GTA V Unlikely to be Banned in Australia


Update: GTA V (uncensored) has since been granted an R18 rating by the ACB in Australia. Details here.

Australian gamers worried about Grand Theft Auto 5 being outright banned there can breath a sigh of relief if the email capture below (courtesy of Reddit) is to be believed. Via its “Mouthoff” feedback system, Rockstar Games has advised that everyone who pre-orders GTA V in Australia will receive a copy – the inference being that the next iteration of the sometimes controversial GTA game series will not banned Down Under.

rockstar-oz-ban-email

The worry stems from the Australian Classification Board’s (ACB) previous stern approach to games like the Grand Theft Auto Series, Left 4 Dead 2, Saint’s Row IV and Manhunt. Concerned gamers have been wondering if GTA 5 would be outright banned (which was always going to be unlikely) or otherwise to what extent it will be censored. At least email above should calm a lot of fears about the first scenario.

Another “positive” for Oz gamers is the R18+ rating which can, as of the start of this year, be given to video games. Previously only films could get an R18+ rating and games an MA15+, meaning that any game above MA15+ would be banned or require censure to bring it within MA15+ guidelines.

For a bit of history, Grand Theft Auto III was originally banned in Australia due to sexual violence involving prostitutes, with a censored version being released later. A PC version was then released uncut. Grand Theft Auto IV for Xbox 360 and PS3 was pre-censored by Rockstar Games and given an MA15+ rating, however the PC version was released unedited and given the same rating. Rockstar then released a patch for the console versions of the game that reversed the censoring originally put in place. The game retained its MA15+ rating.

The bottom line seems to be that Rockstar are on top of things and hopefully actively working with ACB. Whether they submit Grand Theft Auto V uncut and hope for a R18+ or MA15+ rating, or whether it requires some form of censor remains to be seen. The odds of Australian gamers being left “GTA V high and dry” come September 17 though are pretty much non-existent.

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