Grand Theft Auto V isn’t going to be banned in Australia with the Australian Classification Board slapping it with a R18+ rating and guaranteeing a release in the strict country. The series has a long history of violence and questionable material, but the board obviously felt like the new title fell within acceptable limits of its recently revised ratings system.
The board fell under scrutiny after denying Saints Row IV a rating not only once but twice, citing sexual violence and drug related incentives. Publisher Deep Silver will apply for a third time to get the game released.
Now it seems that Rockstar has a bit of an image issue on its hands. Sure the game is going to be released, but does this finally mean that Saints Row IV has successfully stolen the “bad boy” image that Grand Theft Auto once held so tightly. Rockstar has long prided itself on establishing Grand Theft Auto as a boundary pushing game designed to make controversy, but when a ratings board fails to take issue, where can it exist?
Granted, Saints Row IV was not given the ban hammer for serious issues, but rather an alien anal probe weapon. Not exactly pushing boundaries there.
Grand Theft Auto V is still going to be the same violent series we’ve always known, so I wouldn’t especially worry about that. Sexual violence and drug use has never been an issue the series has dealt with, and the rest seems to be fair game with the Australian board. Rockstar isn’t going to punk out on this one, I promise.
We’ll find out when Rockstar releases Grand Theft Auto V on Sept. 17 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.