Following the removal of Grand Theft Auto V from Australian Targets and K-Marts, Take-Two President Karl Slatoff has provided a bit of a response. It came during a presentation at the BMO Capital Markets 2014 Technology & Media Conference, and Slatoff is quite frank.
He starts off with a rather direct point.
“It’s one thing for someone to not want to buy a piece of content, which is completely understandable…And that’s really the solution. If you don’t like it and it’s offensive to you, then you don’t buy it.”
If the violence in GTA V is a problem for you, in some slightly summarized words from Take-Two Interactive, then you shouldn’t buy the game. Slatoff goes on to talk about how one person’s distaste (or one group, for that matter), shouldn’t dictate the tastes of millions.
“…But for a person or a group of people to try to make that decision for millions of people… We have 34 million people who bought Grand Theft Auto, and if these folks had their way, none of those people would be able to buy Grand Theft Auto. And that really just flies in the face of everything that free society is based on. It’s the freedom of expression, and to try to squelch that is a dangerous and slippery slope to go down.”
In case you’re thinking Slatoff is just mad because of lost income, he clarifies that point as well.
“Our business is going to be completely unaffected by this; it doesn’t make a difference to us. At the end of the day though, it’s not something you want because it’s a poor leadership decision…
…Australia is relatively small for us, and two retailers are relatively small in the context of Australia…There are other places for folks to buy Grand Theft Auto in Australia.”
There you have it, then. The Change.org petition that drove Target and K-Mart to drop Grand Theft Auto V from its shelves? It won’t affect Rockstar’s bottom line at all. It’s likely just inconveniencing buyers more than anything else. They’ll have to drive to a separate store to get their game. Or, hey, order it online.