Uncensored version of Grand Theft Auto IV PC to go on sale down under.
Rockstar Games is no stranger to Australia's strict video game classification regime. Even before the company's highly anticipated title Grand Theft Auto IV hit shelves worldwide in April this year, rumours of edits to the Australian Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions began to circulate. Rockstar confirmed the rumours, saying that they had made voluntary content cuts that were "not significant" to the overall product in order to satisfy the guidelines enforced by the local ratings body--the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC)--which is now called the Classification Board.
This week will see the Australian launch of Grand Theft Auto IV for PC, and in a statement, Rockstar today confirmed to GameSpot AU that unlike the console versions currently on sale, the Australian PC retail release of GTAIV will be sold completely uncensored.
"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," a local Rockstar rep said.
The rules governing the Australian classification system means that once a multiplatform title has been approved fit for sale by the board, publishers are then able to sell the approved version on all subsequent developed platforms. A local Rockstar Games representative was unavailable for comment at time of print as to whether future Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 shipments of the game sold in Australia would feature the uncut content found in the PC version. While Rockstar has never officially confirmed what was cut out of the Aussie console versions of GTAIV, GameSpot AU's comparison of the local and international version found that prostitution options were pared down in Australian games.
The news comes less than a week after Warner Bros. Interactive title F.E.A.R. 2 was refused classification for failing to meet the maximum MA15+ guideline for video games. Being awarded the RC rating effectively bans the title from sale in Australia and marks the fifth title deemed unfit during 2008.
i have a feeling that once an R18+ rating is introduced they will simply become far stricter with the ratings then we'll be pushing for an X18+ rating for games and will put the gamers in a far worse position
@necronaux I know, and when you think about it, it doesn't make any sense at all. its total b.s. poor gamers who have to suffer like this.
...prostitution options were pared down in Australian games. ??? If that's all they cut out, then really, what's the big deal? And then, they allow future versions to be published with the full experience??? Sounds like the 'bans' really aren't holding much weight.
Fo rizzle? That's quite a surprise, but I expect it to be overturned like every other game is down there.
This classification will also make people judge themselves before buying games weather or not they're getting the whole gam or just the censor version. I know my Gta 4 and fallout 3 will be from oversea.
This is crap because after selling the censor games to people who were happy and in hurry to buy it, now they've decided something is missing and they want to sell it again with the extra and that is not fair. The gaming industrial will love to be able to sell censor and uncensored games to get more money and won't care about how we feel. The way i see things, this classification crap is going to make games sales in Australia less and everyone will prefer buying games from over seas with the uncut versions. They should allow the games in but stop kids under the recommended age from buying it that way we don't suffer because kids won't sleep well at night or they might become violent after playing the games. I also think r18+ games should be introduce to make things more fair and equal with the world. This classification will also make people judge themselves before buying games whether or not they're getting the whole game or just the censor version. I know my Gta 4 and fallout 3 will be from overseas.
We really need a R18+ rating down here in Australia. I really would like to play F.E.A.R 2 but I can't because of the stupid Classificatiob Board ratings only go up to MA15+ which is stupid.
Funny, I've been saying Rockstar did a disservice to Australian gamers by censoring the game before even submitting it to the OFLC and got abused for it - people saying that it would've been rejected and I was an idiot for suggesting it might have passed without cuts. Vindicated! Also, does this mean it is no longer illegal to import the uncensored console versions?
If this is correct than.....yyyEEAAAAAHHHHH BOOYAH!!!!!!!! Hell, I was gonna buy a retail version to play asap AND have an imported version coming afterwards, and just give away the other one or something. Even if I pretty much never use the content that IS banned, it always feels like crap when you know theres something missing that you can't do even if you wanted to. Ahhh my precious PC, how I love you!
Oh man I'm so happy. This means NZ gets the uncensored version too I guess. Cant wait till tomorrow.
@rctyke got it right on man. a really good PC will cost about $1000-$4000 depdning on what kind of hardware u got you know? so a lot of working men or women will work hard to get them self a PC not a kid. no way a mom or dad will put down a amount to put down for a car for just a kid that is going to go on cartton network.com or something you know?
Irrelevant, rctyke. If that were true, it would be smooth sailing for the PC version of FEAR 2, also. This is just odd. Even if there are new people making the decisions, I would think they would make the same decision for a game with the same content just for consistancy. Maybe it isn't the same content as in the console games??
Think of this, the audience for the PC version have less kids playing. Most go play on a game console, most can't afford a PC to play that version.
Riiiiight... because every gamer with a PC didn't either import or pirate it when it came out originally in Australia. Riiiiiight. :p
So does this mean instead of "Australia" we should say "Mommy and Daddy", as in Mommy and Daddy say it's okay for us 20+ year old kids to play this game even though they say no-no words in it? Seriously, if I lived in Australia I'd be deeply offended by their classification board. Already the idea of acting like everyone's a bunch of little toddlers who don't know reality from fantasy is far more offensive than anything you'll find in Grand Theft Auto if you ask me.
GodLike500 Posted Dec 1, 2008 11:26 am PT In regard to Judza's post, I think it's rather obvious what happened. The OFLC is a large organization, with many reviewers. The subject of what is and isn't offensive is largely a personal opinion. The likey scenario of what happened was there were different reviewer teams involved in the rating of FEAR 2, GTA for PC and GTA for console. It's just like review scores, different people look at different aspects of a game/movie to determine the entertainment value. _________________________________________________ And that is why these 'rating boards' should be taken down. Personally, I have no problem with my children seeing violence on TV, in movies, in games, etc. as long as I am there to tell them that the violence is the games is okay in FANTASY but not in REALITY... which children have a better grasp of the difference than most people would like to believe. Really, it's past time to realize that this is censorship by another name, and the benefits of censorship are NEVER worth the costs of censorship, period and done with. Really, they just need to add a higher classification, like the United States has, for things that an 18+ person can play. If they are TRULY worried about children and 'violence' (which most violent children come from them being BEAT ON BY PARENTS OR OTHERS, or seeing mommy and daddy beating each other or others!), they would simply give parents the means to make a good decision. Right now... these ratings aren't worth bupkiss.
Valas_Azuviir, it doesn't work that way, the uncut PC version needed to be submitted and classified. It has a seperate classification listed in the database.
Seems to me that folks are missing the point a bit. Rockstar pulled a fast one on the ACO. They first gave them a censored version of GTA4 for the consoles, knowing that once this got approved, that they could release an uncut version for the PC, in accordance with the rules that the ACO has. Meaning, that if WBI were to give them a censored version of FEAR2 for the consoles, then after it got approved, they could release an uncut version for the PC as well. It's all about the loopholes.
In regard to Judza's post, I think it's rather obvious what happened. The OFLC is a large organization, with many reviewers. The subject of what is and isn't offensive is largely a personal opinion. The likey scenario of what happened was there were different reviewer teams involved in the rating of FEAR 2, GTA for PC and GTA for console. It's just like review scores, different people look at different aspects of a game/movie to determine the entertainment value.
IMHO this game is crap anyways, GTA: SA is way more fun to play. Yes i have it on x360, and yes Ive finished it.
The console versions might have been able to get through uncut but Rockstar played it safe and cut them before submission. The uncut console version was never officially seen by the board and never refused classification (some previous GTA games have been R.C). The Classification Board's decisions are very inconsistent, so it's difficult to tell what they will allow a 15 year old to play.
Blood marks on Niko didnt appear, and neither did blood pools from people killed. Blood tracks from cars also did not appear as much. All in the Aussie version of GTA IV on consoles.
This proves just how inept the OFLC are at classifying games without the R rating in place. Talking about FEAR 2 and GTAIV here: both games (though the content is vastly different) are intended for a mature audience, both games have a large fanbase (so popularity isn't a factor when it comes to classifying a game as "banned"), and both games are interactive entertainment in the first degree (we carry out the actions OURSELVES etc.) However, GTA IV on consoles was given a supposed "insignificant cut" in the AU version, and that tipped the OFLC board to give it a MA15+ rather than banning it. Seems to me that with this announcement that the game is being released on PC "uncut", those "insignificant cuts" in the console versions were either... 1. Non-existent, and the game has always been released in just one version internationally. As a result, the OFLC did not really find anything that warranted a ban on GTA IV in the first place. This is very troubling. They obviously don't know when a game deserves a higher than MA15+ rating, or whether an MA15+ will be sufficient. 2. Redundant in retrospect (the cuts weren't needed to get the game past the board in the first place), since the OFLC are allowing the uncut version on the shelf at this stage. This also comes back to point 1. The board banned the uncut version, saw a supposed "censored version" and allowed that, but are now allowing the "uncut version"? Can anyone here see the contradiction and hypocrisy of that scenario? As a fan of the series, I can safely say that I'll be purchasing this game ASAP (hot coffee scandal of GTA SA anyone?), but I am now a little worried about the priorities of the OFLC with their double take on GTA uncut. They cannot do their job correctly with the lax rating system, and as I said with the FEAR 2 "banned" article, the only way that this lax system will change is through the removal of SA's Michael Atkinson.
and fear is worse how? atleast fear is more about a fantasy! also how much violent can fear be compared to other bad games out there? god is rather have fear 2 then gta 4 uncut on pc, i prefer my imported ps3 version thanks!
I don't get it, GTAIV gets the slip but F.E.A.R doesn't. Friggin hell. No offence to GTA fans but I'd rather have F.E.A.R on my shelf.
Maybe it's just a publicity stunt to get more people who have both consoles and PC's to buy the PC version just for the so called 'added content'. Time will tell I suppose. Classification Board sucks anyway.
Is this serious why dident they bring out the uncut version out with the console versions it's just stupid. it would be the same on the console versions. i hope they bring out a uncut version on all platforms.
All I can say is if this gets through then I can only wonder when fear2 will finally be able to aswell. After all fear2 only consumes blood and lots of it whilst GTAIV contains prostitution and is uncut over the console version which is.
Excellent for those down under! The only difference is lack of choice of prostitute service and no control over the camera during those segments. But I'm glad the product wasn't censored for the 15 rating. I wish ESRB would make M into 15 and keep AO at 18 but make it an acceptable rating. The AO/R18 taboo is ridiculous. I hope this is evidence that the Australian OFLC board is becoming more relaxed as to what makes the cut.
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