporting them all here.

  • So much for “The artist should not fear the censor” i keep thinking that phrase everytime i hear about the Oz gov and games as its almost always bad (only one good article when they were considering R but that was quickly shot down by captain fuckwit and his motlet SA crew)

  • Dunno about you guys but if you actually check the classification website,
    “http://www.classification.gov.au/special.html?n=46&p=156&sTitle=grand+theft+auto&sProductionCompany=rockstar+games&sMediaFilm=1&sMediaPublications=1&sMediaGames=1&sDateFromM=1&sDateFromY=1970&sDateToM=4&sDateToY=2008&record=224873”

    you will notice under “version” it states that it is ORIGINAL.

    “Classification MA 15+ (Not suitable for people under 15. Under 15s must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian)
    Consumer Advice Strong violence, Strong coarse language, Drug and sexual references

    Category Computer Games
    Version ORIGINAL
    Duration variable
    Date of Classification 11 December 2007

    Author ROCKSTAR NORTH
    Publisher ROCKSTAR GAMES
    Production Company ROCKSTAR GAMES
    Country of Origin UK

    Applicant TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE
    File Number T07/6147
    Classification Number 5273444B “

  • OFLC obviously hasn’t heard of the concept of a global market, and more-specifically; the increasing need to protect and foster local business.

    I have just placed my order for a PS3 UK Pal version for $40 cheaper than local retail and uncensored.

    I would have preferred to support local business but the OFLC in treating me as a child (I’ve been playing video games since Pong) has ensured another $74 has left the Australian economy.

    Wake up OFLC – you’re not representing Australia’s interests.

  • ey guys instead of winging about games costing $40 more in Australia than in the US why don’t you buy it at JB Hifi for AU$85 instead of AU$65 +postage +insurance Online. That’s only $20 more and less after postage, if your talking about it costing $40 extra at EB Games than you should know never to shop at that rip-off merchant. The only thing EB is good for is price matching games, playing for a week then getting a refund, they are crooks.

  • Folks,

    I would advise anyone who hasn’t placed their preorder already from a NZ store to not do so.

    http://www.gtagaming.com/gtagaming/news/comments.php?i=1281

    Apparently our Kiwi friends are getting the same cut version as we are 

    Since the UK is also PAL, I for one have ordered my xbox360 copy from http://www.gamemetal.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=313

    I just pray for the day when the Att Gen approves an R18+ rating for games here in Oz but I won’t hold my breath and until that day comes I guess I will just have to keep ordering my games from overseas.

  • Why is there so much being done about the content of adult video games yet children are allowed to recieve emails containing porn links and pictures. With filters and purchased software, i still cannot prevent this. Where is the priorities?

  • I have all the other GTA games & as I lived in England before moving to Adelaide I have had no problems.The rumor was that you couldn’t shoot the Police in Australian games but I don’t know if this is true as I got the English editions.I will be getting my mate to send me the English version & see what the differnce is.I’m not gonna moan as I choose to move here but the trade here will suffer as it’s so easy to get stuff from abroad via internet.Either way we need a 18+ certification to stop this problem as it will happen again & Australia can make up it’s own mind.Not only do kids play these games it’s us grown ups as well!!!!

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