If you live in Australia, own a PlayStation 3 and are looking forward to GTAIV you might want to sit down, because I have some bad news.
Earlier in the week the BBFC cleared the game for release in the UK with an 18 rating. But more importantly, the game was released with no cuts to the content. Australia it seems hasn’t been so lucky.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that in order for the game to receive the MA15+ rating (Austrialia’s highest certificate of classification) it needs for release, Rockstar has been forced to produce an edited version of the game. Rockstar currently is not giving any clues as to what exactly has been cut from the product, but with all the buzz around the role of prostitutes in the game, my money is on something to do with the sexual content.
This isn’t the first time that a GTA game has run afoul with the Australian authorities. GTAIII was refused classification in Australia because players could pick up prostitutes. The game was denied classification, effectively banning it, but this wasn’t until thousands of copies of the game had already been sold of course.
Followers of the series will also remember the infamous Hot Coffee incident, a sex mini game hidden in GTA San Andreas which saw a lawsuit brought against Rockstar’s parent company’s Take-Two. The game once again found itself pulled from shelves down under.
This ruling doesn’t bode well for Australia’s retailers. After all, PS3 games are region free and as a result a lot of Australian consumers may start looking farther afield for their software.
If all that wasn’t enough to get you riled up and drafting letters of complaint, it also looks like GTAIV is set to join that growing list of games with overly long, HDD consuming installs. It’s proving to be one of the more painful symptoms of multiplatform development but Rockstar is doing its best to reassure gamers that there will be subtle yet noticeable differences between the performance of the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. Whether that justifies the 85 minute, 10GB installation is yet to be seen. Note to self: Drink at least one cup of coffee before posting stuff (Thanks guys.)
[See also: Grand Theft Auto IV gallery]