For the time being, Australian gamers will no longer be able to pick up copies of Grand Theft Auto V in Target. The store has elected to remove the game from its shelves in Australia, both online and physically.
Target of Australia released a corporate statement regarding its decision to pull the game. They say it was born out of general customer concern. The word comes from Jim Cooper, GM of Corporate Affairs.
“We’ve been speaking to many customers over recent days about the game, and there is a significant level of concern about the game’s content…We’ve also had customer feedback in support of us selling the game, and we respect their perspective on the issue…
…However, we feel the decision to stop selling GTA5 is in line with the majority view of our customers.”
As VG247 points out here, Target of Australia will still continue to sell other restricted content, both below the film and video game genres. Smells like a witch hunt to me.
Games like Far Cry 4, Far Cry 3 and Watch_Dogs are still available. Each of those offers violence against women and strong drug use, with the Far Cry series in particular featuring specific moments where the main character falls under the influence.
“While these products often contain imagery that some customers find offensive, in the vast majority of cases, we believe they are appropriate products for us to sell to adult customers…However, in the case of GTA5, we have listened to the strong feedback from customers that this is not a product they want us to sell.”
Grand Theft Auto V received an R 18+ rating from the Australian Classification board. That body cited “high impact themes and drug use” as its reasoning for the rating.