Obviously it’s not real drug paraphernalia — it’s fake — but at a midnight launch for Grand Theft Auto V, one store set up pretend lines of cocaine on an in-store sales desk.
Considering the reputation of video games, and the reputation of Grand Theft Auto in general, this seems like a completely idiotic move. Sure, it’s a little bit of fun, but why take such a stupendous risk? You could make the argument that Grand Theft Auto V is an R18+ rated game, but we’re talking about parodying the consumption of illegal drugs here, in a branch of the largest specialist retailer in Australia.
Obviously people were going to talk about this stunt, obviously someone was going to take a picture and obviously that picture would make its way to the internet. A source has informed us that this was an isolated incident by one rogue store and that EB’s head office knew nothing about it, but this seems like extremely poor decision making by whoever was running the store in question.
I’ve been informed EB Games will be sending Kotaku a statement regarding the situation later today.
UPDATE: EB Games provided us with the following statement:
Regrettably, one of our EB Games store locations in Queensland set-up an unauthorised display within the store in support of the launch of the Grand Theft Auto V video game. The display included a white powdery substance that appeared to be some form of an illegal drug. We can confirm that the powdery substance was “sherbet”, a type of fizzy candy, and at no point did the store attempt to give any of the fizzy candy away. This was an isolated incident, and we apologise for any offence this may cause.