Kmart Has Now Pulled Grand Theft Auto V In Australia

Kmart Has Now Pulled Grand Theft Auto V In Australia
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

We’ve just gotten official word that Kmart Australia has also pulled Grand Theft Auto V from stores in Australia. More news on this soon.

An official from Kmart Australia confirmed the news to Kotaku over the phone.

“Following a significant review of all content in Grand Theft Auto Games Kmart has taken the decision to remove this product immediately,” read a statement. ”Kmart apologises for not being closer to the content of this game.”

This comes in the wake of news that Target pulled the game from shelves after receiving a 41,000 strong petition.

It’s worth noting that both Kmart and Target are owned by the same retail group, Wesfarmers. It could be that the group itself is simply covering all possible bases after the petition.

Comments

        • First person completes the immersion and removes the line between the game and reality to the point where player is unable to distinguish between the two and soon takes to the streets of the real world and commences attacks on random people, all the while thinking that they are still playing the game.

          (This is what petitioners actually believe.)

          • It’s true though! Name one case of a violent incident that occurred before the invention of video games. Name one case of violence against a sex worker before GTA invented the idea. You can’t!

            I get the first person thing changing the game though, some reviewers noted how the violence is much more intense seeing it up close. But that still bears no influence on real life violence and it is already in a game that is rated r and not suitable for children in the first place.

          • Jack the ripper the serial killer who was never identified
            You don’t know Jack. A video game
            What more proof do you need that video games cause murder

          • I think the missing link is the controllers shaped like guns that teach you how to shoot people.

          • like those light guns for time crisis and such ? 😛 (reply to Inquisitorsz since it wouldnt lemme :P)

          • Actually, the whole thing reads like the script of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut just replacing ‘movie’ with ‘video game’.

      • Exactly, this is the reason this whole mess is so goddamned fucking retarded, there is very little difference between versions other than 30 seconds of dry fully clothed first person humping.

        Other than that, absolute jack shit.

    • Please not before the PC version is released.

      I’ve already traded in my PS3 copy, so if I have to fart arse around importing a PC copy rather than just buying it on Steam then I will be pissed.

  • Well, they are both owned by Wesfarmers. So not really surprised.

    If I saw Big W doing the same, then I would be surprised.

    • Yes but this shows that they’re clearly doing it because they’ve examined the reasoning behind the argument of the petition, instead of simply due to bad press or negativity associated with Target, in my opinion. I don’t see what they’re gaining by removing it for their other stores when the petition raised controversy against Target itself.

      • Targets Demographic don’t want them to stock a product, they would be stupid to stock it against the wishes of their Demographic.

        Making you Demographic happy will keep you in buisness.

        At the end of the day we can buy GTA 5 from JB, EB, Big W and Online retailers. The petition was not to have the game banned from shelves, simply to have it removed from Target (and K-Mart who are part of the same parent company). Big W may even follow suit. But EB and JB won’t. It will be available on the online services (wait for a sale). You can still get the game, if you own it you can still play and enjoy it.

        • It is a victory for the twits who want the game banned though and it will embolden them to push for other kinds of restrictions. It also creates a low level media fuss around the game which will help them draw more nitwits out of the closet to support their cause.

          They want Target to pull the game because they don’t want it to be available. They targeted Target because they’re an easy target (heh) and it will help them to push for other retailers to drop the game and ultimately lead to the kind of bad press that certain politicians love to get up in arms about.

          Westfarmers don’t have to sell the game in their “family” stores if they’re too stupid to properly monitor the sales of these games. Even in the US it’s common for major retailers not to stock content which is rated ‘X’ even if it’s legal for them to do so. I don’t have a problem with them not stocking the game if enough people want to whinge about it.

          Youre right though, as long as the firestorm doesn’t get to the point that people start discussing having the games classification reviewed (or worse, the whole system) then it really doesn’t matter for most gamers. I can’t see a handful of hysterical losers getting organised enough to put real pressure on places like JB where thousands and thousands of gamers actually hand over cash (not petitions) in support of the game.

    • Lucky Westfarmers don’t own Liquorland, 1st Choice Liquor or Vintage Cellars. They wouldn’t want to run the risk of selling a product which is 100% proven to contribute to TENS OF THOUSANDS of assaults of all types on people of all ages and genders every year.

      Oh wait….

  • FFS this is BS. Look i get the reasoning behind it but maybe if people played the game first they would understand.

    • LOL LOL THIS.

      Since the game has been in 1st person there has been more attention given to this than before – it’s rediculous. A few of my relatives if this was the first GTA game with prostitutes in it, which made me lol. No ma, Prostitutes have been in the GTA games since ’01.

  • ”Kmart apologises for not being closer to the content of this game.”

    Kmart apologises for not noticing the R18+ sticker on the box for a year. *facepalm*

  • Rockstar have always had a bit of a “IDGAF” attitude.
    It would be amazing if they included a female protagonist in the next game. Controversy galore!

    • Would there be uproar if she slept with male prostitutes and then ran them down for their money? Or would it be framed any number of other ways to suggest it’s not as bad as the current situation?

      • I’d personally like to think Rockstar wouldn’t put too much thought into it. They’d just casually drop a female into one of three playable characters (like GTA V), and then just sit back and see what people say about it.

        It would also kinda flip the bird to Ubisoft if a dev casually says in an interview that it was pretty easy to do.

        • I just remembered that there is actually a female character in the game. The hacker girl who you can do heists with. Sure she pretty much says nothing but she is the best hacker you can hire on the job… And there is also a powerful female executive type who is in the Devin Westen parts of the game.

          So I mean even the normal tropes don’t fully apply to this game…

    • Dude. She is followed by catcallers and even dudes wanting to have sex with her. What does she do? She fucking proceeds to kick the shit out of them and run them over. I back this power fantasy 1000%.

    • If anything this controversy is going to result in more sales not less….
      Well, less for Target and Kmart. Unlucky.

      • I was thinking this, someone at R* is surely just rocking back in their chair thinking: ahhhh, sweet controversy, you can’t buy this kind of publicity.

    • They seem to get the major releases… at least for the first few weeks until the 5 copies they got in are gone.

    • Tinfoil hat theory: Rockstar got someone to start the petition to panic people into thinking it would be banned and rush out to buy the PS4/Xbone versions.

  • This is what we were afraid of. The chain reaction that may eventually lead to an all out ban on the game.

    Come to think of it, these games can be downloaded onto the console. I bet you this weeks pay that all parents that are against this game have their credit card details saved into their childrens consoles with no hint of parental locking.

    • Yep…

      Mum: Billy, what did you but on the PlayStation Store last week for $100!?
      Billy: GTA 5 mum, it’s this great game where you can drive cars, trucks and taxis, fly planes helicopters and even big overseas planes! It’s sooo much fun! And I can play online with Sam from school and do missions together and race each other!!
      Mum: oh… That sounds fun.

      • That’s being a bit over dramatic thought isn’t it? I mean first you’re assuming that these people aren’t also the types to flip out over a $100 purchase on what they consider a kids toy. If you think the XBOX is just a toy then you probably think the prices on the XBOX/PSN stores are way too high (hell, even if you don’t think they’re toys those prices are nuts).
        Then you’re assuming the mother just outright doesn’t pay attention to what the kid is doing. Most of the mothers with their noses bent out of shape here see the game being played and get angry that it was sold to them in the first place. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be aware enough of what’s going on to be upset. Their kids would just be playing GTA and annoying me in FPS multiplayer and they’d be none the wiser.
        Lastly you’re implying that a good parent considers everything their child says is a lie. As someone who has a mother with no sense of boundaries or privacy I can say that’s just a terrible way to raise a kid. I think if you were to go through the people who signed the petition there would be a lot more of those sorts of parents than the lazy ones you describe. They may appear lazy in the store because they assume the place they buy their kids toys is a safe environment to buy their kids games but I’ve always found these groups to be made up of people who treat their kids like they’re made of glass.

        The big difference with digital is that when they go back to the place that sold the game to their kid it’s Microsoft. They yell at Microsoft who respond by telling them how to properly configure the parental controls and that usually resolves the situation.

        • I think… you may have missed the point… Was intentionally over dramatic to highlight the point I was replying to. Bonus points if anyone smiled.

          Your price concerns also miss the point. Myself, and plenty of others, don’t object to spending that money on our children if we have the disposable income to do it. $100 isn’t a huge amount of money these days, particularly if a household is brining in $200k p.a. (Underlying assumption here is that parents are well informed and understand that PS4/XB1 are not traditional toys in the same way a Barbie or a plush animal might be considered).

          Also, please don’t twist my entirely hypothetical example into an implication that ‘good parents consider everything their childs says is a lie’. That’s a rather large, inaccurate, leap to make.

          • But your example paints the parent as the bad guy because they don’t pay enough attention to see their child is lying. It may be a large leap but your joke baits that leap. It almost relies on that leap being made to be funny.
            I do get that you’re joking but I don’t think it’s a very helpful joke. It’s the sort of joke that makes one group feel really justified for completely dismissing the views and concerns of a group they’re conflicted with. Imagine if I were to make a joke about 18+ gamers being upset over this because now they have to go out and get a life. This comment section would go berserk about how unfair and unrealistic that stereotype is, yet you get a fist full of upvotes for a joke that implies parents are just lazy, easily manipulated idiots.

            As for the cost it’s not that $100 is a lot of money it’s that it’s an abnormal amount for a kids toy. Not an unheard of one obviously but I think it’s noteworthy regardless of how much you make.

        • A good chunk of people that signed the petition would never have seen the game or know of anyone that plays it. They’ve seen it on fb or the news and signed on up to protect the children.

    • It’s worth noting that both Kmart and Target are owned by the same retail group, Wesfarmers. It could be that the group itself is simply covering all possible bases after the petition.
      Soon as I saw this article I thought “Well, Kmart and Target are owned by the same company, why wouldn’t Kmart follow rank?”.

      Unless a business outside Wesfarmers pulls the game, there is nothing to worry about.

      • I actually didn’t know that til reading this article. Makes sense, though. The petition was only to Target, but they’re protecting themselves from being accused of only responding for appearance’s sake, as opposed to being guided by principles.
        (No matter how completely ignorant and ill-informed those principles may be.)

        • But they ARE only responding for appearance’s sake. So transparent! This game has been on sale on PS360 for a year or so and OH NOES! Suddenly we have realised that it allows players to commit violence against women … XD SMH… These guys have no principles but their pursuit of profit. If there hadn’t been a petition (and unspoken threat of boycott) they would have continued on their merry way…

          • Oh, you don’t have to actually have the principles to want to avoid being accused of not having them. 🙂

    • I bet you this weeks pay that all parents that are against this game have their credit card details saved into their childrens consoles with no hint of parental locking.

      To be fair my god damn Microsoft account sucked up every credit card I’ve ever looked at and put it on my XBOX One ‘for my convenience’ without telling me. I went to buy something off the XBOX Store a while back and noticed that somehow my Amex was linked to my account. My card without a limit is just sitting there as a payment option on my console with no ‘forget you ever saw this or American Express will send goons to break your legs’ button.
      I eventually traced it back to a work purchase I made on the Microsoft Store that didn’t stop to mention anything about saving my details and linking them to an account that historically you’ve been able to just ring support and bluff your way through gaining full access to. Sure you can say I should pay more attention and be more mindful, but it’s easy for this stuff to slip through the cracks even when you know what you’re looking at.

        • Pfft. Knowing that is overkill. Just say you’re too outraged with how poorly you’re being treated to remember the answers to their unreasonable questions like ‘what is your name’. Look up when I unlocked my first XBOX One achievement and tell them you brought the console at that time last (my privacy is set to show nothing, but I think my achievements can’t be made private). Love that social engineering…

    • And here I was thinking you supported the radical feminist agenda, and were ignorant of possible consequences of supporting it… Silly Me!

    • i would assume they would fulfill any existing orders but stop stocking the game. but given how knee jerk retarded they are they will probably not ship it and “forget” to give your money back.

  • Wonder what’s going to happen to all those pulled copies of the game? Oh, to be working at KMart or Target today…

  • Now now, no need to panic – yet.

    I will commence panicking when a non-Wesfarmers’ owned retail outlet also removes the game from sale. Just so I’m prepared, where’s that pitch fork I had before R18+ was introduced…

    • Oedipus has some questionable content in it… Somehow it’s cool to teach that in schools though.

    • Can always buy it from Microsoft or Sony direct. Digital sales are obviously not always ideal in terms of price and how long it takes to download for some. But always another way to get it.

  • Until the Classification board orders that it be censored in some way then I’ll worry. Until then this is two stores owned by the same people following the same order.

    Oh well, they just lose out on sales because ‘the majority’ of people signed a 41,000 signature petition

  • Okay, cool, fair enough, I can understand where these women are coming from, I love GTA but I will admit the way women get treated in the game makes me a bit uncomfortable. BUT if Wesfarmers are going to pull GTA off the shelves, there’s a host of other games they need to pull as well. Otherwise it just looks like a shitty PA stunt. Which I’m pretty sure it is.

  • Why, just why. It’s been fairly well established by mainstream media that you DON’T BUY THIS GAME FOR CHILDREN.

    Don’t bring about a world where all my adult content has to be acquired online. My internet plan can’t support it.

    • Greenman Gaming and Ozgameshop do some pretty decent work. When one doesn’t have something cheap, the other usually does. Does mean waiting a little longer sometimes, but y’know. For anyone affected by this on GTA5, day one obviously isn’t important to them.

      Also, fuck Australian retail. They’re the ones responsible for online distributors tacking forty fucking dollars onto nothing more than delivering to an Australian IP address. Let ’em burn.

      • Problem is that this has just warranted the distributor charging those rates. If I pre-sell 200,000 copies of a game and K-mart and Target send 40,000 units back to me where do you think that cost is going to go?

        You and I both know its straight to the consumer.

      • but if they make money, then woolworths wouldn’t have to cut so many staff hours to carry them financially, and I wouldn’t have to do twice as much work as I used to.

        • Not necessarily money, but sales. If they just want more money they can cut more staff. You’re hoping that decreased competition would lead to an increase in foot traffic, thus needing more sales/stock people. Don’t worry if they could get you to do 4 times the work without it affecting your quality I’m sure they would. But if you keep it up I’m sure you’ll reap the benefits.

          • oh yeh I know this, I don’t let my disdain for the situation affect the quality of my work, I have my morals and work ethic after all 😛

  • The only reason the petition got so many signitures is because the online petition was advertised on news.com and there was no link to sign any petitions against the ban.

    This is redicilous. Btw i feel that I can be ignorant too so I’m not gonna bother listening to this sh!t anymore. I’m buying online so I don’t know why I care.

    Why can’t we get an online petition to ban such bans? A handfull are offended and we must watch and play what they want us to?
    No!
    The [email protected]#$-g end!

      • I’ve seen and read through 3 of these petitions and they all have the same problems. They insult the original petition, address the concerns of the original in an almost marginalising way and use language that suggests it is written by an angry teenager. If we want to be able to address these concerns adequately we need to raise the concerns in the language of the corporations. Using terms like “bunch of feminists” is a really quick way to get ignored.

        If you’re thinking of signing or writing one of these, write in response to the game being removed only and refer only to the points in the previous petition not the people that created or signed in.

    • Agree with you but if we don’t post out against it the chances are that legislation will be introduced banning these types of games as unacceptable. Frustrating and Shitty, but at least Kmart questioned the content and not just the violence against women rubbish.

      • If they actually ever question anything, they would have done so long ago… They’ve been happy selling GTA games for years.

        Them claiming they did now is purely PR spin.

  • This is properly crazy. Why not pull any of the other games they sell that depict violence against women?

    And why go after Target to have it pulled from shelves? Why not any of the other retail giants? Why not petition the classification board to have it banned?

  • in the states theres ‘gamestop dumpster diving’

    i wonder if i can go to the local shopping centre and see what i may find…..

  • I realise that Wesfarmers owns both of these companies but from personal experience even when two companies are owned by a holding company, the two often act independently of each other.

  • This is bloody ridiculous. All because of some silly uninformed people that have to ruin it for the rest of us..

  • I dont understand why this has happened now? the game has been out for a year.
    As long as JB and EB arnt effected i’m not really bothered.

  • Tonight on the project: we are going to have a death battle debate on this with mia freedman & our resident conservative steve PRICE

  • I can’t wait for GTA7 to come out on Oculus Rift. I also look forward to not being allowed to play it in Australia. What I’m worried about is if this has a negative effect on the game classification system and future R18+ games get refused classification due to being scared of public outcry

    • But classification boards tends not to operate with misinformation and fear mongering… Unlike this petition and those who signed it, they actually look deeper into a game.

  • Still don’t care.

    Look, if you have a copy, you’re sorted. If you don’t have a copy, then Target and now K-Mart don’t want your business, but there are plenty of others who would be delighted to have it. Hooray for capitalism!

    Private companies may choose not to sell an item, and that is a business decision for them.

    I’m just as uncomfortable saying that retailers should be forced to sell something they don’t want to as I am saying that they should be prevented from selling a game that’s banned. It should be their choice either way.

    This is a million miles from the government banning Mortal Kombat in 2011. Even if that happens, you still have options. (I think it took me 2 weeks after release to get MK from PlayAsia.) All the discussion about whether or not the game contains appropriate/inappropriate material is beside the point. This isn’t about censorship, it’s about market economics. If anything, the Streisand effect should now be in full swing and sales of GTA5 will jump (and just in time for Xmas, how convenient!)

    If K-Mart and Target want to take a stand and are prepared to cop the lost revenue that goes along with it *shrugs*. Again, plenty of others will be more than happy to pick up that slack.

  • Oh my word, thank goodness. The women of Australia can now feel safe in their own homes again.

    Guess now that I cant buy GTA at Kmart or Target I wont be fulfilling my real life urge of raping unsuspecting ladies and then bludgeoning them to death with my axe.

    Ah well, what now? Guess this woman abuser will have to resort to beating the shit out of peach in Smash Bros. Ciao!

  • my god, actually reading that petition is laughable:

    “It’s a game that encourages players to murder women for entertainment. The incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get ‘health’ points – and now Target are stocking it and promoting it for your Xmas stocking. “

  • Are Target and Kmart not owned by the same shell company? Not surprised about this anyway though. The two always seem to be enjoying each others company….

  • Ladies & gents, this morning future purchases of this game in the lead up to xmas have been terminated due to the p.c culture & dicussion on ozzie gaming sites are possible over 9000, with an almighty debate that are going to be held on all news programs.

    • Yeah I noticed that story and that our own distinguished Mr Serrells got a mention along with a link to his earlier piece. Makin’ it big time now Mark 😛

  • @Markserrels Out of curiosity I contacted EB Games to see what their stance was on this matter. They msged me on facebook pretty quickly:

    ————————
    Hello Steve,

    Thank you for contacting us! We are very glad to hear you enjoy shopping with us and we appreciate the support!

    We will not be removing GTA V from our shelves

    Merry Christmas by the way!

    ————————

    While I understand they’re not the same company, it’s good to know they won’t cave to this.

      • lmao. I don’t mind the store at Forest Lake in Brisbane. They’ve always been good to me and they know I’m a student, the guy there, Matt, always price matches for me, actually seeking out the lowest price actively for me (yeah he wants a sale who cares, I worked as a sales rep too, customer service *counts*). So I respect great customer service when I get it. I’ve been into dozens of kmarts, targets, big w’s where I get zero customer service and some zombie serving me at the checkout, but I gotta admit, every time I go into EB at FL, Matt always speaks to me, has a conversation, I buy something, he speaks to my son and really converses with him about Adventure Time, Skylanders, Disney Infinity etc, he knows his stuff.

        I know they’re not all like that obvoiusly, but again, I place great value in someone like that, that’s why we’re repeat customers there.

  • I was waiting for the PC version but now I’m wondering if I should panic buy the PS4 version tonight in case this thing gets banned by a politician trying to score points.

    • If you’re waiting for the PC version then it won’t be hard to just buy it digitally anyway. Worry not, just be upset at the sensationalism Wesfarmers have fallen for!

      • If it’s an outright ban in Australia then Steam won’t sell it here so I might have to import a disc copy.

        • Steam is REALLY not the only option, is what I’m getting at. You can buy from hundreds of other digital retailers.

    • You’re doing it all wrong. Very few counter-petitions actually work.

      What you need to do is start a petition to ban another item from K-mart…followed by another, then another…and empty their shelves…

  • everybody relax, target and kmart removing GTA V from sale is actually a good thing!

    GTA V gets advertised by target and kmart alongside childrens toys, it gets discounted when there are sales on for kids.

    Kmart and Target removing them from sale is an acknowledgement that video games arent just for kids and that there are video games that should not be sold to kids.

    This is a step forwards, it’s a victory for mature age gamers, and it removes one weapon from the “think of the children” brigades arsenal : )

    • Wouldn’t the victory rather be Kmart and Target to change advertising layout rather than giving validation to this over-reaction?

      • They don’t sell alcohol, cigarettes, guns or porn either. They’re not exactly retailers for adult interests.

  • This decision is not going to drastically affect sales – I’m sure almost anyone who wanted to play GTA5 has already bought it. But they are perfectly within their rights to decide what they do and don’t want to stock. Good on them, I say. Heaven forbid a company actually have STANDARDS, whether you agree with them or not!

  • hmm are they pulling all R18 movies off their shelves as well?
    If the answer is yes, no problems.
    If the answer is no, then they should- because that would be consistent.
    Otherwise all they’re doing is second guessing the OFLC.

    • That would be inconsistent.
      The game was pulled due to accusations of content that glorifies sexual violence, not because of an R18+ rating. Part of this was due to the interactive element, which neither films nor books contain.

      • I can read a graphic description of rape from the rapists view, i can watch it, but simulated in a video game, nope thats apparently to much for me to handle

        • And if you were to re-read that depiction of rape and re-watch it over and over again until a hole melted in the discs substrate?

  • Put your hands up if you think both target & kmart will openly show the bluray/dvd for 50 shades of grey when it is released for those formats, if you forgot what genre they are in, it is a trilogy of porn, a reminder that these 2 stores are hypocrites when wanting to ban something

    • While I support the idea of Kmart & Target not selling adult games, I agree that they have a wildly hypocritical attitude towards other entertainment media.

      And the sooner they realize that, the sooner people might approach video games on an equal footing. IMO *that* is the battle gamers need to pick

  • I have a new idea. If 50K signatures is all it takes to pull a something from the shelves. We gather 100k people online (difficult I know ^_^) and start a petition WEEKLY to pull a RANDOM item from store shelves. Let’s call it project “fire sale”!!!

  • I’m not sure if this has been brought up in the conversation yet, but both Target and Kmart are owned by Coles/Wesfarmers. So to pull GTA out of Target meant they had to pull Kmart too. A Wesfarmers exec would have been influenced by an external force and then ordered the marketing managers of their retail arms to pull the stock.

  • I don’t see any Outrage towards Hatred, a much more deserving of the controversy, yet GTA V, a game with some rather important social messages that has already sold a ridiculous amount of copies is banned a year later?

    Hmmm.

  • Seriously? The game is rated R and says “High impact scenes and drug use”. What the actual fuck did the think was going to be in it? AND THE GAMES BEEN OUT FOR A YEAR! and for violence against women? There is NO scene in the whole game where you are forced to commit violence against women, yet it’s perfectly fine to torture another male? Fuck off Feminazi bitchs, stop oppressing men.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!