Rumour: Here’s What Rockstar Removed From Australian/NZ GTA IV

Rumour: Here’s What Rockstar Removed From Australian/NZ GTA IV

ImageRockstar 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 We were recently given permission to release this information because as we understand, Rockstar originally made a press release stating that the game would be released uncut world wide.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]


  • doesn’t change the fact that I can buy 2 copies from the UK for the cost of 1 AU copy – a bit of a delay yes, bit more time to setup my new lounge room with lcd. This info could be an intentional decoy from Rockstar as it’s important they make the differences appear ever so minute as not to hurt sales in this territory.

  • If this is all, then I can live with it, and my pre-order still stands. As long as they don’t remove anything from the actual gameplay.

  • Livable.
    Australia will get my patronage…

    Still annoyed about the secrecy and overpricing though.

    I have to support my future industry though. sigh.

  • I guess that rumor about the baseball bat up the Jatz cracker that I mentioned (I’m so great) last week was true.

    My pre-order still stands, a single moment of a cut scene missing from the game isn’t a deal breaker for me. I’ll support my local store. If I really want to see something like that I can always pop in American History X or Deliverance. I’m sure the cut scene will appear on YouTube within a week of the game releasing.

  • We shouldn’t have to “live with it”, we’re as close as we’ve ever been to getting an R rating, don’t get complacent now. Especially when the attorney generals have said they’ll seek public sentiment on the issue. Importing not only allows you to play the game as intended, it’s cheaper. Win-win.

  • You are all suckers. stop paying obsurd prices for edited games. order from asia. they are half price and unedited. Most offer free or cheap posting. vote with your wallets, it is the only way these scum bags will learn to fairly price our software.

  • You guys just need to know where to shop. JB will have it for around $79. Otherwise you can trade 3 old crappy games and get it for free.

    Ok, so eBay have it cheaper, but a lot of other overseas stores would still charge you $90 odd to import. It’s 40 pounds on most sites, which equates to $90+ including import costs.

    I don’t know where people pull the ‘twice the cost’ from. Sure we pay a bit more, but when you compare the prices it’s not that much. People also need to stop going to EB with their full retail price games, and shop around a little.

  • @ ED and P.P. BOHNER

    1. I’ve never bought a game full price as JB Hifi and similar retailers almost always retail new games at $79.

    2. I’ve allready got $20 of my S E preorder because of a deal Gametraders had so its not costing me anymore.

    3. I don’t have to wait on the mail man or pay postage.

    4. I’m supporting the Australian economy, Asia gets to much of my damn money all ready.

    5. If I ever want to see a scene of forced man love that badly I’ll watch The Oz.

    I still think we should have an R rating and its ridiculous that we don’t but come on, all the arguements for importing the game I’ve heard are flawed.

  • mike said =

    “I don’t know where people pull the ‘twice the cost’ from. Sure we pay a bit more, but when you compare the prices it’s not that much. People also need to stop going to EB with their full retail price games, and shop around a little.”

    Probably due to the fact our rrp is $120 compared to american $60 when our dollar is just about the same. Not everyone has the option of shopping around. not living in a city, my options include harvey norman or nothing.

    Well if the rumours true its not as big a deal as i first thought, though for all i knew we could of been missing out on alot more. Still, on principle im happy with my uncensored ebay purchase (and it costs me $50 less.)

    In a whimsical optimistic land i would love to think rockstar pulled this just to stir up shit about our ratings system, if any game could pull the people to action its this one.

  • considerning in about 20 hours from release the “banned” clip will be on youtube, it’s not really a big deal.

    If all they took out was one or even up to 5 cutscenes i don’t care. Most cutscenes can be watched on video sites

    as far as i’m concerend though we still need a r18+ rating for video games. If X rated porn is legal in some states than why should gamers who are old enough to se that be denied of a little more blood, or a suggestive movie in a game

  • I don’t like the idea that I am paying equal to 146 USD for the biggest game of this decade, and that I will NOT be getting the exact same experience that Rockstar intended me to have or the same experience the rest of the world is getting. The biggest release in the history of video games and us Australians have to settle for less than the complete experience

  • Its just stupid that we dont have an R rating but the only ppl you can blame it on are the idiot parents that buy there kids MA+ games then complain because there too graphic thats what is making it take sooooo long for this to happen that and the old fuddy duddy ppl making the rules once the really old ones die off there will be changes.Anywho im not bothered about the missing scene but i will be annoyed it they do put stars on the womans breasts and stuff cos it just looks stupid.

  • @Mike and @AJ
    Do some shopping around. JB (where I shop when I buy locally) have the game available on pre-order for $115. Play-Asia has it for AU$70. OK, not quite half-price but a big saving. As for whatever they’ve taken out (at this stage it’s all still just rumour), the issue is bigger than that. If you’re happy to have the government make decisions as to what you’re capable of playing/viewing, that’s your choice. I’ll make those decisions for myself.

  • I’m pretty sure the imagined, naieve whingy Ms. Lovejoy style parents that Michael mentions don’t exist. I’ve never heard of parents making official complaints or taking action against media outlets in Australia. Likewise the OFLC are just an organisation doing their job within the guidelines set to them and Rockstar just want us to have their product and be happy.

    If you want to lay some thick, creamy blame on someone it should all go squarely totally and utterly on the head of the Attorney General’s of Australia, and one in particular. The law makers are completely to blame for the state of our media classification laws and its at their biased discretion that we get decided for us what media we can consume. Not that it matters that technology has gone beyond their ability to enforce their laws, or that popular culture is vastly different from how they perceive it, they’ll keep on paddling their sinking ship and take the Australian Games industry, Australian game consumers and the OFLC down with them.

  • This rumour is completely true, as this was the information that I, and some of my fellow SCE-NZ collegues, got out of Take 2 Interactive NZ on Wednesday 16th April.

  • Interesting, I still buy gta iv here im just interested in the game play after i clock the game then ill import maybe. I remembre clocking San andras un censored in aus and then clocking the cencored version they were so similar i coulnt find eny diffferences.

  • @AJ: I don’t know about Australia, but the Cheif Censor in NZ (Bill Hastings) answered this in an interview by Gameplanet:

    ‘GP: If our readers import the unedited version from, for example, the UK, what is the likely penalty if they get caught?

    Mr Hastings: Unless the game a person imports is objectionable (as is the case, for example, with Manhunt), there is no penalty for importing a game for your own use. A foreign classification is no guarantee that a game is not objectionable under New Zealand law. In the case of GTA IV however, I note that the British Board of Film Classification has given it an 18 certificate, so I rather doubt that either version is objectionable.

    If your readers import the UK version into New Zealand for their own use, there is no penalty provided it is not objectionable under New Zealand law. It does not even need a New Zealand label if you import it for your own use. If anyone decides to offer the UK version for sale or hire in New Zealand however, it will have to be submitted for classification and a New Zealand label.’


    I don’t care about what’s been taken out and what’s not. I’ve made up my mind to just import it.

  • So thanks to Australia’s censorship rules us Kiwi’s must suffer? I really wanted the full version, and heard that’s what I was getting. This is such a shame. If I wasn’t so anti game piracy I’d just download the leaked UK version from bittorrent. Oh the pain of having morals 🙁

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