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GTA 5 Exec Responds To Concerns About Game's Violence

"This is a criminal setting; it's a gritty underworld; it is art. And I embrace that art. And it's beautiful art."

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The Grand Theft Auto series has yet again drawn controversy over its violent content. Today on Bloomberg TV, one of the hosts asked GTA publisher Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick if it was true that players can have sex with prostitutes and then kill them in Grand Theft Auto V.

Zelnick's response was that GTA V is a work of art--and it may not always be pretty. "This is a criminal setting; it's a gritty underworld; it is art," he said. "And I embrace that art. And it's beautiful art. But it is gritty."

"This is a tough universe because it's a criminal universe" -- Strauss Zelnick

Zelnick also pointed out film and television programming is also stuffed with violence.

"Let's make no bones about the environment in which we operate," he explained. "And we stand shoulder to shoulder with other major motion picture releases, major television shows that explore a similar universe. So yeah, this is a tough universe because it's a criminal universe."

The executive also pointed out that GTA V offers hundreds of hours of gameplay, allowing you to do much more than just kill prostitutes. In fact, some GTA V players have shown just how creative they can be in a non-lethal fashion. One player is even trying to play the game without killing anyone.

"There's hundreds of hours of gameplay [in GTA V]," Zelnick said. "People have been engaged with Grand Theft Auto Online for over a year and there are plenty of things to do. And it's an incredibly exciting environment. Can it be rough? Absolutely."

Following its initial debut last year for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, GTA V was released today on Xbox One and PS4. The PC version is coming in January 2015. For more on the new versions of GTA V, check out GameSpot's review.

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