Rockstar edited GTA IV for Australia. It gave a vague statement regarding the edits. Everyone thought New Zealand would get the unmodified game, as its classification board gave it an R-rating. Gameplanet NZ broke the bad news that this was, in fact, not the case.
Yet there's still one puzzle piece to this saga that remains stuck between the toes of the PR machine: What did Rockstar take out of the AU/NZ build?
There's a good chance this may be that piece:
Okay guys, I have some news for you regarding what was edited from the AU release. I just gave Take2 a call (a friggin expensive 1902 number!) and this is exactly what I was told:
"Well in regards to what Rockstar have removed for the Australian release, as far as we're aware there was only one sexually violent cut-scene which Rockstar felt would cause the game to be Refused Classification. Unfortunately we're not able to go into specifics until after the game has been released but I can tell you that the scene involves a weapon being inserted into an enemies private area during a mission where Niko is taking revenge after one of his close friends was forced into sexual intercourse during his stay in prison."
Seriously I thought he was joking ....I was like LOL you're joking right? He says "No. This is what Rockstar felt needed to be removed from the game for it's Australian release. We were recently given permission to release this information because as we understand, Rockstar originally made a press release stating that the game would be released uncut world wide. We felt it would be misleading not to release the information".
I had to go on a bit of a hunt to find the origin of this quote, as it was posted on a number of message boards, but I tracked it down to a user on Whirlpool - an Australian ISP/telecommunications news site.
As reasonable as the info sounds we have to mark this as rumour, as Rockstar's local office has failed to reply to our emails on the subject. However, going by what I've read here, I'll be calling Take 2's customer support in the future.
In my opinion, it's a minor change and hardly game-breaking. Still, the issues of censorship and price remain, and these will be enough for many gamers to spend their dollars overseas.
UPDATE (17/04/2008): Rockstar has finally commented about the rumour, stating that It is "untrue". You'll understand however I'm reluctant to take the publisher on its word, considering it also said our version of the game would completely uncensored just months ago.
UPDATE (17/04/2008): We have read the official OFLC report on GTA IV, and it contradicts Rockstar's statement about this rumour.
GTAIV Discussion Thread (Part 3) [Whirlpool]