Australia Getting Watered-Down Version of GTA IV

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Grand Theft Auto IV, due for April 29th release, has been edited to satisfy Australian censors. Jason Hill of the SMH writes:

A Rockstar spokesperson confirmed to Screen Play yesterday that the company had produced a special version of GTA IV to comply with the Australian classification system, which does not currently contain an R18+ rating, but declined to reveal what material had been cut…

The Grand Theft Auto series has a chequered past with the OFLC in Australia. In 2001, thousands of copies of GTA III were sold before the game was rated and refused classification because players could pick-up prostitutes. An edited version was later released. 2002’s Gran Theft Auto: Vice City was also edited for Australian audiences.


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  1. 0
    Pedro says:

    hey guys, Puz is correct… ‘gamesman’ web guru .mantis has just confirmed that ALL NEW ZEALAND RETAILERS ARE GETTING THE AUSTRALIAN VERSION. Import a US one if you want the rizzle dizzle.

  2. 0
    Michael ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Don’t blame to OFLC. Blame the Hon MICHAEL ATKINSON MP, the South Australian Attorney General. He is the ONLY Attorney general holding out on allowing an R18+ rating for games.

    Otherwise we’d HAVE the uncensored version, albeit rated R18+.

  3. 0
    Harry Miste ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Jono345:

    “…Maybe reduced sales [of GTA: IV] in Australia will clue people in!”

    No, it’ll be ammo for those who think the majority of gamers are crooks who pirate games so they can have their precious violence and sex.

  4. 0
    Goatlemon says:

    Well this certainly does suck, but I can’t say I’m surprised. The worse thing is that I’ve already preordered the special edition.

    I’ll probably just import the standard version from NZ, trade the neutered copy and keep the bonus stuff.

    It’s going to cost fortune, and I guess for GTA it would be worth it, BUT I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO!

  5. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Loudspeaker

    Tonight the hard hitting news conferance! With Your host GP, you interviewers: anyone who askes a stupid answer specificly for a stupid answer, Tonights Guest Loudspeaker!

    Will the Kangaroos be available for pick up then subsiquent murder? Also, is the rumor you can beat the ever loving **** out of Aquaman true?!

  6. 0
    Michael ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Judith Iscariot: “So what’s to prevent Australian gamers from importing the US or EU version?”

    Absolutely nothing. The ban is on the sale of the game. Not on ownership. Siply import from NZ. It’s faster.

  7. 0
    Michael ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh and the R18+ classification for Australia is getting close; a lot of Attorney Generals are in favor of it. Unfortunately to change the law nationally, it has to be a unanimous decision by the six State Attorney General’s …. and South Australia is the only state holding out.

  8. 0
    Michael ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Are’el. Australians are not uptight about sex. It’s the violence that the censers have an issue with. What the story failed to mention was GTA3 was banned because you could pickup prostitutes AND THEN kill them to get your money back.

    When it comes to sex, we’re quite liberal minded.

  9. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    Yup, you’ve pretty much said what I planned to. I’m asking for the 360 version of GTA4 for my birthday and then when the PC version comes out, utorrent might just consume a few gig of my bandwidth…

    The OFLC will be getting a stern letter from me which will force them to expend the energy to crunch it up into a ball and toss it into a paper recycle bin. That’ll show ’em!

  10. 0
    Kharnivore. says:

    *sigh* It looks like again I’ll be resorting piracy when really I wish to support the companies that make the products I love but I will NOT consume censored content. I’m an adult dammit and I will decide what content is appropriate for me.

    The OPLC is out of control and clearly going against the will of the populace – not just in these matters but in film and literature as well. For a supposedly democratic country Australia has some of the harshest censorship of the western world.

  11. 0
    minefield says:

    I called the OFLC for confirmation but all I got was “We don’t censor games, we just rate them – call the distributor”.

    However, T2’s website is terrible. Can’t find a contact number anywhere and there online registration system is broken. Typical.

  12. 0
    jarrod ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    this is just getting ridiculous, we need this R rating more than ever right now. looks like i’ll being importing from NZ, i’m not paying for a bullshit censored version.

  13. 0
    TBoneTony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is a sad part of being an Australian gamer.

    Violence is ok but any sign of Prostitutes are considered more offensive.

    May I add that there are many Prostitutes in many MA15+ rated movies…

  14. 0
    Ken ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This coming from a country that according to The Simpsons, was founded by British convicts. Maybe in the Aussie version, you jack kangaroos and shoot koalas instead of people.

  15. 0
    minefield says:

    Cheers Clever.

    I’ll be getting it the 360 and I’m unsure which region will be compatible. I know I can order it from New Zealand, but are there any other countries I can get it from, just in case?

  16. 0
    Internet Hate Machine ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Heh, for once I’m glad I’m on the other side of the ditch (Tasman Sea). Otherwise I’d be lunging at Loudspeaker’s throat simply out of frustration.

  17. 0
    Clever ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ minefield
    I use or They’re best for the PS3 as it’s region free but for PAL sometimes they’re a day or two behind (which baffles me because they mostly sell to PAL countries)…

  18. 0
    minefield says:

    This is oh so painful. Not only is it censored, but the game costs at least $120. What. The. Hell.

    I’m cancelling my pre-order and importing, and I’m not happy about it. Does anybody have good links to a cheap and fast import site?

  19. 0
    Twixn says:

    As an Aussie, I import all my games anyway. Cheaper (even
    paying US/Japan retail prices, plus postage), and usually WAY
    before the game is even released here, if at all (I am one of the
    few here to own smash bros, freeloader is handy, and last time
    I get a non region free PAL console).

    I’ll import this just like everything else, skip all of the crap we have to put
    up with.


  20. 0
    Ragnaar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m only joking here, but…

    The US continues to water down beers.

    Australia will water down their games until that stops.

  21. 0
    Trent says:

    Good move there Australia now people will just import the game and Australia will just miss out on any financial benefit it may have brought.

    Glad you thought this whole “moral outrage” thing through….

  22. 0
    Judith Iscariot says:

    …So what’s to prevent Australian gamers from importing the US or EU version?

    Last time I checked the PS3 was region-free for all PS3 games…

  23. 0
    Loudspeaker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In a recent rumor started by Loudspeaker…

    …Take-Two has replaced all prostitutes in GTA IV with kangaroos to meet the Australian censorship board’s standards and get the game released. When a Take Two representative was asked, “Why not koalas?” she replied, “Koalas are much too violent and have claws. They’d never pass the censorship board’s gaming standards.”

    A soon to be former attorney had this to say: “It’s written down. It must be true!”

    …More as the story develops 😉

  24. 0
    X201 says:


    It probably is the prostitutes. They now offer three “levels of service” in the game and it sounds like its not just the old bouncing suspension animation.

  25. 0
    Are'el ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This runs opposite of my general perception of Australia. I would have never imagined that they were more uptight about sex and violence in media than Americans are. I figured it was a pretty much a laid back country. Hollywood has lied to me!

  26. 0
    Clever ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So it would appear I’m either going to have to get it from the kiwis or resort to piracy… I’m still so confused what we stand to lose by having an R18+ rating – it’s not like we’re allergic to money… *kisses a $20 – breaks out in hives* well I’ll be…. Honestly, if the footy is over then I think Dangerous Minds is on and I can guarantee you it’s uncensored. Heck there was every sort of foul mouthed thing going on at the Melbourne Comedy Festival which was on at 8:30 and that was for bloody charity! We are not a fragile society…

  27. 0
    Ian Cooper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    They probably just removed all the jokes about Australia being a vast wasteland where birds fly upside down because it’s not even worth pissing on.

  28. 0
    Jono345 says:

    I like how some people bash the OFLC here, when they are not the bad guys. They simply have to check the game against a criteria set for them by the Government. The only thing holding us back now is that idiotic SA Attorney General, who doesn’t even represent the views of people in his own state! (As a South Australian, I can say that!)

    For now I’m planning to import from NZ, I’ll still save $10-20 over buying it from EB. I also have a number of friends who are planning the same thing… Maybe reduced sales in Australia will clue people in!

  29. 0
    edward ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, first things first this does lick the testicals of the symian. Being an Aussie gamer i have been importing since the days of the Megadrive. GTA has always been a game that attracts a lot of attention. And here in Australia has obviously been no different. But this all comes down to the lack of the R18+ certificate for video games. There is debate at the moment to correct this, but like all things involving government it takes time, games aren’t children or terrorism.
    I would prefer it come out slightly censored than not at all. I personally am importing the sucker from Asia… FTW.
    Australia is currently coming out of 12 years of conservative fear, it will take a while to return to the free loving larricans we are known as.

  30. 0
    Salen says:

    I wonder what Yahtzee will think of this little fact when he reviews the game. Oh well. I just wish I knew what they’d tossed out from the game to make it rating friendly.

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