GTA IV toned down to pass censors?

Dec 14, 2007

The Australian government is no stranger to banning video games. Plenty of high profile releases have come under the hammer of the authorities in recent months, deemed too violent for public consumption.

With this and the recent issues surrounding Manhunt 2 (which is still banned here in Europe), is it really too far fetched to suggest Rockstar is taking notes of what it can and can't get away with more than ever?

Grand Theft Auto IV, the biggest game of 2008, has been rated Down Under and it came away with a 15+ (similar to the BBFC's '15' or the ESRB’s “T for Teen”), rather than the expected (at least in terms of previous games in the series) 18 or Mature rating.

The certificate comes with the added incentive of a "Strong violence, Strong coarse language, Drug and sexual references" tag, which describes all the reasons exactly why it'll be the biggest game of next year from sales to controversy.

Cries of censorship are already reverberating around forums. We've since been told that there's no such rating as 18 or above for games.

Many gamers are hoping that this is just "the Australian version of the game," cut to get past the authorities, and that other territories around the world will receive the "full uncut" version. This is all speculation though at this point and we're not saying the game's been cut, but gamers are concerned it might have been.

But would Rockstar really risk its biggest game in years to get banned from going on sale by receiving an Adults Only certificate in the US, which would lead to the same issues as Manhunt 2 got caught up in? Of course not - no company is made of money.

Let us know what you think in the Forums.

Courtesy of CVG.