Report: PC Version of GTA IV Won’t Be Edited for Aussie Market …But?

There’s a confusing story on GameSpot this morning which reports that the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV will be released in the Australian market with no content edits.

It’s odd because earlier this year Australian censors refused to issue a rating to the console versions of GTA IV until some of the game’s animated hooker sex scenes were chopped. An unnanmed Australian Rockstar spokesperson told GameSpot:

Grand Theft Auto IV PC has been rated MA15+ strong violence, sex scenes, coarse language, and drug references by the Australian Classification Office. The PC game is unedited in any way and identical in content to the international version.

So… does this mean that Australia’s Office of Film and Literature Classification is no longer concerned about the hooker animations? Or that it is – for some reason – less concerned about them in the PC version? 

Is it possible that R* left the animations out of the PC version? Will future shipments of the console version to Australia add the sex scenes back in?

Something doesn’t add up on this one.

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  1. DexX says:

    The newspost above contains a major inaccuracy – the Australian Classification Board (formerly the Office of Film and Literature Classification) never saw an unedited version of GTA4 on console and never demanded edits.

    Take 2 suspected that the CB would object to some of the content in the game and, without consultation, pre-edited the console release.  There were two minor edits: picking up hookers was toned down (no levels of service, and camera fixed behind the car) and running over corposes no longer left bloody tyre marks on the road.  This is the only version that the CB saw.  They never saw an unedited version and never demanded cuts.

    It appears that Take 2 figured the PC version is not as important to their overall financial goals, so if it were to be refused classification and need to be resubmitted, it wouldn’t hurt them too much.  As such, they simply submitted the unedited version for classification.  Surprise, surprise, the CB being as wonderfully consistent as it is (not), it’s been passed just fine with an MA15+ rating.

    I’m just reading between the lines here, of course, and there’s more than a little conjecture.  If I’m right, though, it’s one helluva clever marketing ploy from Take 2.  Many Aussies would be tempted to buy the game again on PC, just so they know they have the original, unedited product, free from government interference.

    I gues we’ll have to wait and see.

  2. Pseudonym says:

    It’s illegal to sell unrated games in Australia, unfortunately. :\

    Remember, all the games that have been ‘banned’ weren’t banned as such, they were just refused classification and thus because illegal to sell. Although apparently this also extends into it being illegal to import the game, I have no idea how that works.

  3. penneh says:

    Pre-ordering today, picking up tomorrow. 

    Hopefully just right before the Family groups start whining and get this version b&.

  4. Thomas McKenna says:

    The problem with this article is that it trys to find logic in the workings of a major government body.

  5. TBoneTony says:

    Remember back in the 80s when the Videogame Crash affected the American Market, until Nintendo released their NES with R.O.B and they sold it as a toy?

    Even though it was an important steep for the Videogame Industry, it also highlights the verry issue that we see now. There are still people from an older generation who still see Videogame Consoles as toys and the PC market avoided it when the Commodore 64 marketed itself as more of a world processor computer.

    Shame that the old belifes of the older generation of the 80’s and the 90’s don’t really match up with the market of today where Videogames are seen as a console for everyone of different tastes and sensabilities.

  6. TBoneTony says:

    It will be interesting to see that if there was anyone to challenge the Seat of Michael Atkinson in the 2010 South Australian State election, I would rather see it be a young Gamer Politician who knows allot more about Videogames and also about the Media Violence Research than what Mr Atkinson does.

    But also he or she would have to come up against allot of parinoid parents who do fear videogames, and who are more perswayed to Mr Atkinson’s belief.

    If the South Australian Liberal Party want to take Mr Atkinson’s seat, one that is one of the safest Labor seats, then they would have to go for someone who is completely different to Mr Atkinson who could give him a run for his money.



  7. Black Patriot says:

    Thats not actually true.

    The current South Australian Labor government can choose to change the Attorney General to someone other than Michael Atkinson, and the state Labor government has stated that they are not opposed to an R18+ rating.

    It is also possible for the Liberal party to win the next state election, which would also see a change in the Attorney General, and the Liberals also have no problem with an R rating.

    The only thing that can’t happen is for Atkinson to lose his seat, as he is in one of the safest Labor seats in the state.

  8. Ashkihyena says:

    I’d definitly have to go with this, its pretty much what Cpt Crunchie said, they don’t see the PC as a gaming console, while the regular consoles are "toys" that must be regulated to hell and back, so yeah, that’d pretty much be the reason.

  9. zel says:

    You hit the nail right on the head IMO. Many people make this connection in their head that console=kids toy and computer=adult toy. Which is ridiculous, to be sure, however it’s just goes to show how out-of-touch with the times these people are. Kids that played Atari 2600, NES, Neo-Geo(way ahead of their time), Sega master system, SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, Sega X32, and on and on, we’re adults now, and we play games. Even adults who didn’t play those old systems as kids are getting into it now. It’s ridiculous to assume consoles are made for kids especially when this current generation had us seeing $500-600 price tages for just the system. These things are now basically miniature computer systems with network connections and hard drives, USB ports and everything. Bah…  poly-ticks…


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  10. cpt crunchie says:

    they let it slide because they don’t see the PC as a "gaming platform." a PC is something that everybody has. but a console is a "toy" that only children have. so a game on the console is a lot more likely to get into the hands of a child, because, "games are for kids," you know. it all makes sense if you look at it from their whacky point of view. but that doesn’t make it right.


    It is not murder; I am merely advancing the hands of the clock, just a bit.

  11. Mr.Tastix says:

    It won’t be reason b. The reason why the highest rating for video games in Australia is because one Michael Atkinson believes what Jack Thompson does: That violent videos games cause violence. He even tries to state "scientific research" to backup his claims (but as far as I’ve read about, these supposed tests are flawed incredibly anyway).

    Because of his vote against an R18 rating, the chances of Australia ever getting an R18 rating for games is slim to nothing. Unless or course he dies or retires.

    — Joshua Smellie

  12. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Sounds to me that a. they weren’t paying as much attention when rating this version or b. it is no longer a convenient whipping boy do to the game being out for several months already or c. They just assumed it was the same version as the console versions and gave it the same rating.

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  13. Wraith108 says:

    the most sensible conclusion is that the stuff the objected to from the console version is not in the PC version. Still sucks for the Aussies. I wonder what version Steam will carry in Aus.

  14. DeusPayne says:

    It’s australian politicians at work. Of COURSE it doesn’t make any sense. Just make note that you’re glad you don’t live there, and move on. :p

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